In case you hadn’t noticed, it’s a bit cold outside. The weather is so bad that many nurses are struggling to get to work, and Beyond the Bedpan is sympathetic to their plight. If only managers felt the same way.
The apocalypse is upon us! Or maybe it’s just a few inches of snow. In any event, the Big Freeze has has reduced the country to a shivering wreck - offices half empty; streets turned into ice rinks; public transport in meltdown. And a poor woman in Scotland has apparently not returned home since leaving to do the Christmas shopping on December 23rd (she’s safe, but her husband is hungry).
It is, in short, the end of the world. Or at least you would think so by the hysterical media coverage this week, when even an attempted coup to bring down the prime minister failed to dislodge it from the top of news agenda.
The freak weather is obviously adding to nurses’ workloads as patients come skidding in with all manner of bruises and fractures, and they patiently explain to the anxious multitudes that a few sneezes does not mean swine flu.
But what about nurses themselves? While many professions are building snowmen before retreating indoors for hot cocoa, nurses have been tersely reminded that they should “make every effort” to get into work despite the weather. If they don’t, they can expect to have the time treated as annual leave, or made up at a later date.
Beyond the Bedpan understands what a vital service nurses provide, but why should they suffer if they are genuinely unable to get to work?
At best, the RCN advises that they might use time already owed to them, or take it as unpaid leave. How kind.
So if you are looking at a treacherous descent through jagged ice to get to work, with the cold freezing your eyelids shut and polar bears trying to eat you, the official line is: tough luck, get on with it.
Has your trust been unfair in its treatment of snowbound nurses? Or maybe you struggled in heroically, only to find that other members of staff were not as dedicated? Please let us know if the comments box below.