Another Christmas on the wards
So I spent my second Christmas on the wards this year, last year was nightshift this year was dayshift and I have to say the shift was actually awful!
The day started well enough, we exchanged gifts and chatted for maybe fifteen minutes before we started dishing out the morning medications and the breakfasts that had just arrived on the ward. We also got all the food we had brought in set up on a trolley ready to be eaten later when things quietened down.
Only problem was things never quietened down, in fact we only got lunch at 4pm when some other staff were sent in to relieve us for half an hour to let us eat.
Some of our patients were really sick and some really weren't but they all need attending to and moved on to wards. It was all go from the beginning till just about the end of the shift, but we did get about an hour or so at the end of the shift that was reasonable and we were able to have a short sit down with a cake one of our off duty nurses had baked and brought in for us on the day.
Today I was in work again, the only person to work Christmas eve, Christmas day and boxing day but I guess that's just the way it goes. Since we aren't getting paid any extra for working Christmas and today and tomorrow are actually the public holidays I guess I should be grateful of being the only person to work Christmas who actually gets paid the extra for working it. All the other staff in today didn't work Christmas, but will get paid as if they did.
Oh how I would have loved to have someone from the government watch us work on Christmas day, watch us work short staffed and not get a break till 4pm instead of eating our turkey and opening our presents with our families. Don't get me wrong, I don't have a problem working Christmas, in fact I volunteer to do it so the people with kids can have it off but I think its rubbish that none of us working yesterday get any extra money for doing it but the ones working today will get the extra they have done nothing to deserve.
I am beginning to lose faith in the NHS. I have never thought about working for anyone else, I have always dreamed of emergency medicine, medicine that is free at the point of care and does not discriminate against people simply because they have less money than others. However the way the workforce is treated is just plain awful, the demands placed upon us, all the missed breaks, all the nights we stay late, the assaults, the verbal abuse that no one ever does anything about, the agency nurses getting at least a tenner an hour more than me to work alongside me to replace someone who for whatever reason is not in. The cost cutting measures that compromise patient care but no one can talk about, the fact that we don't have a staff room, we literally don't have anywhere to sit down to eat our lunch other than the public areas of the hospital where we are constantly accosted by people trying to find their way to clinic appointments or wards. We literally cant get a minutes peace, not one single minute to recover from seeing some of the most horrific things imaginable, to recover from telling a family that there is nothing more we can do for their loved one. The only place to hide is in one of the two staff toilets which we share with the wards on either side of us, that's where nurses go to cry.
My job is super amazing and I feel totally privileged to be allowed to do it, but it would be so much more super amazing if it weren't for management.