I recently had an interesting chat with a young man who had just spent a week in hospital. He’s nearly 18 and was admitted to an adult medical ward. It was both a challenging and at points frightening experience for him.
A friend of mine recently had very major surgery and will require months of follow-up. Discharged after five days he came home feeling tired, unwell and unable to cope. He had concerns about pain, his wound, how much he should do and how quickly. After three days he was a nervous wreck and began phoning the hospital for support. His wife was equally anxious, bearing the burden of his worries and also her own concerns about his condition. For the first two weeks she felt she had taken ...
Nurse staffing numbers are in the news again following publication of a study suggesting that the worse patient outcomes associated with lower nurse staffing levels result from the omission of necessary nursing care. Put simply, short-staffed nursing teams don’t have the time to do everything their patients need them to do.
I was fascinated to see in an NT news story quote: “In my theatre, I had a guy who was blown up with an IED, and the guy on the next table was supposed to be the guy who detonated the IED. That’s really difficult. But… you treat them no different.”
I recently had to attend an outpatient’s appointment at my local hospital. As I went through the front door, the reception staff gave me a cheery wave as I headed down the corridor towards the clinic. Two people that I passed in the corridor, who were in uniform of different kinds, said good morning to me and, at the entrance to outpatients, I was greeted enthusiastically by someone directing the traffic of patients.
“You have to understand GP practices are businesses, and have to operate in that way as making money is one of their priorities.”
We’re all accustomed to hearing how memory problems are common – or even inevitable – in older people. And if you’re anything like me, each time you enter a room and forget what you came for you’ll think it’s a “senior moment”, a sign of things to come.
The sight of Mick Jagger jumping around on the Glastonbury stage just a few days short of his 70th birthday was a clear demonstration of the changing demography in the UK. The Stones’ drummer was even older at 72 but he, of course, was sitting down.
It’s another day and there is a new initiative for you to implement. In a bid to improve patient safety and make lines of accountability clear, the health secretary Jeremy Hunt has come up with the idea of putting the name of an accountable nurse above every patient’s bed.
Yesterday I went to see a play Inside out of Mind. Based on a dementia admissions ward it told the story of staff and patients. It captured the chaos, noise and unpredictability of the ward as well as the emotional and physical demands of caring for people with dementia.
Since the government aimed its Francis report response firmly at nurses, with many of its promises focusing on “improving” nursing care, I have felt a sense of injustice that the wrong group is being targeted.
In the NHS some patients are more equal than others.
The Telegraph’s website the other day carried the headline “Minister: NHS will collapse if elderly bed-blocking continues”.
This is Dementia Awareness week which is a good way to call attention to this common condition. But in reality every week needs to be dementia aware for nurses. And it’s not just for nurses working in care of the older persons and in nursing homes. All nurses will come into contact with patients with dementia – on surgical wards, in A&E, outpatients, GP surgeries and out in the community.
Rapid tranquillisation on mental health wards is much-debated.
There is an old man who occasionally catches the same bus as me to the station. When he arrives at the bus stop there is an odour which in the confined space of the bus gets worse.
A friend recently tried to have a Doppler scan and tissue viability assessment in the community rather than in the hospital.
Throughout university we’d been taught that patients with this diagnosis can exhibit “challenging” behaviour, that they can divide teams and we should reflect on how we feel to avoid burnout.
Last week the ABPI released figures suggesting that doctors, nurses and other health professionals in the UK received £40m last year from pharmaceutical companies. The money pays for medical education events, training and development, and fees for services such as speaking engagements and participation in advisory boards.
Over the years I have seen the nursing profession deal with some enormous challenges, including seismic changes in nurse education, the eradication of an entire level of the profession and countless media storms – both justified and not.