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To get annoyed by this FB status and think that nurses are not angels?

(171 Posts)
lougle Sat 17-Oct-15 15:51:56

I'm not a big FB user. I tend to scroll through the news feed and rarely post. Today I saw a post about nurses. It basically told off patients for ringing their call buzzer for a cup of tea because nurses are really busy and have very much more important things to do, then sneered about being called stupid 'by someone who didn't even finish 10th grade'.

AIBU to think that nurses choose to work as a nurse and patients shouldn't have to worry about whether a nurse has had his/her break before asking for a cup of tea (when they're not allowed to get it themselves)?

(I'm a nurse).

Sirzy Sat 17-Oct-15 15:53:27

I think everyone should be worried about the very real problem of staff shortages meaning that staff aren't getting breaks.

LunchpackOfNotreDame Sat 17-Oct-15 15:55:18

Part of nursing is ensuring patients are comfortable including getting them cups of tea.

Nurses have had a right snarky attitude since it changed from a vocation to a profession. It's almost as if the human interactions are now beneath them

sunnyshowers Sat 17-Oct-15 16:02:23

I think I saw that fb post too and was ain a&e myself this week so I read it very differently.
I saw chronic understaffing and nurses and doctors doing an amazing job. Was overnight on a chair with a bad head injury and I heard drunk people shouting for tea and lots of unnecessary demands put on nurses. I felt so sorry for them. I got tea from the vending machine for people beside me and chocolate for nurses, it's such a difficult job. People are at their worst when they're ill and forget thst the medical staff are human. I did worry they didn't get a break or food because they're helping me and they can only do so much...head still fuzzy hope it made sense

Mydearchild Sat 17-Oct-15 16:03:50

Sweeping statement there lunchpack hmm

LunchpackOfNotreDame Sat 17-Oct-15 16:05:47

OK. I'll correct it. A lot of nurses I've encountered (and it's a lot with the number of conditions I have grin) seem to have...

Mydearchild Sat 17-Oct-15 16:10:05

In all fairness I know nothing of hospital nursing as I've worked in the community for 17 years. I occasionally encounter the odd lazy nurse but hand on heart the vast majority are very caring & bend over backwards to do their best. I hate hearing nurses & angels in the same sentence as I think it's patronising.

lougle Sat 17-Oct-15 16:10:32

I agree that understaffing is a problem, but I don't think the patients should be burdened by that, when they are in need of care.

Also, there are physiotherapists, occupational therapists, phlebotomists, HCA's, etc., facing the same shortages and I think an overemphasis on nurses detracts from the team approach to care.

DurhamDurham Sat 17-Oct-15 16:10:53

My 18 year old daughter has just embarked upon a nursing degree, she's a month in to it and tells me she is going to save the NHS..........I nod and smile and wonder what she's let herself in for. I think a lot of nurses start out wanting to make a difference and with a sincere wish to help people but then get bogged down in all the red tape and staff shortages.

Mydearchild Sat 17-Oct-15 16:20:26

Lougle I couldn't agree more that patients shouldn't be bogged down by staff shortages. Problem is when your the nurse on duty your the one trying to do a thousand things at once and that can be incredibly difficult and frustrating. It forces you to become the nurse that you don't want to be iyswim.

Take my old role for example, some days I would have 20 home visits in a 7.5 hr shift (also factor in travel time, documentation etc) who gets priority? Each patient thinks they should be priority & I completely agree sadly they can't all be. My head would be exploding by the end of the day. I'm just 1 nurse in a ready to explode organization.

Headofthehive55 Sat 17-Oct-15 16:20:41

The point is you can choose whether to attend to a sick patient or one in pain, perhaps getting their medication, or you can go and get a cup of tea for someone. Now which would you choose to do first? You only have one pair of hands. It's that simple.

Then of course you return from that job to receive a patient from theatre. The other patient still wants tea. Which would you do now?

That's the impact of staffing levels.

Grilledaubergines Sat 17-Oct-15 16:22:24

I've yet to come across a nurse I would call an "angel" and I have come across many. When at your most vulnerable, you need care that goes beyond administering medication. in a hot, stuffy, under ventilated ward, a cup of tea isn't asking for the earth.

sharonthewaspandthewineywall Sat 17-Oct-15 16:23:18

A lot of patients have unrealistic expectations of nurses and couldnt care less whether they will be late home from their shifts after having had no break or anything to eat or drink for hours on end. Of courses nurses shouldn't let patients go without basic nutrition and hydration to put themselves first but at the same time there are patients who treat them as subservient and want their every whim catered to like right now.

LunchpackOfNotreDame Sat 17-Oct-15 16:23:30

Meanwhile the one asking for a drink deteriorates due to dehydration

Are you aware of the impact of dehydration on the elderly and infirm?

sharonthewaspandthewineywall Sat 17-Oct-15 16:24:56

Headofthehive yes then the patient who is blissfully unaware that you have x amount of others who have more pressing needs to meet...

sharonthewaspandthewineywall Sat 17-Oct-15 16:26:10

Lunchpack not everyone demanding cups of tea will dehydrate if they dont get their demand met straight away

unlucky83 Sat 17-Oct-15 16:27:41

I have to agree with lunch to an extent.
A lot of extremely good nurses but a few now forget they are there to care for patients...
A friend of my mum's was in hospital and vomited everywhere, unexpectedly and they were mortified. Their DH was trying to clean them up and asked for a help from a passing nurse - she told them 'I have a degree I don't deal with vomit' and left him to it, no offer to help or get someone to help... He went to the nurses station and they eventually found a Healthcare assistant to help...
When DD2 was in A&E she vomited on the floor - the doctor was helping clean it up. No I have a degree so I'll watch someone suffer attitude going on there....

Sirzy Sat 17-Oct-15 16:28:26

But it's ok for nurses to become dehydrated because they don't get a chance to drink?

Nurses shouldn't be in a position to be having to choose which patient needs their support most, but they are and it shouldn't be the nurses we are complaining about but the system which makes that the case. A lot of patients could also be an awful lot more patient and realistic in their demands.

Now of course there are some lazy, rubbish nurses but the vast majority are trying to do their best with the limited resources they have.

Zame Sat 17-Oct-15 16:29:47

I know what you mean, nurses do work ridiculously hard and aren't well paid in most cases but they're doing a job same as many others.
I have limited experience of them but the nurses I met on the labour ward were far from angels. I was sneered at when I asked where I could get a drink from, and ignored for the most part. They hardly made eye contact with me most of the time, I felt like I was a major inconvenience to them each time.

sharonthewaspandthewineywall Sat 17-Oct-15 16:29:57

Unlucky I find that almost impossible to believe.....did they complain to PALS? If so what was the outcome?
I have two degrees and have been knee deep in shit vomit and blood on many occassions...you are either the type to muck in or not education doesnt come into it.

Zame Sat 17-Oct-15 16:30:35

Actually, I know for a fact there are some damn good nurses, just a few have clouded my experience.

LunchpackOfNotreDame Sat 17-Oct-15 16:30:55

No but how are you to differentiate between the pushy patient and the dehydrated one who asks once in a while because they don't want to be a bother?

Mind you having been post operative on a ward with a large proportion of patients having added complications such as dementia I spent much of my stay helping the nurses keeping the high risk fallers from getting out of bed.

And therein lays the other issue. High need patients such as those with dementia having medical issues treated on wards without staff having specific dementia training. It's horrible for vulnerable patients who have a bit of savvy about the condition let alone ones who haven't a clue aside from having an elderly person being very vocal and wandering and fiddling with everything.

sharonthewaspandthewineywall Sat 17-Oct-15 16:31:55

Good point Sirzy- I have had two bouts of kidney stones and pylonephritis after working the most demanding understaffed shifts, since working in the community this hasnt happened once.

Headofthehive55 Sat 17-Oct-15 16:32:12

grilled absolutely. However, you only have one pair of hands and have to choose the most, I suppose vital job at each twist and turn of the day. Most patients have water jugs and glasses available, but often making a cup if tea involves going off the ward.

Littleallovertheshop Sat 17-Oct-15 16:32:31

Nurses aren't there to make tea. I would never buzz for one - ever - but it's nothing to do with whether theyve had a lunch break or not. I say this as a chronic patient - yoy get tea with breakfast, tea ib the morning, tea in the afternoon, tea before bed plus jugs of water. If that's not enough, send your visitors to get you one at visiting time

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