In a new regular column reporting from the more obscure frontiers of the nursing world, Beyond the Bedpan looks at how a group of A&E nurses took an internet craze too far, and how a bright idea was buried in the Dragon’s Den
We all know the feeling. You’re approaching the end of the 12-hour shift from hell, you can barely keep your eyes open, and all you want to do is lie down. But most nurses are made of pretty stern stuff, and wouldn’t dream of actually lying down on the job.
And if you did, a sneaky nap in a spare bed would probably suffice. What you wouldn’t do is join forces with your colleagues and take turns lying down on resuscitation trolleys, ward floors and the hospital heli-pad. And you definitely wouldn’t take photos. And you most certainly wouldn’t take photos and put them on Facebook for all the world to see.
Shockingly, this is exactly what staff at Swindon’s Great Western Hospital did. Why? As part of the latest madcap internet craze of course. It could only be the Lying Down Game. Unfortunately, a colleague failed to see the funny side and promptly reported them to management - many have now been suspended. There’s a lesson in there somewhere.
Nurse entrepreneurs are a much-feted group. These are the bright individuals leading a series of innovative projects that improve services for patients while advancing the nursing profession. All you need is a good idea, the will to make it happen, and a gap in services that needs addressing. But where to start?
The answer, obviously, is those annoying scraps of wasted toothpaste that get thrown out with an empty tube. Because a toothpaste tube is never really empty unless, of course, you use ‘Squeeze With Ease’ - the ingenious invention of nurse and entrepreneur Susan Bell, as presented on last week’s Dragon’s Den.
The device, which works its way down the length of any tube and pushes out every last drop, in a must for value-conscious consumers everywhere, and should tickle the green aspirations of manufacturers by reducing the amount of discarded tubes.
We loved it, credit-crunched families everywhere surely can’t live without it. But the Dragons merely scoffed, and point-blank refused to back it. It was painful viewing. But Susan Bell, like Susan Boyle before her, will ride again. You heard it here first.