UK: 'Nice' nurses to get free chocolate biscuits - page 2

‘nice’ nurses to get free chocolate biscuits the sunday times - uk ... two years ago a resolution at the annual congress of the royal college of nursing proposed that nurses were now “too clever... Read More

  1. by   Noahm
    They (the government and hospital managers) are intentionally short staffing the hospital wards in England. I worked a 14 plus hour shift on Monday on a 30 bedded medical ward. No break possible. WE have many elderly confused total care patients. There were only 2 staff nurses and 2 aides. One aide had to be put on a 1:1 and the other RN blacked out and had to go to ER. That left 2 of us. I have whined about this before, we have no ward clerk either.

    I had to do 8 discharges and 9 admissions. They sent those admits to me after the other RN went off sick so they knew what the staffing was. Four of those admissions came simultaneously at meal time and the two of us had 11 feeds. Five of those total admissions were unstable. Relatives were yelling at us because patients weren't being fed promptly. The hospital is in dire straits financially and point blank refuses to use agency staff, hire staff, or ask people to do overtime.

    I am sure if only someone had offered me some chocolate biscuits we would have been able to manage.

    I am so sick of this. There is a recruitment freeze at the moment so there are no other jobs. I am in the process of trying to get my British DH a visa so we can move back to the USA, where I was born. Thank god I am an American citizen and have a pennsylvania nursing license. We just have to wait for DH's visa, sell our home and we are off. It looks like I am here for another 9 months while it gets sorted.

    I think British nurses are wondeful and I am really saddened to see the attitude the public here has towards to them. They are being blamed for providing poor care when many of them are being forced to work impossible ratios.

    There was a campaign over here not so long ago to "get our nurses back to caring about the patients".
    Last edit by Noahm on Nov 17, '06
  2. by   emmalou*
    Quote from Noahm
    They (the government and hospital managers) are intentionally short staffing the hospital wards in England. I worked a 14 plus hour shift on Monday on a 30 bedded medical ward. No break possible. WE have many elderly confused total care patients. There were only 2 staff nurses and 2 aides. One aide had to be put on a 1:1 and the other RN blacked out and had to go to ER. That left 2 of us. I have whined about this before, we have no ward clerk either.

    I had to do 8 discharges and 9 admissions. They sent those admits to me after the other RN went off sick so they knew what the staffing was. Four of those admissions came simultaneously at meal time and the two of us had 11 feeds. Five of those total admissions were unstable. Relatives were yelling at us because patients weren't being fed promptly. The hospital is in dire straits financially and point blank refuses to use agency staff, hire staff, or ask people to do overtime.

    I am sure if only someone had offered me some chocolate biscuits we would have been able to manage.

    I am so sick of this. There is a recruitment freeze at the moment so there are no other jobs. I am in the process of trying to get my British DH a visa so we can move back to the USA, where I was born. Thank god I am an American citizen and have a pennsylvania nursing license. We just have to wait for DH's visa, sell our home and we are off. It looks like I am here for another 9 months while it gets sorted.

    I think British nurses are wondeful and I am really saddened to see the attitude the public here has towards to them. They are being blamed for providing poor care when many of them are being forced to work impossible ratios.

    There was a campaign over here not so long ago to "get our nurses back to caring about the patients".
    This is terrible - I have the utmost of respect and empathy for all of you. It is beyond comprehension really, I feel lucky in Australia to have a health system that is relatively stable compared to what you are all going through. Next time someone in Oz complains, either nurse or anyone really! I will set them straight.

    :redpinkhe
  3. by   RNsRWe
    Of course this is ridiculously insulting. But it all goes back to the very basic problem of the general public just not knowing what the heck we do with our day. I keep hearing how nurses are appreciated by the public, and oftentimes we really ARE, but NOT because they appreciate our actual jobs! It's because they see us as the Angels of Mercy whose sole purpose in life is to fluff pillows, smile and chat with patients to pass the time for them, and overall make them comfy while the doctors do the work of caring for their health.

    Please.

    Too much time spent on administrative and technical duties? Which would those be....handling medication errors on the MAR, finding missing data in charts, processing endless paperwork that the facilities keep creating anew? Or would it be when we kill time checking into lab values and other test results for the betterment of patient care?

    But ah, yes, we didn't magically create a half hour to chat with each patient and coo over them (on their timetable, natch), so I guess we didn't care enough.

    What I really need to make that time available, of course.....is a cookie.
  4. by   Mirth
    Tsk. All they are giving you is a cookie?? We got pizza. Not ordered in mind you. Frozen. And there were not enough to go around. Not that I got to go and eat any pizza. My seven IMC and general care patients, four in isoloation, one confused, one crashing, two incontinent, and hourly dressing changes on two of my surgical patients did not allow me to rush for a frozen pizza at change of shift. :roll:

    No ward clerk, stat orders, lab demanding blood draws from PICC lines, hourly IVPB meds, hourly pain meds.admit...transfer.. I think I got to go to lunch at 3am that day.


    Cookies?? Smile more??

    They can bite me.
  5. by   Indy
    Noahm, this really ticks me off to read about the kind of staffing you guys have in the UK. All that AND they tell a whole bunch of new grads that they might not be able to find them jobs? Are they on crack? There is room to stick a couple more in every doggone ward, every shift, every facility in the country.

    Hardworking nurses are supposed to listen to that horsesh*t about the lack of jobs while they have a 1:15 patient ratio?! Fifteen patients with two aides? And to top that off, they want to make the ones who smile, be in a drawing for a chance at a free biscuit.

    Believe me, anyone who's smiling while working in that environment, is NOT someone you want to take care of you, because they've snapped, gone cuckoo, and are probably running after the man with the biscuits with sharp objects and bad intentions.
  6. by   UKRNinUSA
    Quote from Noahm
    Relatives were yelling at us because patients weren't being fed promptly. The hospital is in dire straits financially and point blank refuses to use agency staff, hire staff, or ask people to do overtime. ..................................I think British nurses are wondeful and I am really saddened to see the attitude the public here has towards to them. They are being blamed for providing poor care when many of them are being forced to work impossible ratios.
    I know where your coming from - been there, done that etc.......
    As a nurse and patient advocate I think you need to do what I do over here when I am looking after patients that have been getting excellent care at home and for one reason or another have to be inpatient for a while. I worked home health as a wound care specialist and saw many patients that had intact skin when they left their house and were discharged home with heel and/or sacral/hip pressure ulcers -poor nutrition and poor staffing being major factors in their development. I warn them about the level of care not being the same as it is at home. I do this in a way that displays the reality of the situation without casting a bad light on either the facility or the staff who work there, for instance "Your mother is very frail, she has been used to excellent care at home (1:1), unfortunately facility X cannot provide that same level of care (most people tend to realise that a facility cannot provide 1:1 care), so you will need to keep a close eye on her while she is there. Try to schedule your visits around mealtimes so that your mum get's to eat, help her to wash, check her skin etc, etc." If the patient has a hired caregiver at home I encourage the family to keep the caregiver working while the patient is hospitalized, so that the patient gets better faster and returns home none the worse.
    These relatives (and the rest of the UK) need to realise the reality of the situation and stop thinking of nurses as their relatives substitute caregivers. If they want substitute caregivers they will need to pay out of their own pocket.
    My dear old mum and dad just moved to Spain from the UK. I am not an expert on their system but I did read on an expat website that in Spain relatives are expected to take care of the patient's basic needs while they are inpatient. You can't have it all -low health care insurance premiums AND a 24 hour private duty nurse to cater to your every whim-that's just a little (!) unrealistic.
    And good luck with your move -I came over here for a year or so and 15 years later I'm still here - Just can't seem to tolerate the UK weather for more than 2 weeks.
  7. by   australianrn
    hmm too posh to wash !
  8. by   Bibagirl
    My husband is English, (not a nurse), but with a load of comon sense, I'm an American nurse and we now live in the USA, after having lived in London for 4 years. We laughed at the article!
    #1 A nurse earns much less over there. After 17 of years experience in America, I started out over there on a rate of about $15/hr.
    #2 It's chronically understaffed, conditions are horrible, over worked, underpaid.
    #3 It's insulting.
    #4 I appreciate someones comment it's like giving a dog a bone, but it's not quite like that. You see, giving a dog a bone will make it happy.
    Want to reward the nurse? Give her a supplies and other resources with which she can do her job. The people who run the NHS are just suits, ah, bless, with no idea of how to solve the problems of the nursing shortage.
    #5 The plan originated in the America, figures. The UK turns to the USA for trends, and although socialized medicine has lots of problems, there's something to be said for a country that has health care actually available to all! I hate to think that they will Americanize their system!
  9. by   Noahm
    I find the biggest problem is that the patients and their loved ones don't really have any idea of what nurses do, how much responsibility we have and how little control we have. I was the only RN on once and had a sudden cardiac arrest. We did get the patient back. After he went to ITU I went to answer a call light, the call lights were all lit up and I only had one aide who was running her behind off. When I went into the room the patient and a family member started giving me a lecture on how cruel it is to make someone wait 20 minutes for a commode. The 20 minutes she was waiting was during the time I was crashing the other patient.

    Why do they think there is something else I could have done in that situation? Don't they understand that nurses have life and death responsibity and can't be 10 places at once? They have a very low opinion of nurses IMHO.

    We are very short staffed with very acute patients as well as elderly patients who are very dependent and get upset if the nurse doesn't immediately drop what she is doing to come and cream their legs.

    We need more public education about nursing. That will stop this nice nurses get biscuits crap. Yes I will be happy to apply cream, bring you a cup of tea, and the commode. No I don't think I am above doing those jobs. No I don't think it is nice when sick people have to wait for things. But I am going to be a responsible nurse first and prioritize!!! I do have a job to do and it I screw it up I will hurt someone!!
  10. by   cheshirecat
    I so agree with the previous statement. I was once complained against because a visitor asked for a cup of tea when I was giving a bolus IV drug. In her complaint she said I had taken my time on purpose giving the IV. Sorry, what was I supposed to do. Wham it in and kill the patient.

    This was in a private hospital. Guess what, the complainer received a sorry letter and a bottle of wine from the hospital. I was working bank at the time, and was so angry I never went back. Got loads of shifts at the NHS hospital I was also working bank for.

    In the UK we are treated and paid as skivvies, yet expected to adhere to professional codes of practice. What other profession routinely empties bins because the trust does not employ enough cleaners. We have allowed management to do this to us. At the very least we should have legalised staff to patient ratio. They have this in the airline industry, why not in the healthcare professions.

    I have been nursing for 25 years and it is getting worse. Would I like my daughter to be a nurse? No way!

    Going back to choc biscuits - what about the nurses who are diabectic??
  11. by   Noahm
    Going back to choc biscuits - what about the nurses who are diabectic??
    They won't get any biscuits since they are hypoglycemic (long shift no break to eat) and unconscious and therefore unable to smile at the patients.
  12. by   Bibagirl
    My first job in England was in the A&E in an East London NHS hospital. The situation was out of control most of the time. There was a problem of violence against staff, and >24 hrs waiting times. There was very sick patients in corridors, the dept was very dirty. It was a nightmare for me, and I could not cope. I transferred up to Theatres after 2 weeks, (which was my previous specialty when I was living in America.).
    In my experience, the glue that holds the NHS together is foreign nurses, at least in London it was. WHy would nursing be attractive as a profession to young British people, when they could be making loads of money in the corporate world, nicely dressed with Blackberrys firmly in hand?
    People who go into the nursing in the UK are very special people with a strength of character that sets them apart from others. Not to get religious, but, in my opinion becoming a nurse in the UK is like answering some sort of calling, because you certainly aren't doing it for the money. In my opinion, it's the medical equivalent of being a nun, is it a coincidence you're called sister?
    Our nursing leadership is too academic. Where are the leaders for the nurses who give bedside nursing?
  13. by   Mirth
    Sounds like the UK need a law like we have here. If you assault a health care worker in a hospital setting, you are treated as though you assaulted a police officer.

    That means you go to jail.

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