Lots of anger tonight.
The local A&E departments are full, the nurses in charge are doing juggling acts in order to try and get patients in a position to be examined by the doctors. Waiting rooms are full and in at least one case there are no beds left in the hospital while plenty of patients needing admitting.
I explained to one patient we brought in that this is why she had to go to the waiting room – there just wasn't room for her and her two-day old headache to lay on a trolley…
“Fucking hospital, always some excuse!”.
It took some restraint on my part to not shout at her to open her eyes and take a look at the crowded department she was standing in, to look at the staff charging around doing a dozen things at once, and to consider that this headache perhaps wasn't the highest priority illness that night.
The expectation of patients is much higher than that which can be provided. Even when it is obvious that the department is being overloaded, the desire to get their 'serious' problem cured immediately leads to anger.
Patient tempers were flaring, likewise the doctors and nurses were run ragged. Multitasking is an important nursing skill, especially when, not only do you have to do all your normal nursing duties, but you have to run crowd control on angry relatives and the normal cast of drunks.
I'm writing this post in the middle of my shift and it wouldn't surprise me if there is violence in the department before the sun comes up.
So please explain to me why those complete *expletive deleted* morons in the Ministry of Health are going to be closing two of our local A&E departments? When the current A&E capacity isn't enough, and there is a year on year increase in attendance, shouldn't these people be supporting the A&E departments rather than cutting capacity even more?
Sorry, I forgot – we are supposed to be more 'efficient', people are going to be treated in the community (by ambulance staff at some point in the indeterminate future), they won't need to go to hospital. Remember that 60% of our calls don't need an ambulance. But, and it's a big but, they might need an ambulance, x-rays, blood tests and the like to come to the conclusion that they didn't actually need that ambulance.
Of course, people will still want to go to hospital, and we are unable to refuse. Then when they get there and see queues running out the door they'll complain and make life awful for the folks who work there.
This overloading of A&E departments is one of the things that led me to leave nursing – and I haven't haven't missed the hassle, nor the inability to properly care for terminally ill patients because there were no pillows or blankets in the hospital.
It's sad, but one of my favourite nurses is in the process of moving career because she's getting fed up of trying to bail out a sinking ship. I suppose that this is a governmental success, less departments and less nurses means fewer wages which saves money.
I don't know what they plan to do with the patients though.
This was written when most newspapers had the death of a race horse as the front page news.