Wednesday, February 26, 2014

How things change

Listening to breakfast T.V. today, I caught the tail end of a conversation about nurses now having degrees.

Having begun my career back in the 60's,there was no such thing as a degree for nursing apart from the qualification gained through your State Registered training. You trained and that was that. It was your choice to further your career through refresher courses and other nursing fields.

I started as a State Enrolled nurse, this was the bedside nurse who was trained to be a helper for the trained staff,and worked in that capacity for 17 years.
The chance arose to move to the new hospital being built and I was one of the first nurses to move into it.
At the age of forty something, I made the decision to train as a State Registered nurse. The best move I could have made.

Gradually my career advanced, firstly as a nursing sister. Then a Special Projects nurse. Dealing with the introduction of computers into nursing{That went down like a lead balloon}The staff were most unhappy with this change that came about in the mid nineties.
I then continued my development until I was made responsible for quality assurance, ending that heady chapter as Risk and Quality Manager.

Now the point I make is that I had no further training with the exception of many courses undertaken to enhance my role. I have been told that I managed my role well until retirement.

If I have any regrets about my working life it is that I did not undertake a degree course, as undoubtedly it would have been of benefit. I strongly believe that having nurses trained to degree level, many of them advancing in their career today being required to have a MASTERS degree can only be beneficial, as was being suggested today on Breakfast T.V.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Walk.

Today is finally lovely, with the sun eventually shining, and the clouds blowing away.
I took myself off for a lone walk along the canal in the town where I live.

This is undertaken as often as I can manage to help keep off the pounds that have gradually increased over the last year.

I blame Boston Ma. United States of America for that. When I visited last October, I could not help but relish the wonderful breakfasts and each morning would eat first the hot one and then the continental.
As for the lobster suppers, it is a miracle I did not gain on more.

You see, I was feeling so proud of the fact that when nursing my slipped disc with severe sciatica summer before last. I was drugged up to the nine's and felt so sick most of the time that I lost a full stone.
Feeling proud of the achievement, however painfully attained, I vowed to keep it off and indeed succeeded for ten months. Then came the trip.

I shall sum up by saying, Boston was worth every extra pound,what a wonderful city.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Long ago

Hello,today I was reflecting on the beginnings of my career.
I started nursing when I was just seventeen, as a raw rookie I was completely amazed at the pranks the staff got up to and indeed got away with.

The one that really stands out for me was the time the senior nurses decided to play a trick on a newly appointed porter.
He was taking a recently deceased patient to the mortuary in the middle of the night.
A male nurse knew that he would be alone in this duty. So got to the mortuary before the arrival of the porter with his trolley.
The nurse laid out on one of the mortuary slabs, covering himself with a sheet.
When the porter entered the room,the nurse sat up slowly saying,

'Have you got the time please.'

 It is said that the porter involved left the hospital never to return. However I cannot vouch for the validity of that last statement.

There will be more tales to follow.
Night night.

Monday, February 17, 2014

It was a funny old day

I went to work early in the morning, in the teaming rain and got soaked to the skin. I was working with plastics, that's plastic surgery. On the N.H.S. surgeons can do the most amazing work these days.
Half way through the morning we had a patient collapse, from another clinic. Drama ensued and the patient received every care and treatment possible. Following a visit to our A and E  department it was reported that she was sitting up and laughing. How good was that to hear.

When I got home mid afternoon, I was again caught in the rain walking the half mile to our brand new car park, I found that my phones and television were not working. Neither was the computer mouse, and when I went out in the car to go to the local shops there was no windscreen wash available.

'Hubby' was away in France helping others with decorating, and it made me realise just how dependent I have become on him. I must try harder to learn how to correct such deficit, without relying on him all the time.

Sleep tight everyone.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Good morning to you all,

Just a line or two today.

I have just tweeted about hospital thermometers to one of my TWITTER followers.
It reminded me of when I was a young nurse back in the mid sixties, we had glass thermometers. If you accidently broke one you were reprimanded, and some nurses had to pay for them out of their meagre wage.

Wow betide you if you broke one of the glass syringes, which were used when giving patients injections, These were very expensive items. Plastic needles and syringes did not come in until the latter 1960,s.

I'm just off to work now, hope we don't have the drama we had yesterday!

Monday, February 10, 2014

What a young lady did!!

Good evening all,

At the weekend I got to talking with my friend and ex colleague of many years.
We both trained together as enrolled nurses,more like the equivalent of the trained nurses aide in the U.S.A.
We both went on to become Registered General nurses at the same time, back in 1981.
As we sipped our coffees in the local shop we frequent on a Saturday morning, I asked her about her memories of when she was a paediatric nurse at the same hospital that I still work in.

She re-laid the tale of her colleague Elspeth who ran the children's Head and Neck division.
This particular morning was the day for the removal of tonsils and adenoids.
She had clerked all the ten patients in and first on the list was a fifteen year old young lady. She was showered,dressed in the theatre gown, and had been given her pre-medication. She lay in her bed ready for theatre. As the head nurse passed by her bed she thought she looked a little scared which was not unusual. What was unusual was the sudden dash the lass made out of bed,down the corridor and out into the car park. Elspeth, said nurse, took off after her and eventually caught her up. You can imagine the scene as the race took place, with a deluge of open mouthed onlookers watching events unfold.

The day did  have a happy/unhappy ending as the girl was persuaded to return to the ward and went through with the surgery, latterly complaining of how sore her throat was, and how she wished she had got away and not had it done at all.

Friday, February 7, 2014

This may surprise you.

Good afternoon my friends,

People have asked me to write more about my life's work experiences within nursing. I think you may find this article surprising.

In the United Kingdom it is a known fact that trained and untrained nursing staff do not earn a great deal of money. It is strange that the old adage that it is a calling, or simply a vocation still seems to apply.

For a long time the staff car park at the hospital where I work has not been fit for purpose.
After much wrangling over how a new one should be funded. It was agreed that payment for it would be partly paid for by the staff according to their designation. The Consultants are most put out.

 A brand new state of the art, car park has indeed  been built. Mind you it is still difficult to find an empty space between Monday to Friday.
As a Registered nurse my charges have risen by 50% this pays for the privilege of having a parking place so that I may park while I work.
No member of staff is given permission to park if they live within a five mile radius of the hospital. 

In my opinion, la pie'ce de rĂ©sistance is staff  being fined for parking on the white lines marking the parking spaces, even if the wheel is just touching the marking. I wonder how many hospitals in the country are experiencing similar practise?

Monday, February 3, 2014


Thought I would have a quick chat.
 Today we have  the second day without rain for what seems like a month in the south of England.
Yesterday was also magical with sunshine,and it gladdens the heart.

I have been working on the new novel. Thought I had better get on with it!

After the recent revelation of a celebrities alleged suicide, it got me thinking back to when I worked in the Accident and Emergency Department, in the mid-eighties. I well remember the high statistics of attempted suicides, usually with overdoses of tablets. Back then it was the most common reason for hospital admissions. Men were also more likely to self harm than women.

How sad it is that so many in society feel the need to resort to self-harm. I hope with all my heart that they can find the right kind of help to make their lives seem worth living and regain a reason to be.