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One retired GP wrote ' I felt ashamed of my profession and cried at your distress'

(94 Posts)
claig Sat 08-Dec-12 13:45:07

Ann Clywd MP asked a question in this week's PMQ and it was very emotional.

It is yet another case of disgusting treatment of patients in our hospitals. Why does this continue?

I hope there is an effective campaign that can change such shocking treatment.

HoleyGhost Sun 09-Dec-12 11:37:12

Being in hospital, treated with total contempt when at my most vulnerable, was the most stressful experience of my life.

Surely the lack of care and compassion hinders patient recovery? Surely evidence-based medicine should include a decent level of care?

TakeMyEyesButNotTheGoat Sun 09-Dec-12 11:48:44

I'm not going to defend all nurses by saying that we are overworked, hence why you have received poor treatment, lack of compassion and empathy etc...

Some nurses do lack a good bedside manner, they are human after all. Not everyone is nice.

Should they be working in the health profession? Probably not but it doesn't mean they are not good nurses in all other aspects. Some are on the ball with a patients medical needs even if they do lack decent manners.

Saying that though, I and many of my colleagues have been accused of lack of sympathy etc when that is not the case at all. Sometimes its because you've got a thousand and one things to think about while trying to physically see to too many people. It may come across that way when we are rushing around but its certainly not intentional.

A lot of assumptions are made.

iamabadger Sun 09-Dec-12 11:55:10

I'm not going to get into the ins and outs of problems in the nhs here-they do exist and I would never excuse that. But I read this article on mail online and all the comments slagged off nurses even though the article itself clearlly mentioned doctors. Nurses are really not the root of all evil within healthcare and feels like they are getting a total bashing at the moment.

TakeMyEyesButNotTheGoat Sun 09-Dec-12 11:59:55

Nurses always get the blame because they are frontline staff, they are the ones that are seen as having some sort of power and influence over how the system works.

Not the case at all. They have no power actually.

HoleyGhost Sun 09-Dec-12 12:13:00

What about nursing unions? Do they campaign for better working conditions?

IslaMann Sun 09-Dec-12 12:15:27

Im pissed off with the nurses taking the blame for bad care. I work all day without even a glass of water sometimes, no time for a toilet break, nothing to eat for hours on end. I never finish my shift at the correct time and rarely take meal breaks. My ward has lost 8 trained nurses in the past year, through retirement, redeployment or because the nurse has decided to leave the NHS. Not a single replacement has been recruited. As TakeMyEyes says, the nurses have no power, yet they're the ones who are verbally abused and physically assaulted.

TakeMyEyesButNotTheGoat Sun 09-Dec-12 12:29:25

Unions don't do much for us at all. They screwd us over with the agenda for change.

Do you know what our breaks are for a 12 1/2 hour shift are?

50 minutes. 50 fucking minutes for the whole day. No tea breaks inbetween. That's if you take them at all.

We've had health and saftey come many times over the years about the heat. It so hot that when you open the main ward door, the heat hits you like a brick wall. Has anything been done? Like fuck has it.

They won't pay for air conditioning but expect the staff to carry on working the whole day rushing around without a cup of ice cold water to cool you down as they took away our water coolers. They won't pay for them.

Unions have done fuck all for us.

TakeMyEyesButNotTheGoat Sun 09-Dec-12 12:32:03

Sorry for typos, on phone.

HoleyGhost Sun 09-Dec-12 12:33:29

No wonder nurses have compassion fatigue. Those conditions are brutal.

MrsjREwing Sun 09-Dec-12 12:43:53

I learned the hard way during pregnancy hospital stays, during a recent hospital stay I took an active part in my care, you are unwell and it shouldn't have to be that way.

TakeMyEyesButNotTheGoat Sun 09-Dec-12 12:46:49

A friend who's father was in hospital once started ranting and raving about the shit nurses because she had been trying to phone the ward to see how her father was but couldn't get through. She was saying she was going to put in a complaint.

I wiped the floor with her over that, did she expect a nurse to be always sat by the phone to answer a call instead of seeing to their patients?

As I said, assumptions are made all the time.

claig Sun 09-Dec-12 12:56:56

What happens when compaints go into hospitals. We read reports of people dying of dehydration, of a man phoning 999 to get a glass of water, of shocking treatment and care and yet it continues. Are people held responsible? Is management held responsible?

TakeMyEyesButNotTheGoat Sun 09-Dec-12 12:58:41

Forgot to add, that had she gone through with that complaint, the nurses would get the blame, something would have to change I.e everytime the phone rang the nurses would have to answer it no matter what they were doing to avoid another complaint. Or a stupid checklist or another piece of paperwork will be implemented.

Its ridiculous.

SaskiaRembrandtVampireHunter Sun 09-Dec-12 12:59:07

My son is a nurse, so I have a vested interest, but I still feel that they are being unfairly blamed for problems they have no control over.

DS works in a high dependency unit which is supposed to have a 1-1 ratio, but staff shortages mean that often isn't possible. I can see why people might think he's being uncaring if he has to leave them while he deals with someone even more severely ill, but he really isn't.

Nurses are an easy target, they have no power and can't openly speak out about the effect of staff cuts on the NHS. The anger people feel should be directed at politicians who make the decisions in the first place!

Rindercella Sun 09-Dec-12 12:59:51

Something has to be done. It just has to be.

My beautiful, wonderful, strong DH ended up terrified being in hospital when he was dying of cancer. He was terrified to be left alone, scared that the nurses responsible for his care would leave him for hours in his own faeces, even after he asked for their help. He was terrified that the next time a HCP tried to fit a cannula or take blood from him his arms would be left bloodied and bruised again. I remember one time, just after he had a catheter fitted. He screamed out with pain - I have never, ever seen such pain in anyone's face in my life - I buzzed for a nurse, ran to get some help. A nurse came, refused to listen to us, looked at the chart and buggered off. I went to get some more help - the catheter hadn't been fitted correctly and so when he tried to pass urine, it caused him immense pain. As soon as it was fixed, DH's pain vanished. The first nurse came back 15 minutes later with a shot of morphine. He felt my wrath that day. I was so fucking angry. All he had to do was listen to his patient. Surely a senior nurse should be capable of doing this?

These were just a few things that happened to DH when he was at his most vulnerable. Already racked with pain, with the cancer spreading through his body, he was caused further pain by the people who were supposed to give him comfort and relief from pain. Already scared beyond belief of the fact he was going to die, that he was going to leave his own children as he was left himself by his father at a young age (his Dad died of a heart attack at 34), he was scared further by people paid to look after him.

I am sure there are some fantastic nurses. What a shame non of them were employed on the oncology ward DH was on.

Nurses have no power? They have the power to show basic human compassion don't they? To give their patients the most basic levels of care? Poor you for not being able to grab a glass of water while working (really?). Poor patients who are dying in the most horrific way who are caused further pain and distress and who are shown absolutely no respect.

I could go on with the GP and consultants who treated DH. But I am feeling particularly crap about it all at the moment and just don't have the energy.

Thank God for hospices.

TakeMyEyesButNotTheGoat Sun 09-Dec-12 13:00:12

No just usually another piece of paperwork to cover everyones arses taking time away yet again from patient care.

CuriousMama Sun 09-Dec-12 13:00:54

We need more people like tiredemma.

There's often cries of bring back matrons but the best care I received was when admitted to a ward who had a sister just like a matron. She was hot on their heels and no slacking.

It's tragic. Something needs to change.

claig Sun 09-Dec-12 13:03:48

I am in favour of the NHS and not private hospitals. But what is going on? Are people in private hospitals getting better personal care and consideration than people who have paid taxes all their life and expect top-class treatment in public hospitals? Are there reports of people dying of dehydration in private hospitals? If not, then this is a national disgrace, and soemthing needs to be done about it. Management should be held responsible.

TakeMyEyesButNotTheGoat Sun 09-Dec-12 13:04:32

Sorry about your DH Rindercella. As I said upthread, not all nurses are compassionate.

Just don't tar us all with the same brush.

MrsjREwing Sun 09-Dec-12 13:06:18

After being encouraged on here I put in a complaint which changed protocol and rediclous lists hmm

My oxygen wasn't plugged into the wall when being transferred from recovery to ward, all full of anesthetic nurses didn't listen, so I rang my Mum who rang ward it was only then I got oxygen.

SaskiaRembrandtVampireHunter Sun 09-Dec-12 13:09:44

Claig Not sure if you do get better care in a private hospital. My fil had a knee replacement done privately a couple of years ago. Initially the treatment was very good, but when it became apparent that he wasn't recovering as quickly as expected and would have to stay longer - then he was made to feel like a bed blocker. Ended up going home too early and suffering problems that the NHS had to deal with.

Rindercella Sun 09-Dec-12 13:11:39

Claig, interestingly, DH spent a few days in the private ward at the oncology hospital and actually, the care was no better. He had his own room, so I was able to stay with him (even though I wasn't officially allowed to). On the NHS ward I was threatened with security if I didn't leave him at night. But on the private ward, the staff were equally as useless. They didn't know how to use a hoist to move him. They again could not seem to fit a cannula or take blood without causing him a huge amount of pain and distress. And they showed him no level of care or respect.

One nurse was assigned to him and if s/he wasn't available, it was tough. I remember going to the front desk and asking one of the nurses a generic question (actually just how the bill would be settled). She point blank refused to speak to me, telling me DH had his own nurse and I should only be speaking to her. My SIL remembers something similar - but far more dangerous - the nurse assigned to DH didn't know what to do with the blood he need. SIL went to talk to another nurse to tell her. Other nurse point blank told her that DH had his own nurse assigned and she would be doing the blood transfusion. My SIL (a former nurse) ended up sorting it all out herself.

It is absolutely fucking disgraceful.

claig Sun 09-Dec-12 13:12:21

Very moving post, Rindercella. This needs to bve top priority for all teh political schmoozers who meet press barons etc. instead of dealing with the care and treatment of the sick of this nation. They blow billions of our money on climate aid to foreign countries and neglect what is happening to our own ill. Disgraceful.

We need cameras on wards for a certain period of time in order to find out what is hapopening and why, and then we need urgent action to put it right. We pay billions in tax for public servants and pay 6 figure salaries to management and we expect them to treat ill-treatment of human beings as a serious matter.

Rindercella Sun 09-Dec-12 13:12:46

Oh, and I remember my father being treated in a private hospital. They were terrible.

Rindercella Sun 09-Dec-12 13:15:38

Takemyeyes, as I said - very clearly - in my post that I am sure some nurses are fantastic. So no tarring going on from me.

However, when DH was dying the level of care given was absolutely horrific. I can only speak from experience and I would not wish that level of care on anyone. Sadly, I have spoken to many people who have had similar experiences.

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