In the beginning…

A note to the Student Nurse Newbies….

Posted on June 29, 2018. Filed under: In the beginning... |

It’s that time of year when a new wave of student nurses surge to University, many fresh from A levels and wet behind the ears, more so as mummy didn’t teach them how to dry properly, before packing their lives into the back of the family car and dumping them into a rat infested student digs somewhere. Oh sweet joy!

Oh no….. Students carry disease….. Lets move out!

I’m not writing today to moan about the overly enthusiastic drunks and there unrealistic idealization of nursing, but to give them a few starters from a ye olde Nurse Practitioner….

It’s a post inspired by a young lady, who I love to pieces in a paternal kinda way- hasten to add – or the poor love will go to University having nightmares!! She came to the surgery as a child slave an apprentice in Reception. Soon the nursing team recognised her brilliance and kidnapped her. Before we knew it we had a fantastic health care assistant on our team. She smiles all day long, she is always professional and she appears to love what she does. (I know you cynical old nurses are thinks the NHS will soon beat that out of her! – but I think she’s tough enough!) Our loss as a surgery is a massive gain to the NHS and nursing at large.

Now all student nurses have to learn from there mistakes, and they all WILL make mistakes, but I felt I could give a heads up from my experiences as and with student nurses.

So I’ve listed 20 “Do’s and Don’t’s”…

1. Don’t ever tell a patient it’s your first time doing something until after you’ve done it!!

The sentence “Ahh, Mr Jones, I’ve got to put this wobbly tube up you willy!” Is scary enough for the patient, without him knowing you hands are shaking and you’re really not sure if it’s gonna slide in nicely or have to go over his enlarged prostate like a motorbility scooter with no suspension over a speed bump.

2. Don’t under estimate the brilliance of having Vicks on your wrist if the job is a stinker.

3. Do learn the difference between being assertive and aggressive.

4. Do develop your own “look” to give inappropriate comments from patients and Doctors.

5a. Never, ever sleep with a Doctor.

5b. More to the point never- ever stay awake all night with a Doctor – unless of course you are both on a night shift.

6a. Don’t try to sound clever, leave the bullshit baffles brains stuff to the 1st year medical students. Your job is to be human and make the patient understand and not feel stupid. Big words and diagnosis don’t make you look clever, they just make the patient feel thick.

6b. On that note – never assume a patient has any level of common sense. It’s your job to explain to a patient that eating beetroot doesn’t cause you to piss blood, it just turns your wee red.

6c. On that note, never assume your patient isn’t in fact a consultant specialist for exactly the condition they are in hospital with… Even consultants get ill! ūüė∑ūü§í

6d. On that note…… Never assume a doctor has common sense. It’s your job to explain that the patient with the broken ankle and broken clavicle can’t go home on crutches.

7. Don’t freak out when a dead body groans, wee’s, farts, opens it eyes. It’s all normal.

8. Do freak out if a dead body asks you for a second opinion.

9. Don’t turn up to work on an early shift after a night drinking Beer with an Irish girl/boy you’ve only just met, cos you quite liked her/him, and then spend the morning feeling green and probably smelling of alcohol (you can pretend it’s the smell of hand gel all you like, no one is convinced), and then running off to vomit when someone lifts the lid on the lunch trolley! (I’ve obviously never done this – I am just saying, it could happen!)

10. Don’t put all the patients dentures together in one bowl to clean them.

11. Do expect nurses to try to send you to the orthopaedic wards to get a long stand, or Pharmacy for Bowman’s Capsules or Gynae for Fallopian tubes, or even Endocrinology for diabetic soap.

I asked for a long stand 20 minutes ago…. How long does it take to get one?

12. Do stand at right angles to patient when squeezing anything or if any orifice is exposed.

13. Do prepare to feel like you’re living in a post apocalyptic campus from June to October, when all the business studies, drama students and media studies students are on there summer holidays – and don’t expect there will be anyone left to open the student bar!

14. Do not ever bitch about a member of staff: they are all related and that bitch of a ward manager, just happens to be married to the Consultant that’s sat at the desk next to you and her nephew is the orderly that just picked up your coffee cup……. (like you will have time for coffee! ‚ėē).

15. Do not ever think you’ve seen it all. I still haven’t. The general public will forever stun and amaze you!

16. Don’t expect willies and vagina’s to look like any willy or vagina you’ve seen before!! It is not acceptable to say to a male patient complaining of penile pain: “Well I wouldn’t worry about a little thing like that!”

17. Do expect to find a whole new world of smells. If there was a sliding scale for odours it would start with sweaty belly button and escalate to Melena -(no, that isn’t the obese woman in Bed 4’s name!)

18. Do expect to hear some hugely inappropriate humour. It is how we survive.

19a. Don’t expect to find linen in the linen cupboard.

19b. Do expect to go in the linen cupboard and see even the most senior members of staff crying so severely they produce snot bubbles. It is also how we survive.

20. Don’t ever look like you’ve got nothing to do. If you have nothing to do, ask what you can do to help, you’ll get given a sensible job. If you stand around gormlessly without asking what you can do to help, you will be asked to clean all the bedpans or feed the amazing, porridge spitting, viper nicknamed Psycho-gran.

Lean closer dear…I didn’t quite hear you….

So there you go…. A few starters… Enjoy and remember from this day forth, you will experience a privileged look at life that very few of your “normal” friends will ever understand… Welcome to the club.

As ever comment away with other tips you veterans.

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A goodbye letter to Sickton.

Posted on January 26, 2010. Filed under: In the beginning..., Journal from behind the desk... |

As you know if you have been paying attention over the past few weeks, I’m off to a new job and I am sad to be leaving the old one. There are lots of patients that I would like to say bye to and I don’t like the idea of them finding out I’ve left without telling them, (there will be a few I’ll be glad to see the back of!) This is obviously impossible to address, however¬†I thought I’d send a letter to the local free paper and see if anyone reads it!

This is how it went (details subtly changed to protect the guilty!)…

To the people of Sickton-on-the Naze and staff of Naze Medical Practice.

Prior to 2005 I knew very little of¬† Sickton-on-the¬†Naze¬†and the surrounding areas, but on the recommendation of¬†one of your Nurse Practitioners , I came for a job interview to work alongside her as a Nurse Practitioner at Naze¬†Medical Practice. She told me about the surgery, staff and patients and told me how she loved her job there. This made me smile, after all a job is just a job, I’ve always enjoyed what I do, but to “love” work? Surely somewhat of an exaggeration.

The interview went well and I started my job in August 2005. From then until now I have had the most fantastic time in Sickton-on-the¬†Naze. I have made great friends with the surgery staff, and enjoyed meeting the patients here. They have made me smile, laugh and even on some occasions cry. I have shared in their sadness and in their joy. I have listened to them and they to me, we have shared stories. Patients I met as babies are now school children, and I’ve seen spotty teenagers grow into adults and generally watched life progress and feel privileged to have shared in those lives.

One day a patient asked me if I enjoyed my job, and I said that I loved it, no exaggeration. I love working with the team at the surgery, and I love working with the people of Sickton-on-the¬†Naze. For this I would like to say a big thank you and with heavy heart report that I am leaving¬† Sickton-on-the¬†Naze¬†to work at another surgery closer to home. Sometimes it’s good to move on and increase my experiences, but I will be sad to go. I just hope my replacement loves¬† Sickton as I do, and once again I say thank you for letting me share in a little part of¬† life.

Yours Very Sincerely.

Max E Nurse.

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My 2nd WordPress blogiversary…

Posted on March 5, 2009. Filed under: Benign, Elsewhere in the blogisphere, In the beginning... |

Blimey – a year has flown by already!

I’ve two¬†blogiversary presents for¬†you, one¬†is a link to another site that’s¬†nothing to do with me, but just more silly medical stuff.¬† The other is a few good tracks to accompany this posting.

As far as my blogiversary goes I have little to say that I didn’t say last year…¬† A few things have changed. I do think I’ve become a little more insular!¬† Much more benign stuff about my day to day bits and pieced and less topical stuff, perhaps I should start reading again!

On the subject of¬† potential change and me just jabbering on about things that happened at work….

A young lad presented today and during our chat, I noticed that he had stopped taking his antidepressants. He felt he was ready to stop at the time, but things where getting a little black again…

We¬†discussed whether restarting the anti-depressants was the way forward, to which he said: ¬†“I don’t want to take tablets I just want you to tell me to¬†go and sort myself out”.

I laughed and duly did as my patient asked…I also gave some self help literature. I shared my thoughts on this with the patient…

It would be a great catch phrase for me. “Just go and sort yourself out”.

I could cut my appointment times down to about 3 minutes. That’s 2 minutes and 54 seconds, to listen to the patients problem and 6 seconds to say : “Just go and sort yourself out” and open the door.

Pt: “Help, I’ve got this terrible crushing chest pain…”

Max “Just go and sort yourself out”.

It really is the ultimate in holistic care, taking into account physical and mental aspects and if the patient successfully “sorts them self out”, it surely has to be good for their self esteem and a greater sense of well being.¬†¬† I’ve often thought patients need to take more responsibility for themselves rather than expecting the health care service to manage their poor dietary habits, lack of exercise and 1 day old sore throats.

Quite frankly after the last few days I could well do with taking up this approach. A few things I’ve wanted to say this week but didn’t have the nerve to (incidentally these are all things¬†I would have said to different patients…yes it’s been one of those weeks).

1: I can not resolve¬†your marital¬†problems¬†you’ve been married¬†27 years. It’s your spouse you should talk to not me. (Actually I did say this to her after 25 minutes!!)

2: If you’ve tried counselling, psychotherapy, every antidepressant known to the human species and still have no clinical signs of depression but feel you need help…please don’t expect me to sort you out in a 10 minute appointment.

3: It’s flattering, but please don’t come and see me every time you sniff, just so you can flirt outrageously with me and then be happy when I¬†say you don’t need any medication or advice you don’t already know, and just because I’m male and a nurse doesn’t mean I am gay…and even if I was…YOU wouldn’t be my type (real gay men don’t wear eye shadow and their mums perfume!!)!!¬† If I was gay I’d be a lesbian!!

4: How do you expect me to know what is genuinely going to kill you and needs medical intervention when every time you come you tell me of 5+ unrelated problems?

OK I’m off to lay in a darkened room…really I need to this week!!¬† Cue soothing music…

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Posted on March 1, 2007. Filed under: In the beginning... |

So I Suppose I should start
Go on then…
Welcome -free to browse.

Well…The general idea here is that I tell you a few funny stories and much more importantly anyone who happens to be passing by tells me some.

We all have those little stories that health professionals tell one another in the pub at night, it may be called “reflective practice” or “off loading“, this arena however is more for the category of “well! I didn’t know where to look“.

There are many such scenarios in my “professional history”. Some are simple…

…Guy comes into A&E having nail gunned his trainer to his foot…

…or¬†the slightly more bizarre¬†– Guy comes into A&E complaining of dysurea – and due to his slight air of oddness, I have an urge to call records and get his notes down… A fascinating large file for a 21 year old, with various artifacts the surgical team felt should be cleaned and left in the notes, for curious people like me. Cause of his dysurea turned out to be the biro he had put up his penis….¬† Apparently it all started when he was 14 sitting by a river and showed his mates how easy (and fun??) it was to cathetarise with fishing wire. As he got bigger so did the foreign bodies…. Hmmm probably going to need a category just for FB’s.

I am also a bit of a fool for saying things that come out either in the wrong place at the wrong time or are just too open for interpretation, so we’ll have a “Did I say that?” area.¬†

and see where we go from there…¬† Come on in the waters lovely…

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