Monday, 31 March 2008

Displaced Anger

There have been posts flying about over the 'Angry' nurse bloggers. It started with DisappearingJohn, then PixelRN and Julie @ Life In the NHS.
So are we angry? Well yes but for good reasons. I was asked by a friend of mine if we ever got bogged down in the politics of it all. She's a physics teacher and has plenty of good reasons to be angry at the system too.
I see patients getting a raw deal every day. Open any of the weekly nursing journals and there's an article on poor pay deals and lack of training or student drop out rates and levels of student debt. College puts these fantastic ideas into our heads. Offering patients the chance to die at home or preventing pressure sores. I went into the course with rose tinted glasses on, they have since been ripped from my face when I saw a patient admitted with questionable marks on her body and poor details from her care home.
I have been called angry by a lecturer more than once but at least I'm angry in the right direction. This is the kind of anger that will get things changed for the better. Internalising this anger would cause anyone to get stressed out.
But are the cynical views of mine colouring anyone else's views on the world? I would hope that anyone seeing my rants would accept that not every patient I see is poorly treated by everyone but those I work with. The majority of staff are fantastic human beings who are doing the best they can in difficult circumstances . Of course there are the bad eggs but they exist in every job. If I couldn't put my anger to good use the I would end up alone, bitter and generally pissed off with a job that I do love deep, deep down inside.

(Photo from Suggs, who says I don't plug his photos enough!)

Sunday, 30 March 2008


Yay.... New fish! I picked them up yesterday. And yes I did put Buddha in the tank but the fish seem to like him.
Tekkamaki - The golden one to the right.
Kappamaki - The Black Moor hiding under the plant to the left.
(I know I named them after sushi but it's a favourite food and I don't plan on eating them.)
The water is cloudy already, so I'm partial changing the water tomorrow.

Ah well if this nursing thing doesn't pan out then I'll open a pet shop!

Friday, 28 March 2008

Living By The Book

The rules we get handed aren't all that different to these (taken from Nova Scotia Nursing History Project) and that was over 70 years ago.

Students in the hospital nursing programs were required to live in residence while enrolled in the nursing school, as well as follow a strict set of rules and regulations which applied to all facets of the student’s life. These rules applied to everything from their behaviour to their dress and if the rules were not followed the students were disciplined. Most dismissals from the program due to a lack of discipline often occurred early on in the student's training. Due to the surplus pool of labour that existed, students who quit or were expelled could easily be replaced. Senior students however, were a valuable skilled labour force and were not quite as easy to replace. Therefore as long as the student was willing to accept a penalty and appeared to repent they would not be expelled from the program. As a result, the more senior the student was, the more likely the student could bend the rules without jeopardizing their entire training.

So really in the last 70 years the rules (and the bending of them) hasn't changed. We no longer have to stay in halls of residence, and although some do they aren't quite so strict with the times. We certainly don't have to have the lights out at any specific time, not with all the weird shifts we have these days. The jewellery and make up rules still stand, although I wish they were enforced more.

The drop out rates haven't changed much.... Almost a third of nursing students drop out and Scotland is topping the league tables. This is another one where the answer is complicated AND simple at the same time. There's nothing like throwing money at a problem. The current nursing student bursary is £6,000 a year. I pay out around £3,000 in rent so I'm living off £3,000. Good thing I can get help from other places. Some want it to be increased to £10,000. that should solve one problem but where would the money come from? Taxes? Yea the hospitals need fixing and the schools need replacing first.

The complicated answer? Better support for the students, etc. A slightly more unique idea of mine is a more stringent interview and application process. They need to show new students exactly what will be expected of them in the next 3 years. If they are looking for an easy course with a job at the end of it then they should go study travel and tourism.

There's no place for rose tinted glasses here.

Fishless in Scotland...

No fish yet... Tomorrow some photos! I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
Thanks to Dee Dee for the title!

Thursday, 27 March 2008

Goldfish Care Part 1

Since I have almost nothing better to say at the moment. So enjoy this little introductory video to goldfish then I'll write up my set up process tomorrow after I bring home Kappamaki and Tekkamaki.

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Only In Scotland....

Only in Scotland will you find a man out in the street, drunk, wearing a thong...... back to front.
Thankfully there are no pictures of said thong in that article.

Makes Borat look sane!


Hope 'ya all enjoyed a little break over Easter bank holiday!
I've been away from the internet... so I've missed out on... well any interesting news.
I now own 2 goldfish (well I own the tank, I'm currently purifying the water for them). Vista Service Pack 1 has made ZERO difference to my laptop, unless you count Windows Explorer crashing less often. It only made me realise how much I missed the stability of XP. The Aero interface is only eye candy.
Anyway... I need to go pack up some stuff... Make room for the new fish bowl, that kind of thing.

Thursday, 20 March 2008


Remember the end of the world exam? It was two weeks ago and the results arrived last night. My flatmates had been checking the college intranet for me but had forgotten my matriculation number. So yea I came in at the end of the shift and they all had faces like someone had died. I thought my worst fears had been confirmed and I should go start packing.
Then they rechecked and we spent the next 5 minutes incoherently jumping up and down and hugging each other. To be honest while I sat the exam they were with me along with the entire teaching staff!
It wasn't a fantastic pass but sod that at least I DID pass!
So I now declare the 6th of March a public holiday and everyone should have 2 weeks off! Which is fine for me since I've rearranged my time off and have ended up with 14 days shift free!!!!!

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

A Sleep Deprived Update

I'm 2 shifts in to a 3 shift run so this is going to be short and sweet.
First up Service Pack 1 has finally been released for Windows Vista. More on that soon as I install it.
Second I'm learning so much on this placement if only my feet would stop hurting for a moment.
Third I'm taking a lesson from Kal @ and not making any posting promises... Maybe Thursday?

Sunday, 16 March 2008

New Week, New Placement

I would post something fun and interesting but I have to go to bed early since I'm starting another placement and I have to get up at stupid o'clock in the morning.
If I don't post till Thursday then don't be angry. I've got 3 12hr shifts ahead of me. I'm taking exhaustion to a whole new level!

Friday, 14 March 2008

Presenting... Lessons in PowerPoint

Over the years we have been doing presentations has no one learned anything? Guess not.
First go back to this post and watch the video.
Second DO NOT make me sit through a 15min presentation with 40-odd slides.
Third DO NOT have 50-100 or more words on ANY single slide!
Forth freaking learn to use PowerPoint because it really isn't that hard. Stop treating me like a god because I can throw some words onto a slide in the space of a few hours.
Fifth DO NOT use tiny or complicated fonts.
Sixth, if you break any of the rules and I fall asleep, you are NOT allowed to be pissy at me. 'Cos I gave you fair warning!

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Today in Brief

First up I got over 30 hits in an hour and 82 in 2 days after a link to my blog post about Crocs was put on this message board for stock traders. Wow! Never expected that.
Further to the Crocs story I went shopping for a new pair for my next placement and I couldn't help myself. I bought both a black pair for placement (without any holes) and a pair of red mammoths! Soft and fuzzy and warm!

I also discovered this fantastic competition of photographs taken during scientific studies. They are here in this gallery for all to see but this one is my favourite! In case you can't tell what it is then it's a burst blood vessel. See the little stuck red blood cells? It was taken with a scanning electron microscope.

Lastly has anyone been watching Holby tonight? They are ALL acting like hussies! There goes the Code of Conduct out the window.

Hacking the Heart

A new study (warning opens as a pdf) has found that pacemakers can be hacked! Finally a way to mix my loves of IT and nursing! OK granted if you have a pacemaker then the chances of being hacked are rather slim and the hacker will need around $30,000 of equipment. There is zero chance of me having the skills to do this, so you'll be safe from me at least!
But apparently the hacks can be used to give tiny shocks...... electrifying!

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Bickering and Infighting?

So the great and holy NMC have been accused of 'racism and bullying', well I wouldn't expect anything less.
Back in the post where I said that I was sacred of being pulled up for the slightest misdemeanor I talked about the power this 'governing body' has. It wields a huge amount of power, over my education, career, future employment and if you believe what some say my out-of-hours conduct.
I was always a little confused about why I will have to pay to support something that surely the government should be doing? Like the monopolies commission?
Well I have noticed that when you put lots of women together they have a tendency to stab each other in the back eventually. This isn't just a phenomenon in nursing but it's worse. One off comment about another's competency and there's a whole can of worms opened for all to see.

Monday, 10 March 2008

The Holey Religion of the Crocs!

Crocs took their time getting over to this side of the pond. I remember seeing them in 2005 when I was working over in the States, but I only got my first pair last February.
Now I own 4 pairs in different colours and I'm a true believer. I spent 6 weeks in placement wearing them and my feet never hurt once.
Of course now they are being banned all over the place. Now personally I don't use my feet as target practice when disposing of needles but apparently some do. Anyway I off to buy my fifth pair this week for my new placement. I'll be getting the variation without the holes as my favourites; beach and cayman are off the uniform menu.
People laugh at the bright colours (I own Red, Yellow, Black and Turquoise) but they are comfortable, light and they DO look smart, especially the black. Everyone should own at least one pair. Don't knock them till you've spent a 12 hour shift on your feet and wearing a pair of these.
So I'm starting a new religion dedicated to Crocs. The most maligned footwear ever. All you have to do is believe in the shoes!

Sunday, 9 March 2008

Also Happening....

I would have posted yesterday but Blogger passed out on me. So I went back to writing my current short story and being forced into drawing something special for Zuzu.
She believes that because I put Lulu's name first that means she's on top in the yin yang image. Which has lead to some odd discussions, including Zuzu saying "But she's on my head!" In public.
Thursday's exam went well. At least I hope so but I won't know for another week or so.
Anyway I'll try to get the other entry up soon and I'll type the new short story too.

Which Futurama Character Are You?

Turanga Leela

You are the competent, one-eyed captain of the Planet Express Ship. Abandoned at birth, you grew up in the Cookieville Minimum Security Orphanarium believing yourself to be an alien from an unknown race. You eventually learns from your parents that you are, in fact, a mutant from the sewers.

Personality Test Results

Click Here to Take This Quiz

Quizzes and Personality Tests

Friday, 7 March 2008

The Aftermath from the End of the World

Well the world is still turning. At least it is for me, so it didn't go that badly. Thank goodness. Normal service will be resumed shortly!

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Wanna Know A Secret?

I made a reference over @ about a ward sister I had my eye on at one time.

"Walking down the corridor talking about a certain ward sister, when she just happened to walk by. Hey least I don’t have to go back there….. but I so want to!"

So yea. Anyway if I needed a plan of action I found one. Via astrology, based on my star sign and it's compatibility with her.

"She needs lots of affection, attention, praise, adoration. At first, you won’t mind giving this: it’s a good way to impress her. Eventually, however, you might feel as if you have to constantly tell her how much you appreciate what she does for you. But does she realise how much you do for her? You’re both ambitious, loyal and hard working. She could actually introduce you to many useful people. There is much you have in common but for this relationship to prosper you must make allowances for her strong need to be sociable, she must make allowances for your deep need to be private." Taken from here.

Exam Time

I have one of those huge, everything-hangs-on-this exam in roughly 31 hours....
It's not enough time. I've been working hard for 4 weeks and it's not enough.....
I don't know what else to do any more.
But to entertain you.... Notes from WardBunny and Zuzu

Whit the heck is she talking about?
Catching an STD I think haha!!
Moist... Deep... Fluids... It is about catching STD's!
Told you. I'm paying attention.
Least one of us is.
mmm... fluids!
Just bung in a few tatties!
Tae the cold water and clingfilm?
No with the burnt pork/beef!
"mmm tastes like pork!"
OK apple sauce?
Any crackling?
Haha plenty!
Those darn aliens get everywhere.

Welcome to my world! I can tell you that she wasn't talking about STD's and that I was paying attention (Zuzu too by the way!).

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

I Posted Just Too Soon

I made a comment about Beverly Allitt only 2 days ago. Without seeing the recent news stories about Colin Morris. The killer of 4 elderly patients and 1 attempted murder through insulin overdoses.
The first time I saw a TV show about insulin murder it was Murder, She Wrote and I was in high school. I didn't know then what I know now but it was almost untraceable. If it hadn't been for Jessica Fletcher, the killer would never have been caught. OK so Jessica Fletcher wasn't really there this time but he was caught.
Better questions to be asking ourselves are, Who hired this guy?, How did he get on the nursing course in the first place?, Why did no-one spot this sooner?
Surely the drugs would have been missed? Maybe not, it isn't like the units left are counted. Almost anyone could get on the course with the right answers and qualifications. If you can fool a lie-detector then you can fake responses in interviews. I proved that myself by being able to sound straight and hiding my true feelings for years.
But what drives a person to kill? How can anyone hurt another human being? The judge couldn't find a motive. Although it looks like he only wanted power over life and death. He seems to show no remorse, predicting the patient's deaths and making jokes about it.
The only good thing must be that he will never nurse again. But it's another nail in the coffin of the 'angels ' of nursing.

Sunday, 2 March 2008

Grubby and Promiscuous

"The nurses that looked after me were mostly grubby. We're talking about dirty fingernails, slipshod, lazy. But worst of all my Lords they were drunken and promiscuous." - Lord Mancroft

This man has been watching No Angels not visiting an actual NHS hospital. Mind you I don't work in that particular trust, still I have never seen a nurse be that unprofessional.

As a wise lecturer said to us once "The halo slipped long ago." And it did the public no longer see us as sweet little angels out to care for their loved ones. Nope, the profession is now personified by strippers dressed as nurses, the Beverly Allitt types and the boozy sluts in the TV dramas... It's all become one big joke - like these 'nurses' at the Heart Attack Grill.

How are we meant to fight back against all that? I'll go work on a plan!


Shelfari: Book reviews on your book blog