Wednesday, 27 February 2013

The Health Rant

I love my work don't get me wrong but today it generated pure frustration in me. Sometimes I feel so over extended and pulled in so many directions that I just want to burst.
A hospital has big wheels and the cogs keep on turning no matter what you do. People line up at the front door and demand to get in. A back log of patients extends the staff to their physical and mental limits and the overflow generates the propensity to push ward staff to discharge their patients efficiently and in a timely manner.

I've always said to the new interns that arrive on the ward. It 's easy to admit a patient , its a lot harder to discharge them."

In this day and age we have things called pre admission clinics. They act in a two fold manner. To prepare the patient for their impending surgery and give adequate work up and planning for their operation. But it is also designed to start the patient to think and plan about going home. Get out of bed early. Mobilize. Deep Breathe Cough and Who is going to be home to support you on discharge, how will you get home.??
And yet people are surprised when we tell them that their care is complete...blank face... I don't have any body home to help me... they are away work.  Sorry its off to the discharge lounge until someone is available to pick you up. Don't get me wrong people are supported in their discharge and the appropriate follow up is made (most of the time) but please we are not a hotel.

I frequently apologise to people when we have to move them from one room to another. But unless they want to share in a mixed sex room or someone whom  has multi resistant germs then moving them is necessary. Remember people are queued up at the front door waiting to get in.
I am an expert removalist and when I am sick of helping people I will be opening up my own furniture removalist company, except that my body will be so old and tired from the lifting and assisting old frail bodies up the bed.
You get the feeling that there is al lot of pushing and pulling!! Whatever happened to simple old nursing care. Now a days every action has to have a piece of paper to support it. Falls documents to be completed within the hour of admission. Falls document part B for every patient meeting one criteria out of twenty or so listed - every patient that is pushed through the door!! To Be completed every shift. Nutrition assessment, skin assessment, wound care charts, mobility assessment, bowel chart, fluid balance chart etc etc Hello! where is my patient...did you want me to actually talk to you???

To all you bureaucrats  stop justifying your lot in life, get down to grass roots and stop pushing paper...under my nose. Yes we have document everything to state that it was done, where do I get the time to do it. To have enough time to do these things you have to complete something called excelcare..the most archaic system in the universe.. you allocate units of care to a patient and it will give you a timing according to that unit. This adds up to hours of nursing time...I don't have the time to sit at the computer to project for the staff required for the next shift and half the time it doesn't list what you do for the patient, so you physically have to write your own unit of care and allocate timings.......More time wasted...Then you don't get the staffing even when you're flat out busy because there are not enough staff and the government has cut the funding to the hospitals and the first to be skimmed off the monetary tree are nurses.

Now a days you complete your three year course and you might be lucky to get a years graduate nurse program but don't expect to be employed afterwards. You will be employed in the casual pool.. No stability of jobs, you won't be able to get a loan to buy a house. But the hospital will employ you when they are flat out busy. Hurt your back and wok cover will only cover you so far, no responsibility to help you find suitable employment  light duties because you are not permanently employed by the hospital, contract only. Tough.

Dont forget that the population is getting older. Only a few years ago our hospital went on a desperate hunt to England , Scotland and Africa to recruit over seas nurses. Now whole speciality units are being chipped away and broken down in the name of a budget. Whole skill sets are being lost. The capacity to educate new specialist nurses and doctors in differing areas is reduced. You think you have to wait for care now, just wait ten years and you will be absolutely be disgusted.

We already have corridor nursing - no call bell, no specific nurse allocated to care, not counted in the staff numbers allocated to your care... no where to view the patient and condition on doctors rounds, no where to utilize a toilet.........

Protest to your local member of parliament

Use your voice

Vote with your health and your children's health in mind! Read the South Australian Health site plan for the future.....already failing because their is not enough money to complete the job/ new hospital..... Wasted money once again.

I am just one nurse in the mechanics of a big machine, but we all have a voice together... What is happening here in South Australia is happening throughout the country

Do you think I've ranted enough... Phew...

This started out as just a bad day, but I think it relays the frustration I feel regularly at not being able to give the care I want to give.

1 comment:

  1. I know what you mean about the no guaranteed employemnt after new grad year. I was only offered casual. A couple of failed job applications later, them stating lack of experience as the issue. How they're expecting me to get experience when no one will give me a job I dont know.
    I totally get what you're saying.


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