Friday, 11 November 2011


If you're a carer in a care home, your job is to care, and all that your caring entails. 

If you're a nurse in a nursing home, your job is to nurse, and all that your nursing carries with it. 

Don't you dare tell me you've only known one of your residents for only a few weeks, or a few days, or even a few hours, as an excuse for your inaction and lack of care. 

I only get to know my patients for seconds, literally seconds, before I have to decide and act on their needs, and be able to do so with care and compassion.

You may only be temporary staff, but your nursing diploma stretches as far as giving a patient oxygen when they need it, whether you know them well, or not. 

You may be new to this particular establishment, but your nursing experience should tell you how unwell your patient truly is, and that now's the time to act. Now's not the time to lean over the bed with your hands in your pockets and your head in the sand.  

Don't you dare excuse your mistreatment by claiming to not know the resident well enough - abuse and neglect can never be excused. 

I know my patient for only moments, and I still treat them like human beings, not like bed-filling, revenue-raising, income-generating pieces of unimportant meat. 

Damn you for making me care so much as to make me hate you and your actions - or lack of them. 

Damn you for being so blas√© about the desperate needs of those in your care. 

Damn you for choosing a caring profession, when clearly you just don't care. 


Dan said...

Completely agree. If you're going into a CARE profession, then the first stipulation should be giving a shit and CARING.

Your anger is fully acceptable. All too often, even in normal hospitals, I've come across nursing staff that clearly don't care.

Anonymous said...

Uncaring people in any supposedly caring profession is bad enough, but when their patients are among the most vulnerable people who cannot speak up for themselves it's even worse. You have every right to be angry. There's no excuse for such behaviour.

Anonymous said...

I completely agree with you IM, I've lost count of the number of times I've felt the same anger.

Jim said...

Funny how the same thing goes on in Nursing homes no matter where you go. They say they just came on shift, just started working with a client, pulse ox is always 80% with nothing being done. They sit and wait our arrival, hand over paperwork and act like they never heard of patient care or even a blood pressure. I often wonder if there is any "nursing" goin on in nursing homes.

In any profession you need to care about what you do and who you do it for.

Tom said...

This is why I never want a nursing home placement in my training. I am very lucky to have got my first placement next week in a large teaching hospital.
These kinds of carers and nurses are what I never want to turn into. I'd like to think that all nurses care as you'd assume that we do. Sadly some don't. One of the students I am living with at the moment is one such. How she got into this university beggars belief. She will, should she miraculously complete the next three years, turn into one of those nurses.
These nurses are denying them their human rights. I would not trust any of them with my dogs. I am thankful that my wonderful grandparents are fully independent and live in their own home as I would not be able to take this. I would without a doubt nurse them myself if the need ever arises.
Those nurses don't care which is why I hate them with a passion. Every time I read something similar I feel my heart break a little. These places are simply there to generate profits for their owners. I hate how health care has become just another business.
I hope, as a student nurse I form the habits that will stay with me for the rest of my career and never to fall by the wayside and not care.

Josh Minor said...

I've lost count of the number of times I've asked what the patients name is at the end of the call, only to have some slob in a nursing home say "hold on a sec, I'll just get his/her care plan".

How can you not know the name of the person you have (supposedly) spent the last while comforting?

MSgt B said...

Note to self:
Try not to make the Insomniac Medic angry.

Well said, friend. If I'm ever run down by a lorry in London, I'll be asking for you by name.
Although, when I start shouting "Make sure I'm treated by the Insomniac!" they'll probably be sending me to a completely different ward.

Dan said...

They'll move you to the special ward BECAUSE you asked for the Insomniac ;)

cogidubnus said...

Perhaps I was lucky. I was admitted to hospital on Monday following a mild heart attack. Throughout a day of ECG testing, angiogram etc I met people at all levels of the frontline NHS and was deeply impressed. Not a dud experience at all, just one shitload of dedicated people doing their best, and all in such a friendly fashion...There may well be things wrong with the NHS but by and large I'd say it's not with front line staff...

InsomniacMedic said...

Thanks all for your comments!
MSgt B - it takes a lot for me to lose it, this one was particularly bad. The fact that it came at the end of a run of shifts probably didn't help... I'll save a padded cell for you if we ever meet :)
Cogidubnus - This wasn't an NHS home - but a private one that had clearly had an absolute fortune spent on the facilities. It's just a shame they couldn't find the staff to match...

Winter Wiccan said...

My Gran decided to put herself in a care home after being attacked in her own home by a bogus caller. Within a few weeks, the nursing staff had giver her a worse black eye that the attacker did. They said she had done it herself! I understand your anger completely.