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.


Shelfari: Book reviews on your book blog