Friday, 11 December 2009


I've found employment! Woohoo! I finally get to utilise my registration. I firmly pin this on starting blogging again. And not my superb interview skills.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Nursing Shortage? What Nursing Shortage?

Honestly? What nursing shortage?
Since the economy went down jobs have become thin on the ground, nursing included.

Since I returned I have been doing a lot of searching for work.... and finding not very much. Sadly since returning from camp I'm been out of work. Truth is. Wards are short staffed but there is little funding to replace or add staff where needed.

Doesn't help that in this atmosphere having a diploma is not going to get me far.... and no current experience doesn't make that easier.

I'm such a misery, aren't I? Sorry. I do have a new dream though. The camps I worked at... Well they could be doing so much more for those who want to come there. Now I know there are special camps for illnesses and disabilities.... but we have the infrastructure to support more than we do. So why can't we? We don't have the people. And yea I would want that person to be me.

It's good to have dreams.

Monday, 21 September 2009

I'm back!

Hi guys! OK I've been back a week I know but it has taken me all this time to catch up on everything that you've been writing.
So yep my registration came through (even though the forms had to make a round trip to the Midwest). I just don't have a job yet. I'm working on that, promise.

I always said that I would tell you guys, around the time of my graduation, my name and what I look like. So here's the first bit of the integration of my split-internet-personalities...
You can all now call me Claire.

Sunday, 9 August 2009


Hi guys!
I'm still alive but have to borrow the internet from the camp so I'm keeping a low profile. There's been a few accidents along the way this summer and I've had the joys of experiencing the American health care system from the patient side twice. I *heart* nurse practitioners!

I wanted to post that my registration came through!! And I'm now an Adult Nurse!

Woohoo to no longer being a student, although I thought it would never happen at some points.
Love WardBunny

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Gone Fishin'

I'm safe in the USA and now recertified in lifeguarding. I'll post sporadically over the summer but mostly I'll be away.

Feel free to e-mail me while I'm away 'cos I'll be behind in everyone's blogs when I come home.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

What Have I Been Doing....

Well... I've been busy. No really I do occasionally move from the front of my computer. The sad thing is that although I have all this time I have spent relatively little time working in any of the hospitals.
Agency-wise I've done 3 night shifts. I hate night shift. I hate more night shift in wards where I don't have a scooby as to what is going on. General surgery for example by-passes me a bit, although by the 2nd night I could at least follow the hand over. It was interesting that I got a shift back on my old orthopaedic ward. I loved that place when I was there and yea it even still smells the same. Not bad, I've been on wards that stink to high heaven, just a certain blend of soap and equipment stocked. It's unique to the ward, none of the other ortho wards I've been on smell the same.
In other places - I've been moving out of the flat. It's gone to mammoth proportions. Of course as world's best procrastinator I've put it all off to the last day. Aren't I smart! No wonder people shake their heads when I try to prioritise!
I've got the optician tomorrow for my contact lens fitting. Well you imagine jumping in a lake with a pair of glasses. Oh and if it couldn't be worse the glasses I do have don't react to the sunlight so I'd be guarding the lake without sunglasses. That's far more difficult than it sounds you know.

Not long till I leave now. I'll be there this time next week!!! So excited!

Sunday, 17 May 2009

On This Day....

... in 1990 the World Health Organisation passed a resolution to remove Homosexuality from it's list of mental illnesses.

The World Health Organization's ICD-9 (1977) listed homosexuality as a mental illness, and in 1990, a resolution was adopted to remove it in the ICD-10 (1993).

The ICD-10 then carried the note-
Sexual orientation by itself is not to be regarded as a disorder.

Movin' On

I've not got long left....
My flights for the USA leave on the 1st of June which only leaves ?15 days. So plan....

17th -
18th - Agency Night Shift
19th - Agency Night Shift
20th - Pack Up Flat
21st - Youth Group
22nd -
23rd - Agency Night Shift
24th - Pack Up Flat
25th -
27th - Move out remainder of stuff
28th - Final Youth Group, Clean Flat
29th - Hand in flat keys
30th - Packing
31st - More Packing
1st June! - Leave for camp!

Dang! See I have to leave the flat and pack for camp and earn money at the same time. We need an extra week in May people! I also have to - find a way of getting a medical for less than the £80 my practice charges; see my dentist (lest one of my teeth decides to abscess/get infected/lose a filling); get asthma review; make sure NMC/college paperwork is finalised; pay off all debts to college; see the doc so they can medicate my panic attacks for the next 3 months......

I should probably do the doc / dentist / nurse on one day (like I don't already spend enough time in the NHS as is). Just realised that sticking all that into one day would be some people's idea of hell. It's my idea of freaking boring. I intensely dislike waiting rooms. All waiting rooms.

The dentist's is the worst simply because you find 2 kinds of person in my dentist's practice. Those with no/bad teeth (that includes me) and those who freak-out at the thought of a check up. (I am sacred of a lot of things but the dentist's isn't one of them.) When I'm in pain I want everyone else to naff off and I can be quite nasty about it too so why in the name of the wee man would I want to listen to someone gibbering on about a simple check-up? Last time I went to the doc's I was (almost) rocking back and forth as I was nursing the tail end of a major panic attack. So you can imagine the looks I was getting that day.

I guess that having other people judge you when you walk in doesn't help. Why are you not limping / bleeding / moaning with pain? Excuse me but when did the GP become A&E? I'm also guessing that anyone sneezing and coughing is black-balled.

And Finally.... was out for dinner with the Milkman, Tex, the Artful Hustler, Hollywood, the Milkman's BFF, the Artful Hustler's BFF and Mr. Sensible tonight. Hollywood is not known for a manly sneeze and so when the giant phallic symbol (sorry they call it a pepper mill) got knocked over he started a sneezing fit. The Milkman's BFF yelled at the top of his lungs -
And proceeded to try and climb over the partition wall thing in an attempt to get away. He only brought the attention of every diner in the restaurant to our table. Of course we are a big attention draw the 8 of us, our conversations can be on anything from movies and books, to Ann Summers and the dark side of the internet!

Thursday, 14 May 2009

I Feel The Need To Spam

SCORE! The best Trekkie meme ever!

Your results:
You are Deanna Troi

You are a caring and loving individual.
You understand people's emotions and
you are able to comfort and counsel them.
Deanna Troi - 95%

Beverly Crusher - 65%

Spock - 64%

Chekov - 60%

Leonard McCoy (Bones) - 55%

Uhura - 55%

Will Riker - 50%

An Expendable Character (Redshirt) - 50%

Data - 48%

Worf - 45%

Mr. Sulu - 40%

Jean-Luc Picard - 40%

Mr. Scott - 35%

James T. Kirk (Captain) - 30%

Geordi LaForge - 25%

Click here to take the Star Trek Personality Test

Anyone else think that Deanna would be a kick-ass nurse?

Florence Nightingale's Museum

I recommend that if you like your history / nursing / history of nursing you need to go to the Florence Nightingale museum.
It has an amazing amount of information on her life and the work she did. There is also an exhibit on Mary Seacole (who is also a total idol of mine!).
We couldn't take photos inside sadly and as I look back over the contents of my digital camera most of the photos really aren't worth cluttering the blog up.

On a similar note the keyring in the photo from the post before is Nurse Bean (it's from a collection). I have a larger one too but I thought since I couldn't be in the photos my keyring could be. That actually turned out better than I thought.

So nothing much more to report. My visa was granted so I shall go to the States!
Only 2 weeks to go!

Wednesday, 13 May 2009


Someone's put something in my drink. I'm exhausted.
I do have photos.
They are stuck on my camera... except this one.
Did go to Flo's museum - will report on that tomorrow.
Visa was approved so I can go to camp this year!
Right... can I sleep now?

Monday, 11 May 2009


Well tonight I board a train and head down the illustrious capital of this tiny isle...

Oh all right. I'm dragging my butt to London so I can attend my interview at the American Embassy. It's a requirement of me getting my visa so I can actually work at camp this year.

I said to Karin over at 12 Hour Nurse that I would go to the Florence Nightingale museum and post photos. So in about 24 hour's time I should have a post up with my London hi-jinxs. Or there will be a news story about a mad Scottish woman getting arrested.......

Friday, 8 May 2009


My 2 favourite things right now are:

  1. Telling people I'm signed off
  2. Making fun of Swine Flu
Yea I know number 2 isn't very grown up but to be honest it is Scotland's biggest joke right now.
It's kinda coming to a big nothing. The two people who were the UK's first cases have sold their stories to the newspapers. And the government has produced the most patronising leaflet since the one about disaster preparedness.

The jokes are doing the rounds as well.... We have the one about breaking out in 'rashers'. Of course you can insert almost any 'oink'ment joke as appropriate. Oh and my current personal favourite has to be any poor sod with hay fever, a cold or an asthmatic/COPD/smokers' cough being let loose on a bus or train. Fastest way to get the annoying person sitting beside you to move.

Worst part is I could have saved them millions on the whole message thing. You know; wash your hands, use a tissue, bin the tissue............
We had a strangely similar message going about nearly 70 years ago.......

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Who Da Nurse?

Me that's who!
I got signed off!

Me.... Nurse ....... Qualified...... Finished........ *OK time to quit hyperventilating*


Sunday, 3 May 2009

The Elephant in the Room

By Terry Kettering

There’s an elephant in the room.
It is large and squatting,
so it is hard to get around it.

Yet we squeeze by with,
“How are you?” and, “I’m fine,”
and a thousand other forms of trivial chatter.

We talk about the weather;
we talk about work;
we talk about everything else—
except the elephant in the room.

There’s an elephant in the room.
We all know it is there.
We are thinking about the elephant
as we talk together.

It is constantly on our minds.
For, you see, it is a very big elephant.
It has hurt us all, but we do not talk about
the elephant in the room.

Oh, please, say her name.
Oh, please, say “Barbara” again.
Oh, please, let’s talk about
the elephant in the room.

For if we talk about her death,
perhaps we can talk about her life.
Can I say, “Barbara” to you
and not have you look away?
For if I cannot,
then you are leaving me alone
in a room—with an elephant.

My elephant isn't bereavement but the poem is true all the same.

Saturday, 25 April 2009

The Nursing Meme

1. How long have you been a nurse?
I have been a nursing student for 3 years and 3 months.
2. What Dept/area will you never work in?
Outpatients - when the first thing you get told is 'this is where they put the old nurses out to pasture', it really doesn't endear you to the place.
3. What Dept /area would you like to eventually like to try?
ITU and maybe Paeds (but I'd have to retrain for that)
4. What Dept/area are you in?
Surgical urology
5. What is the grosses thing you have encountered?
Nothing really grosses me out. Did once come across a wound I could put my fist into though.
6. What is the weirdest thing you have seen as a nurse?
Glass eyes always strike me as weird, necessary but weird
7. What one piece of advice would you pass on to new nurses?
Take advice that's offered. Ask questions. Don't act like you know stuff when you don't. (sorry that was 3)
8. How would you help retain nurses?
By NEVER saying 'Why are you doing nursing?' to the students
9. Do you have days you wondered why you ever became a nurse?
Yep whole weeks...
10. If you hadn’t become a nurse what would you be doing?
I would probably be a physics teacher

Oh and new blog rec from where this is been lifted - LivingDeadNurse

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Brilliant Day

Monday was brilliant. Yes, Monday. Ah when you work shifts it really doesn't matter when the week starts! Not for anyone else really. But it was for me. They relied on the fact that I could take on the appendix and it's 13 theatre list patients and get through the day.

I have been stupendously proud of myself since then. I can take on the world now.


Now I need to go write about it in great detail... for tomorrow.... I'm up at 6am.... baws.

Sunday, 19 April 2009


Currently I'm all red, literally. I'm sunburnt. Yes, in Scotland. Yes, in April. Sometimes it does happen! I think I have 1st degree burns on both my arms. If it blisters tomorrow I'll have a real problem. I burn so easily I usually wear factor 50 but it is Scotland in April, I wasn't expecting burns.

I've also re-dyed my hair mostly so that I don't have to mess with the blog header. I was brunette for a month back there but it just wasn't me. I'm back to being a red head. My mother doesn't understand. She didn't get my need to dye my hair purple and have a crew cut years ago. And to think that NO-ONE thought I was gay! Mind you even I didn't know back then.

So I'm red from head to foot! Well not exactly my feet.... they didn't burn today.

Friday, 17 April 2009

Pecking Order

We have quite a few students now. More than 2 and, say, less then 10. We're a big, immensely busy, ward we can take it.
And so the pecking order has developed. You know it had to at some point. Limited chances at the advanced clinical skills makes it first come first served at time. So it's an event that would make Animal Planet or National Geographic happy. We are essentially animals.

And I'm fighting to be alpha female. We have other students doing care management and they only just have their foot in the door. I've been there for 7 weeks now and I have a previous 16 weeks before that, I'm not going to roll over easily. Course that means whoever makes alpha will essentially be the best.

The year 1's and 2's have been on a bit of a steep learning curve, for some this is their first hospital placement. I've been teaching one or two of them a few skills I can do with my eyes shut. Like measuring pre-op patients for TED stockings. Sexy aren't they?
Who wouldn't fancy you in a pair of those!

I hope the claws don't come out too far. Much as the pecking order will fall into place, we need to remember to play nice while we do it. There were 2 drains to be pulled today and 2 management students. One each huh? Nope only one was there quick enough and the other was removed by the staff nurse. It may get dangerous.

Better go get my riot gear on.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

I've Found the Love AGAIN!

For those who are eagle-eyed, sharp of brain and generally better at picking up on problems you might have noticed that when things go badly I don't post. (If you didn't, don't feel too bad. I can never see when my friends get haircuts. That's worse!) You really don't need to hear me go on and I don't want to type it as it happens like a bad copy of Nursing Big Brother.
I haven't posted since the first of the month.... It's now the 14th.
I'll leave you to your own conclusions.

Anyway... I'm back and I've found the love I had for nursing way back in the beginning. Which leaves me wondering if I had a period of burnout back there. Personally I think anyone would consider tossing in the towel after 16 weeks leading to failed placement, to be followed by an episode of 'why the fuk am I still doing this' and hitting the wall of 'too exhausted to function' last week.

Weeeeeee I'm gonna be a nurse!! I will be a nurse! I will no longer have to sign 'Student Nurse' after my name!

I'm back baby!

Wednesday, 1 April 2009


I didn't know there were that many people out there who read the blog.

I wish I could hug you all!

Sunday, 29 March 2009

Pond Crossing Differences

I'm looking for a little input here.
The last post showed that nursing in UK isn't really the same as nursing in the USA, although it's the same job. The training isn't.

So to clarify a couple of things....
In the UK we don't sit a board exam at the end of the course (like the NCLEX) before we are placed on the register.

We do have to renew our registration every year to continue being a registered nurse and able to work.

I can be in charge of as many as 12 patients (in this current placement) (with a nurse shadowing me) per shift. These are general surgical patients (or even the rehab patients from my last placement) and not those requiring high levels of care (2 patients to 1 nurse) or ITU care (1 patient to 1 nurse).

Our courses are specific to the area we will be employed in. Cellar Door will be a mental health nurse and is on the mental health branch training (you don't mind being an example do you?). I will (someday) be an adult / general nurse and am on the adult branch. There are also separate branches for paediatrics and learning disability nursing. Midwifery is a separate course altogether.

The majority of nurses in the country are employed by the NHS. Only 25 to 30% are employed by the private sector.

Anyone see any more differences?

The Stethoscope Tag

I was tagged by both Little D, S.N. and Undergrad RN for this one.

Here are the rules:
1) Post a picture of your stethoscope
2) Tell what you love about it
3) Tell what you hate about it
4) Tell me what your dream stethoscope would be
5) Does it have a name?
6) Tag all your nursing friends (Including the one that tagged you) and don't forget to leave a comment on their blog telling them that you tagged them!

So they are both about to have a WTF moment.

We don't have stethoscopes as nurses or student nurses over here. Actually that's a little inaccurate. We do HAVE them. We just don't use them so prolifically.

From what I can tell Student Nurses / RNs across the pond (like we do just not as often) use them for measuring BPs and listening to lung sounds and heart rates. We don't commonly take manual Blood Pressure measurements. For some patients we have to but mostly we use digital machines like Dinamaps. OK mine doesn't have a thermometer on the side but it's just the same thing.

I have done manual BPs but not in a long time. When you have say 12 patients under your care and you need obs on all of them it's not really enough time to do manual BPs.

As for listening to hearts? I've done that. I've heard the sounds of mechanical heart valves. But again we don't do any of this routinely.

Lung sounds? Only in my ITU placement so far and really only then because of the risk of Ventilator Acquired Pneumonia. So there you were checking for air entry into the lungs at the top and bottom and any other noises like crepitus.

If you're looking for a stethoscope on the average ward around here you better start by finding the crash trolley. There'll usually be one hanging off of that.

I remember working the neonatal clinic in an outpatient's department as agency one day when I walked into the consulting room and the docs stethoscope was lying on the desk. He caught me staring at it and I said "That's a tiny stethoscope."
"It's for tiny patients." He replied. See because I'm working with adults most of the day it's easy to forget that we start of as little human beings, who need equally little equipment.

Sorry guys I don't have my own stethoscope. I have a pen torch for doing neuro obs and measuring tape for sizing TED stockings if they count as specialist equipment.

I have no-one to tag I guess. Unless of course Cellar Door has a stethoscope moment she would like to contribute?

Update Fail

Sorry guys! I've even been tagged and I've still not updated.
I'll post later honest.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

I Gonna Do A Cuddy

I'm gonna do a Cuddy on the FY1's tie if he doesn't get a tie clip!

For all those who don't understand there's a scene in House (season 1, episode 4 - Maternity) where Dr Cuddy gets mad at another doc while swabbing the place for not having his tie clipped and well she cuts it off. Granted his tie was trailing into sinks and all sorts of waste. An infection control risk.

Yea I had a moment when, after having spent all day cleaning the ward, I went ape about our poor FY1 and his long sleeves, watch and tie. Poor sod. Sorry doc. I won't really cut your tie off. Well I might if it gets in someone's wound.

And yes I can find a House related moment for EVERY medicine related moment.

Monday, 23 March 2009

Confessions of a Nurse

Anyone in the UK catch the Dispatches documentary - Confessions of a Nurse?
Please tell me you did. Much of it is true, least from what I heard from around the web and throughout my course.

Patient care

  • 42 per cent of nurses and midwives interviewed say they have either been in or witnessed situations where patients have been put in unnecessary danger
  • Over half (57 per cent) of the A&E nurses interviewed say they have witnessed situations where patents lives have been put in unnecessary danger
  • Almost half (53 per cent) say they have seen colleagues perform medical tasks that they are not qualified to do
  • 44 per cent of the nurses and midwives we polled say they don’t always stick to the rules
  • Over a third (37 per cent) think that patient care in the NHS has become worse in the past five years

Impact of understaffing and long hours

  • Half (51 per cent) of all the nurses and midwives interviewed say that they are exhausted most of the time
  • 29 per cent say long hours and exhaustion prevent them from doing their jobs properly
  • 83 per cent of the midwives surveyed say they have been in situations where they have had too many patients to look after properly
  • 70 per cent say understaffing prevents them from doing their jobs properly
  • One third (33 per cent) say they would leave nursing and midwifery if they could

Behaviour of nurses

  • 43 per cent say they have seen other nurses shout at patients (13 per cent admit they have themselves shouted at patients)
  • 44 per cent of nurses and midwives interviewed admit to calling in sick when not really ill
  • 40 per cent admit to browsing the internet when they should be working
  • 36 per cent admit to coming to work with a hangover and unable to concentrate on the job properly

We can't care properly for our patients if we are under staffed. There are no great revelations to be had there. Not for those in the NHS anyway.
Bet you the patients will be scared now.
Go watch it on 4od if you can....

Friday, 20 March 2009

Yesterday Was Far Better

Never had a day like it... Being told that I'll pass if I keep doing my job that way I am! SCORE!

I love my placement. Placement is now past the halfway point and it flies past. Course working only 3 days out of 7 does make it feel like that. I also feel rather lazy. The eagle eyed might have noticed that I've not done a whole lot of swimming recently. Yea I need to get out more on that front. It might have something to do with the minor factor that I got a monthly pass so the motivation has gone out of it. You know what I mean. All those gym memberships that run for a year but only see a single month of visits.

Anyway I have a range of news stories that have filtered past the news feeds in recent days.

The paramedic who was attacked by yobs throwing fireworks while the woman, who was suffering a heart attack, lay dying. What is the obsession with attacking the emergency services? I really don't get it.

There's an inquest currently happening into the deaths of 10 elderly patients at a single hospital. What got me was the recollection of one patient's son who was told that his mother was there to die. that not the kindest way of breaking something. Even worse he believed that she was there to rehab after a stroke. So why is a woman in rehab dying? Who really knows. However all 10 patients were under the care of the same doctor; who is now under suspicion for over prescribing sedation.

Lastly there was a study done on wither religion makes a difference on patients wanting resuscitation at the end of life. Can't really comment on this personally because I've not really seen it happen first hand. I know for a fact that families have a huge part to play in the resus status of patients. Maybe they should and maybe they shouldn't. Who really knows? A lot of the fight comes from the person themselves and their inner strength. So does that imply that those who are not as religious have less inner strength? Is this evidence to back up some of the claims that religious speakers make?

And in the culture section of today's news announcement I need to get my ass over to Edinburgh. A Turner exhibition starts next week! A selection of his Italian works and his paint box and pallet. Hows cool is that?

Right I'm off to enjoy what may be the best weather Scotland will see all year!

Monday, 16 March 2009

This Ain't Theatre You Know

So I go in to help the doc. The patient is just back from theatre and needs something checking.
Oh then he asks me to wipe his brow.....
There a few words to describe my expression - 'gob smacked' perhaps? Or a classic Scots 'glakit'?

Sorry doctor this is a ward. Nurses here don't wipe brows unless they belong to the patients.

Still stunned by the question.....

Then he tries to wipe his forehead on MY sleeve. Oh no you don't sonny! I will get your fevered brow a paper towel but that is as good as it is gonna get.

I am not your wife / mother / scrub nurse. I will not be your handmaiden. Can I go back to my sick patients now?

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Doing Something Right....

I think I must be doing something right. I got stopped by the deputy sister. She was wondering where my obs were..... Ah well you see....
I had a huge pile of things to do (it seemed that way anyhow). Halfway through an admission I stepped out to check the medical notes and one of my other patient's happened to be sick. Well the nurse I was working with was busy. So hmm what do I do? Drop the part done admission and find a sick bowl? Yep that would be it. My patient was OK, in case you were wondering.
So then I get caught with a missing set of obs. I was going to do them, honest. Right after the sick patient was seen to. So she asked me what I had to do (you know communication, team working, etc.) but when I listed everything it was actually rather short. Which I didn't understand. But I had loads to do? No, apparently not. Weird.

I'm going to have to start writing to do lists at work. Well it worked for the SHO on the last ward. I started the day with 7 patients..... I ended the day with 2..... In total 8 different people.

NO! HALT! I didn't hurt any of them! Promise! They were discharged home. Every last one.

Wonder how tomorrow's going to pan out?

Tuesday, 10 March 2009


2 very long days.... 12 and a half hours each.... 4 hours sleep between......
Very, very tired. Sorry folks.
I'll try to get out of bed tomorrow.

Monday, 9 March 2009

Management of Care (contains swearing)

This management is all kinds of shitting weird.
I am fuked. It's impossible to juggle 12 patients; 1 critically ill, 2 going to theatre, 2 back from theatre, 1 awaiting reviews, 1 discharge..... Ah crap. I keep getting lost!!
I should be better than this.

My mind melts about 6 hours in. I'm getting a little better but hell's bells I'm surprised anything gets done with me some days! I was helped out a lot. I still have 3 and a bit weeks to improve.

Maybe I'll get there. I'm not passed yet. Fuk this is harder than it looks.

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Thursday, 5 March 2009

LGBT Staff and Patients

So how many open LGBT staff do you know? How many patients are open about themselves? How many have introduced their partner?

A new report released by the University of Leeds about LGBT issues and support. A quick breakdown of the students and staff they asked showed that universities are not as open as they seem. Especially for staff. Actually, today on a similar thread CB was talking about lecturers not being open and accepting of students with mental health issues.

So why are universities, where you would think that you could be any person you wanted to be, are so closed off to the most vulnerable of students?

My last uni had a large supportive network for their LGBT students. The current one has nothing on this campus. Well nothing visible. The flip side of this is that old uni had no obvious provision for students requiring special help. Most of the learning disabled students seemed to get their provision direct from the school they studied within. Current uni has on-site counsellor and dedicated department for special needs students.

There is no standard. Aside from discrimination policies. And we've all seen how well that worked for me.

But back to relating this to health care.... How many Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual staff do you work with? How many are out?

The NHS is still institutionally homophobic. Only 2 NHS trusts made it onto the Stonewall top 100 this year. That's pretty poor considering the numbers of police squads and councils. The BBC reported that there is an extremely low level of screenings done on Lesbians for cervical cancer. Once upon a time I was told that I didn't need one... cos you're gay, you don't sleep with men (That by the way is total BS). Time to change that! It shouldn't be this way but perhaps it's not at the top where the problems lie.

While you are thinking about the staff, how many have made openly homophobic comments? How many have referred to something as 'gay'?

Is this were our problems lie? I think so. Let's take my last placement as an example. At the top the Sister and one of the Deputies knew and were supportive. 2 nurses and a CSW knew and didn't bat an eyelid. But there were at least 4 homophobic comments in my presence (none directed at me but I try to keep a low profile). How can LGBT staff feel comfortable about themselves when they know they can't really talk about it?
Don't give me that "you don't have to talk about yourself like that" nonsense. I sat through a break where 3 people talked constantly about their up coming weddings. How would they have taken it if I had talked about a civil partnership? (Not that I have anything to talk about in that respect though.)

There 15 mins of thinking and I found the root of the problem. People.

Bugger can't fix that by myself.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

First Day Nerves

I never sleep well the night before placement. Sometimes before agency shifts as well. So I really only got 2 hours of sleep that night.
I was totally out of my depth for the first 2 hours. Then I got going! It was brilliant. Hanging fluids, doing admissions, taking hand overs on returning surgical patients! Weeeeeee. At least I haven't forgotten everything from my only surgical placement over a year and a half ago.
Whither I recognise any of the staff from Monday tomorrow is another matter. I dislike 12 hour shifts for that reason. I can do the work for that length of time but it takes a couple of weeks to get to know the staff and until then it's like the first day everyday.
More news after tomorrow's shift.

I Like Challenges!

I challenged Cellar Door that for every word of her essay I would swim a metre. Not sure now this would be a challenge for her, since she has no choice on the essay but I like to think she wants to see if I can do it. Or maybe she wants to see me suffer? I had already set a target of 10 kilometres in 3 months before I fly out. This was perfectly plausible; on the basis of 300m, twice a week for 3 months.

I could have just absorbed the 3,500 words (metres) into that 10,000.....

Oh no I much more determined than that!

Total distance = 13,500 metres in 3 months.

Above the posts there are 2 countdowns. Total distance and time left..... Let's see how this goes huh?

P.S. Post on my first shift of my last placement coming tomorrow. Promise.

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Unforeseen Idiocy Ahead

Right this going back to camp thing....
I love camp. I would live there if I could. A green card and a job and I'm yours for life.
Problem is when I was there the last time I managed to pass lifeguarding. Waaaaaay back in 2005 when I was younger, stupider and thinner. Well sort of, that would imply that I am now older, wiser and fatter...... 2 out of 3 isn't bad.
I can swim and I'm damn good at it. Just can't do that much. And I might have put some weight on since the start of the course. I've put on 3/4 tunic sizes since then. Course, our tunics were modelled on aliens from the planet Zog or somewhere because they really don't fit any human I've met.
So during the interview up crops the 'you were a lifeguard that last time' and 'you know snorkelling'. To which in my 'talking management / interview BS' mode I replied with "I would LOVE to do that again!". Complete with exclamation point and emphisis.


The fitness test before training?

  • Swim 300 yards (essentially 300 meters! Although it's a little shorter than that.) continuously.
  • Starting in the water, swim 20 yards using front crawl or breaststroke, surface dive 7–10 feet, retrieve a 10-pound object, return to the surface, swim 20 yards back to the starting point with the object and exit the water without using a ladder or steps, within 1 minute, 40 seconds.
Oh it gets worse.... That was just the basic pool qualification.
  • Swim 550 yards (about 500 meters) continuously.
  • Starting in the water, swim 20 yards using front crawl or breaststroke, surface dive 7–10 feet, retrieve a 10-pound object, return to the surface, swim 20 yards back to the starting point with the object and exit the water without using a ladder or steps, within 1 minute, 40 seconds.
  • Swim 5 yards, submerge and retrieve three dive rings placed 5 yards apart in 4–7 feet of water, resurface and swim 5 yards to the side of the pool.
Welcome to the waterfront / pool test!
Time to get my lardy ass to the swimming pool. I could do the 300 meters (12 lengths of a 25m pool). It's the incredible 'Titanic can move faster' pace I swim at. I will not be last to finish this time around. Oh and I can't drag my body out of water to help myself.... well not yet.

I have 3 months and a new swim suit..... just where did I put the towel?

Friday, 27 February 2009


The news everyone has been waiting for! I finally got word on my make-up placement...
Urology / Surgical at Bigger-Than-Average General Hospital. (Which is miles away and why all my other placements have been at Pinky and Perky, the other smaller general hospitals.)

Oh and I start on Monday! Lots of advanced warning there folks. I have spoken to the Sister and she certainly acted like she knew the whole sorry back story.

Oh and it's 5 weeks not 6 so I can get back to earning money to go back to camp. Woo!

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Blood Spatter!

Test you blood spatter analysis skills with the New Scientist.
Clearly I've watched far too many CSI eps and documentaries. I only got one wrong and it wasn't even totally wrong. Saying that sometimes you have to figure out where blood on sheets / floors has come from. The missing venflon isn't always obvious!

With thanks to William the Coroner!

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

You Thought You Did Odd Things

I've spent this evening trying to learn these snazzy moves.

The chronic unfit (myself) should probably not attempt this kind of thing. Well not in public!

EDIT: This video is only part 1 of 3. And I've still not mastered my left from my right!

Being Green / Being Mean (the toilet talk)

This is an odd balance...
I can be really stingy. Have to be; my money's running out and with this supposed placement over my head I'm not taking as many agency shifts as I could because I really don't know what I'm doing next week. (Honest he's not given me a placement yet and agency needs at least some advance warning.)
This brought me to an interesting thought do you have to compromise on being green so you can be mean instead? There's a toilet paper advert running that states for every tree they use, they will plant three new ones. We don't use this brand in the flat. We use the cheep as chips, supermarket value brand. This costs about £1 for 12 rolls. The brand planting all the trees costs £2 for 4 rolls. Does a cheep roll wipe less asses than the expensive one? I'm not going to test that sorry. But lets make the scientific assumption that the expensive one is slightly longer and more absorbent. You seem at least to get far more for your money with the cheaper rolls.
(I promise you I'm not obsessed with toilet rolls. Bin bags and washing up liquid are far more obsessional.)
I think I'm starting to see where their money for saplings might be coming from.
So back to the question do we have to choose being green over being mean? I'm sure you are aware that greener / fairtrade / healthy products cost more. They do fairtrade coffee has always cost far more than even Gold Blend (and that's not cheap either). People wonder why the west of Scotland has a crappy health record (our 3 biggest killers are heart disease, stroke and cancer). All unhealthy food is cheaper in the supermarkets than the healthy stuff!

Another point I'll make before leaving. How much waste does your hospital produce in a day? The average (read small-ish) operation produced at least 3 large bags of clinical waste. That's 1 small operation. There could be 10 of those per day per theatre. The wards aren't short of stuffed bin bags either. The least green industry in the UK has to be healthcare. A lecturer once said that 'I'm here to do my job. Not save the NHS money.' She meant that if we had to use expensive dressings, or open 15 packets of something to make sure it was right then we did it. But look at the waste we generate. Sterile packages for surgery are double wrapped and 90% of patient contact materials are all disposable. I'm not for a minute suggesting that we abandon disposable gloves, aprons, sterile packaging and our beloved paper-pulp products. Abandoning these would send infection control into meltdown! There is little or no way to cut down the waste created by the healthcare industry. We have to toe the best policy guidelines and it is never in the patient's best interests to cut corners. So other suggestions? Recycling? Er lets not go there shall we?

So is it a valid choice? Yes lets all save the planet but not when I'm on a budget. People should do what they can. We need to recycle more. We need to cut down on packaging (although maybe not in healthcare). Maybe that's where I could be better since I cannot afford the 'green' bog roll to do it for me.

Monday, 23 February 2009

Quote From A Shift Somewhere

I'm too tired to remember where or when I heard this but......

Nurse: I wonder about those nurses who say they've never cried about a patient...
Nurse 2: Everyone's become attached at one point or another.

They have a point. People get attached. I've gotten attached.

...but what about those nurses who never get attached?

Thursday, 19 February 2009

WardBunny of the Dump (like Stig of the dump only less clean)

I am living in a tip. The flat is a tip.

And none of it is mine. I've been away for ages and in the meantime people have been moving out and moving in (we should have replaced the front door with a revolving door). Unfortunately when people have moved out they forgot to take say the contents of the freezer or the stuff in the shower. We now have more bottles sitting around the shower than on the shelves in Morrison's. However the cooker is covered in someone else's dirty pots. I can't actually cook anything. The oven's manky, the hob is otherwise occupied, the microwave is a health hazard and there is a pile of plates trying to make their way to the door from the sink.

My room is a mess but at least I created all of that. None of the kitchen / shower mess is mine. I can't make anyone clean it but I spend my days helping and cleaning up after other people so I'm not doing it at home.

So I've come up with a few helpful notes to put up around the place.

  • If it's yours, keep it in your room.
  • Lights don't turn themselves off.
  • Neither your mother nor the cleaning fairy lives here so clean up yourself.
  • If you don't move your crap it's going in the bin.
  • Everyone uses this room, not just you.
  • Socks don't live on the dining table.
  • I'm not the postman; redirect it yourself.
Any better suggestions? I'm not moving out but I can't live on junk food forever!

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

SNOW (Canadian not British)

Had to post this from the Canadian photos collection. I have huge feet! I'm a size (women/men, it's all the same at that size so long as they fit) 10/11 over here which makes me a US mens 11/12.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009


Sorry guys I was distracted.....

That last post I sent while I was still in Canada. At that point I was playing with my nephew and pondering my next placement.

Still no news on the placement front by the way. I'm doing agency shifts to fill the gap.

So this is what I have been doing for the last few days.... She has no name but she is definitly a she (Will take suggestions in the comments). She is not a faceless Amish doll... I'm just pondering the embroidery over paint face debate. The t-shirt is half finished, which is why she's only wearing a pair of brown trousers so far. Also she needs to be finished before the party of my un-nameable youth group (yes she's going to be wearing the uniform) (Although take 2 guesses and I think you'll be on to me soon enough). The party is tomorrow evening. I need to get my skates on!

I miss Canada. Actually I miss the entire North American continent. (I'll miss it more when the double stuf oreos run out)

I miss my nephew.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

A Good Mentor

These people do actually exist. Although they are extremely thin on the ground. So qualities for a good mentor?

  • Accepting - stop trying to change the student's personality already
  • Open - please don't brush the student off, we are well aware that we are only in your life for a matter of weeks but your attitude will stay with us forever
  • Honest - tell us if we are crap, we NEED to know
  • Timely - this goes with honest, tell us NOW so it can be corrected
  • Good at your job - goes without saying that crap nurse = crap student (or similar, crap teacher = crap outcome)
  • Kind - we're not looking for flowers and chocolates but a pat on the back would be nice
See it's not that hard. Granted it's not always the mentor that turns out to be the one that supports you the most. Other random staff nurses, the boss, CSWs... they all kick ass.

Bad mentors are everywhere. You really have to ask yourself how have these people managed to forget what it was like to be a student in the first place? Even as a new staff nurse? Surely they can remember their first days on the wards... Apparently.
Must be like childbirth. Eventually the memory of the pain you suffered fades. If someday that happens to me promise that someone with offer up a metaphorical slap?

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Busman's Holiday

Nothing like going somewhere and doing your day job.
We've already established that taking me hospital visiting is just an invite for me to read your file, comment on your meds and make your bed before we leave.
Yea well...... several thousand miles / 8 hour flight and I get told "Hey you know how to stick people with needles right?"
*smacks forehead with heel of hand* (nothing good can come of this) "Yes."
"Well you can help us vaccinate the goats!" (yep it was said with glee)
*once again smacks forehead*
What a busman's holiday this has turned out to be and there will be another round before I go!
People don't usually headbutt the person with the needle. Goats also have much thicker skin and fur which would explain the HUGE solid metal needles for a simple subcut injection.
So yes I can now add 'vaccinated goats' to my CV.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Struck Off for Being Religious?

OK we have a nurse who is religious. That's just fine the writer of this piece is a nurse who is gay. You can be what ever you want to be. I don't plan on getting struck of for my sexuality any time soon. That alone shouldn't be a problem, equality and diversity and all that.
Course it's not that simple. She has offered to pray for her patient (The Beeb's report cos it might be more impartial). The patient questioned her actions (which she has a right to do) and of course it has been taken further.
I'm in 2 minds over this because on one hand we have a caring nurse and spirituality is part of the activities of living. On the other we have a clear breach of the Code of conduct.
They've got her over a barrel, so to speak, on 2 points.
"You must demonstrate a personal and professional commitment to equality and diversity" - We care for so many different people that really you shouldn't even make assumptions about them.
"You must not use your professional status to promote causes that are not related to health" - Now here she was promoting something unrelated to health.
That's 2 strikes.... and for anyone trying to string up the sister that had to escalate the situation -
You must listen to the people in your care and respond to their concerns and preferences"

The Code
is what we live our lives by. You break it, you pay the consequences. I understand why the PCT have had to take action. Maybe I realise better than some how pushing my beliefs on anyone else could hurt.

Oddly enough I love the anonymity of the professional fa├žade. I love that I can put away the bits of my life that aren't necessary for me to do my job. But that's the part so many people have a problem with.

EDIT: Updated 08/02/2009.
The PCT have lifted the suspension and allowed her back to work. I don't think this will be the end of it and we'll see the out come from the MNC hearing in the months to come.

Other Places

Or messing with other peoples analytics.
Yep if you seen an unusual visitor it might be me. So I'm no longer in the UK with all its snow. I'm in Canada with all its snow instead. I didn't lie about the airport wifi I did try to connect but as per usual Vista stuffed it up.
I've not got all that much to say. I'll do a news post later, honest.

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Flying Visit

Hi Guys
I'm in a hotel in Manchester.
It's a 70s time warp.
I'm stuck with my parents, who seriously don't get blogging / anything else in my life (ah independence how I miss you right now).
How much like a 15 year old girl with a LiveJournal / myspace account do I sound right now?
I'm leaving the country tomorrow. HUZZA!
Internet access here is £1 for 10 mins (total rip off) and the computer's slow.
I'll blog tomorrow properly from the airport (cos I'll get my laptop on the wifi there).

P.S. no news on new placement :( (thought I'd keep going with the sounding like a 15 year old)

Monday, 2 February 2009

Stand Back I Saw This on Casualty!

Imagine the scene....
You're walking through the local shopping centre when a middle aged man in true theatrical fashion clutches at his chest and falls to the ground. His skin is pale and clammy. His lips are turning blue. All fingers are pointing to something delightful involving his heart. His wife is screaming and bystanders are throwing their 2 cents into the ring when someone comes forward...

At this point I'd be thinking thank goodness someone in that crowd as done CPR at some point. Er no... this helpful person is going to be helping this poor ill man on the basis of knowledge acquired from medical dramas.
Sorry I've done more CPR courses than I care to count and I would still be hesitant (slightly) in rushing in to help. But apparently 1 in 5 would have a go even if they are not trained. 77% aren't.
"First aid is easy if you know what to do" Well thanks St Johns Ambulance. They think you should at least try even if you haven't a scooby. Now if this was another country I could mention that bystander could get sued for not knowing what they're doing. Heck it's happening here too. It's a false confidence that could actually put someone's life at greater risk.

"Stand back I was this on Holby City / Casualty / ER / M*A*S*H / House / Crossing Jordan / Gray's Anatomy / other medical drama!" Ain't really gonna cut the mustard. Keep your precordial thumps to yourself. Assuming you know what that is...

Sunday, 1 February 2009

A First As Student Nurse Blogs Go

If you take a look at the student nurses listed in the sidebar (and I suggest you do). Then all of these lovely people are smart, well adjusted, and get good grades. I on the other hand... fail stuff, mess it up and generally cause havoc where ever I go. Makes for interesting blog posts at least.
So this should come as no surprise....
I've stuffed up my final placement. My fault not theirs. Should really have seen it coming to be honest. So I'm not there yet. Sadly.
I'm getting 6 weeks somewhere else to see if I can pull it back (and maybe put a cap on that problem I have with authority). It'll work out fine. The whole thing wasn't right from the beginning so somewhere new has to be better.
I'll tell you guys when I find out where I going. I put in a vote for acute / critical / coronary care / type places. Don't know if I'll get that but it won't be going back to where I was.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

A List Of DO NOTs For Nurses

Do Not....

Go to work after only and hour and a half's sleep
Hit on the doctor
Stick the 'finger' up at your boss
Think cheek towards co-workers is a form of communication
Turn up late then disappear to a clinic appointment with a patient
Accuse the consultant of being sexist because he comments on 'women drivers'
Make jokes about impacted bowels
Agree with anything you don't understand
Hit on the doctor (oops said that already... well it needs to be said)
Try to work without some form of caffeine in your system

Friday, 23 January 2009


OK well we have a 3 year old with a smoking habit and his mother dragged up in front of court. The kid was filmed by his mother's friend because she was worried about him. Apparently the film clip shows him lighting a butt with a lighter and inhaling. Now come on if that was a kid showing off by coping then her would have been coughing, or better still wouldn't have gotten a lighter to work. I know I was 5 when my dad taught me about matches and lighters. He's a smoker and if lighters and matches were going to litter the house then I better be able to do it without setting fire to the place.
That kid had skill that no other 3 year old would (or should) have. The kid had done it before. Ergo the kid had a habit.

Then we have a nurse who was struck off the register for killing her husband with an axe. Actually the WTF stems from the fact that she is now wanting to be put back on the register. I understand the background of domestic abuse and that he had done something like fathering a child with his niece or her niece or something. But really would you want a nurse who has a past conviction like that? We are never supposed to judge our patients but I know for a fact that they would judge us and her name is all over the BBC website's stories. I assume that the NMC will stand by their decision. It's all up to the high courts to make a decision. The NMC's on shaky enough ground with the public and it members without dragging this through the press too.

Thursday, 22 January 2009


Oh heck we're in for it now. It getting time for us to register. Course my paperwork isn't in yet and apparently my portfolio is part of the crowd that's getting taken in. I'll be working on it for the next week solid to get it up to scratch. I do not like external examiners. It's not a personal thing, just a 'stop staring at my work' thing.

I'm afraid of being in charge of anything greater than my goldfish. I did not study for 3 years to get this far and to bottle it now!

Now is the time to get off my backside and get going. Time to grow up and pull on the big girl uniform.

Ah sod it 1 more week of being a student won't hurt........

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Why Do We Do What We Do?

...or why get into nursing in the first place?
I was reading Julie's blog over @ Life in the NHS. there she was innocently talking about a conference and mixing wines. When it all got semi-hijacked in the comments...
I would like your honest opinion. I am registered to begin a PgDip in Adult Nursing. It seems fairly random to ask your advice but when I put in ‘life in the nhs’, ‘nurse’ and ‘mother’ into google this site comes up! I have some concerns about nursing and would like the opinion of an experienced nurse. I am concerned about how nursing fits into family life, but also general career prospects and job satisfaction. I have to say, I read the 2005 RCN report into conditions for nurses and it made sobering reading! My family are concerned about work-life balance and want me to think very carefully, but I’m finding it difficult to get the advice I need. Please help!
Many thanks,

Oh see I have to stick my oar in now....
Hi Amy,
I think you are wise to think carefully before embarking on a career like nursing. This is an exciting but volatile and changing time to be starting on this particular career pathway. Nursing can be a rewarding and exciting career. There has never been a better time to push the boundaries of what nursing is about, but at the same time many (including nurses) believe this puts pressure on the ability of nurses to perform the basic and fundamental skills of nursing. The most important aspect of these are caring, listening, communicating and providing care. There are jobs available in many areas of work which means that it is possible to work full time, part time, to work at night or during the daytime. Acute care has become more stressful and demanding, work in the community more dynamic and acute focused since people stay in hospital for less of else don’t go there at all. There is also lots of work within prevention and health promotion - this will be increasingly important.
I don’t think nursing conditions are bad. Jobs are pretty secure, but the patient in some way or other needs care over the 24 hour period. We have to be there for the good of our patients not for ourselves. Pension is good, there are good holiday entitlements, paid holiday and sickness - you can do worse and reasonable pay. But it isn’t for everyone, we don’t always make good colleagues for each other and there are good and bad nurses around. I wouldn’t change anything about my career, but then I no longer work at the sharp end.
Hope this ramble helps. I might write a post about some of these points.

Julie's reply is essentially brilliant, it covers all the bases, so why am I sticking my oar in? Well I was commenting anyway.
Hi Amy
I’m about a month from the end of my course and it’s been a real eye opener. I wasn’t clear on what the course was really about when I started. I wouldn’t change any of it for the world but that didn’t stop it being difficult and heartbreaking at times.
However few jobs in this life are as varied and ever changing as nursing. There are hundreds of specialities, different ways of progressing, multiple travel opportunities… There really is a niche for everyone.
If you decide to go for it then you will never regret it and will become evangelical about the benefits. But the sharp end conditions are as they seem. We are stressed and pushed and jaded. While at the same time the greatest voice for our patients and with fight to the death to protect it.
For family life… just remember to leave your work behind when you leave. It’s all too easy to take it home. A lesson I learned only after getting pushed.
Think long and hard. But if it’s your dream go for it!

I do really believe in that. If it's what you've always wanted to do then you should just go for it. Sod the reports, the press, the horror stories. Just do what you want to. So many of us dreamed of being nurses so we're doing what we wanted to do.
Of course there's a lot of people who fell into it but that doesn't make them bad nurses. There are people who dreamed of being nurses but are just not good at it.
It's the hardest training and most stressful in the world but it's also the most rewarding job and it definitely seems to make you a stronger person.

Monday, 19 January 2009

Ranting and Idiots

Honestly how much intelligence does it take to become a member of parliament these days? Graham Stringer, MP for Blackley in Manchester, (Labour party by the way) has called dyslexia 'fiction'. Made up to cover for poor teaching methods and costing the taxpayer thousands.

Well thanks for that! In his column on Manchester Confidential he extols the virtues of synthetic phonics and assumes that better teaching will cure all illiteracy, like it did in the East Dumbartonshire example. Yes we shouldn't have the same high levels of illiteracy that we do and that maybe more flexible teaching practices would help. It might have helped me or, you know, maybe not.

I don’t know about anybody else but I want my doctors, and for that matter, engineers, teachers, dentists and police officers to be able to read and write.
Hey Graham, look, I'm dyslexic and (your worst fear it seems) nearly a qualified nurse. I can read and write but there's far more to it than my garbage spelling. OK here's the thing to get a degree or diploma or pass the entrance exams you kind of have to be able to read and write. In fact it's kind of hard to get into college or uni without being able to do that.

He went ape about the med student that took the BMA to task about not 'written' exams but multiple choice. See he couldn't even get that right. She likes written exams and essays. I hate them. Easy mistake to make. I even moaned about that then. This isn't even a very original rant for this blog.

The British Dyslexia Association puts it far better than I can...

Mr Stringer needs to realise that dyslexia is not just about reading. Although, being able to read is often problematical for those with dyslexia it also sits alongside a range of other processing skills including organisation, sequencing, retrieval of information, short-term memory, spelling, writing and numbers.

See! See! He also states that dyslexia doesn't seem to appear in the likes of South Korea or Nicaragua. It probably is there of course they don't have one of the most difficult languages to learn and speak as their first language. English is difficult. Look at how many words sound the same but a pronounced differently or vice versa. I would like to see him live one day with my brain.

The problem is of course that I can say all this but my brain has never been 'normal'. It's not like a stroke or heart attack where there is a tangible difference between 'before' and 'after'. I've always been this way. Sometimes I can spot the difference between me and other people, it's awkward especially when they notice the difference. This is why I'm so good these days at compensating. And they wonder why I've learned not to care about doing over time when I've not finished something I said I was going to do.

I'm going to have to take a coffee break..... I'm still mad at this eejit.


You might have noticed the ticker at the top of the posts has changed. It now represents the last shift in placement as opposed to the last day in college. The last day is Wednesday but I'll still have some shifts to finish before the last of my paperwork goes in. Still a bit to go....

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Bad Blogger

I'm a bad blogger. I feel like a haven't updated in forever. Sorry guys I don't mean to do that.
It's been a mad week. I finished my application for camp but at the same time have yet to finish the portfolio that really should be due in a week. Actually it was due on Friday but I missed my lecturer visiting 'cos I was on a back shift and she came at 9 in the morning. It's a mess, placement's a mess... well everything is a mess right now.

There are no funny comments this time. Just little piles of not yet finished work and me doing everything but.

I'll update with something informative tomorrow..... Well I hope so.

Monday, 12 January 2009

A Student's Guide to Consultants

Consultants generally come in 3 flavours...

  • Pain in the ass - Common - comes as standard with the return of the Mr. prefix
  • Funny (or trying to be) - Rare but worrying comment often ensue
  • Up themselves - Becoming rarer through time
I would consider avoiding all of them but you will have to talk to them at some point in your training and working life. So you can easily see which of these you would rather tangle with (get your mind out of the gutter!) but to be honest even the funny ones are dangerous.

Maybe it's a basic fear but to be honest I'd rather go be an idiot in front of the ward's SHO (she's so sweet and maybe I have a tiny bit of a crush there). Of course placement thinks that I should be planted in front of consultants as often as possible as some sort of bizarre immersion therapy. Those poor sods having to suffer me. OK it boils down to this... I wasn't in for 2 days and then they ask (read tell) me to be on the ward rounds for both of our consultants. I'll admit this now, I do not know everything about our 20-something patients. I do know a lot about the 10 patients I spent last week working with and I have a handover. Let's go wing it!

Actually it didn't go too badly. Thank goodness. It could have been so much worse....

Most important lesson about consultants? Avoid or at least be polite.... then run and hide.

Quote from today... (finished talking to patient who's ears are stuffed with olive oil drops)
Doc - Olive oil embolism?
Me - I'll refer him to Gordon Ramsay then.

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

I am...

I am the sister who takes no prisoners and the deputy sister who calls it as it is.
I am the nurse who stopped me from walking out and the one who would have let me go.
I am the patient who is walking out smiling...
And the empty bed with a crying family.
I am the test I couldn't pass and the party when I finally did.
I am breakfast at McDonald's after the night shift and start of the shift coffee.
I am those who have taught me and those I have taught.
I am my reflections on practice and the war stories we trade in placement.
I am sim man and the real patients who let me practice on them.
I am the medbloggers who let me see their daily lives online.
I am the placements that have gone before.
But more importantly the final placement and all the staff who work there.
I am who I am because of everything.

(I am an idea entirely taken from this series of Orange ads)

Edit: This was based on my *other* final placement. I may have to rewrite it in light of my *real* final placement. - WB 27/04/2009

Monday, 5 January 2009

Another Meme But...

... I was coerced into it!

You have now entered into a legally binding contract hope you don't mind ;)
Have I mentioned before how much I love these things? Anyway tagged by Mark Hawker. I now have the dubious pleasure of finding another 7 things what you guys don't know about me.
  • Link your original tagger(s), and list these rules on your blog.
  • Share seven facts about yourself in the post - some random, some weird.
  • Tag seven people at the end of your post by leaving their names and the links to their blogs.
  • Let them know they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment on their blogs and/or Twitter.
We have been down this road before my friends.... First check out the meme posts that have gone before. Back when I passed the 1,000 visitor mark I handed out 100 things about me and granted I padded a few of them out because I started losing the will to live at about the 40 mark.

Some how I've started to think there are not enough things about me to fill another meme. I will try to explain a few things...

1. Back in high school I chose subjects to allow me to go on and do architecture - art, physics, maths and graphic communication. I really don't know where this idea came from. When it came down to accepting an offer from universities I rejected architecture and took physics, planning to become a physics teacher. I had a fantastic physics teacher back in high school which slightly explains this choice. I dropped out of the physics course and bummed about for a bit, during this time I applied for midwifery, although I finally got a place on an adult nursing course.

2. During all this bumming about I did go to camp and I went horse riding in PJs. That is one of my 3 favourite pictures from camp. And now I'm just teasing you all because I won't post it. It was there where I first came out of the closet too and people wonder why I want to go back there... it was the best time of my life so far.

3. I've been a gamer since I was little, well 5. That is not unusual now but was back then and certainly for girls. We had this stupid little hand held game, Mini Munchman, a bit like Pac Man and my brother held the high score till I asked him what HHH meant. The score counter only had 3 digits and after 999 there was only one way to go, HHH. At 5 I had gotten the highest score ever on that little thing. I still have it. (Mine has less scratches though.)

4. I currently have 4 as yet unfinished short stories. 2 Voyager fan fictions (1 is over 13,000 words) , a Doctor Who fan fiction, a romance (ish) short story and an apocalypse (esque) short story (which may turn into a novel length). I do love writing but I am cack at it, and a rarely finish what I start. Much like my art work.

5. I really love nursing and corny as it sounds I feel I've found the right job this time.

6. I keep a journal on top of the blog...


Hit the Ground Running

Back in placement after the holidays and I've missed the place (don't tell them that!). It is just as crazy busy as it was. Course it didn't help that towards the end of the shift when I should have been concentrating my mind was going fuzzy with the cold I've been fighting for the last week. Ever met an asthmatic with a cold? Bear with sore head doesn't cover it. I could still be coughing 2 weeks from now. Mostly I've been dodging colds, it works for the most part. There have been at least 3 go through the different areas where I spend time / work / etc. Most of the year my asthma is asymptomatic (to the point were I stop the meds), which might explain the sudden (and irrational, I will admit that) fear I have when ever I get a cold.
I've come across admissions for exacerbation of COPD (more common in the older generation than asthma) and personally I never wish to have to struggle to breathe like that day in day out. I told a friend of mine to shoot me if I get like that. I am enjoying it messing with people's heads when I give my deathly chest rattle. The fluid build up has moments where it sounds like a death rattle, just before I end up coughing. People just don't expect that of non-smoking young people. Hey I have to take my kicks where I get them.

On the other side I am now a year older! My birthday was yesterday! The birthday fairy brought me a digital photo frame to go with Santa's digital camera. SOOOO cool. Although I don't have them here with me because.....

IT'S NEARLY OVER!!!!!!! 2 weeks and a day!!!!!!!!!!!! that is all that's left of placement. I have huge, huge piles of writing to do for placement and feeling like cack for a week put a dent in my plans to have it all done already. Man, only 15 days to go. I'm scared witless.

Thursday, 1 January 2009

First Foot!

I can't First Foot my own blog. It would be like trying to first foot your own hoose (well I can but it's a long and complicated process involving me leaving the hoose, missing the bells, and freezing my ass in our current sub zero temps) but take this as me first footing yours.
I should be a dark haired male but you know I can't really change that....
But I bring coal (For warmth in the coming year)And a wee dram (So you all will be fed and watered) (I was going to pour a dram but the bottle belongs to my father and he might kill me for opening it.)
See Good Luck for all blogs next year!

Happy 2009 everyone!


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