The Curse Of The Were-Observer

I think that I have the 'curse of the observer' at the moment. We dropped our first patient off at the hospital (a 36 year old female with a two day history of a cough and a headache. No, she hasn't taken any of her own painkillers), and have come away with a student nurse.
She is training to be a paediatric nurse and since picking her up we have traversed the length of our patch without a single call. We have even made it back to our station (unusual in itself) and have been put on a rest break. Which is why I'm typing this now as I won't have time to write anything tonight.

The 'Curse of the observer' takes two forms. The most common is that *nothing* happens all shift, or the calls that you do get are so utterly simple that it does the observer no good at all. The other, much rarer, form of the curse is where everything goes wrong – large patients who you can't move, people run over by trains and sick people seeming dropping out of the sky.

I'm guessing that we get the… peaceful type of the curse*

Today, just for fun, I'll be asking everyone who is in pain if they have taken any of their own painkillers – and if not I'll ask them why. Lets just imagine that it's the world's worst piece of research.

*People in the NHS never use the 'Q' word, it is seen as tempting fate, so a shift is 'peacful' or 'controlled', never 'Q***t'.

15 thoughts on “The Curse Of The Were-Observer”

  1. About your research into pain medication. I think it's a great idea. Especially if you include asking patients with fevers if they have taken anything. Can't understand why anyone would want to go to an emergency room and risk contracting something really serious when you can just take some ibuprofen and stay home.katy (usa)

  2. World's worst bit of research?? You'd have to do it pretty darn badly to pull that off – have you read a newspaper, or watched TV news recently – some of the “research” they have on there is absolutely atrocious, funded by interested parties, and appallingly interpreted. You'd have to go a fairly long way to compete with some of that drivel…

  3. I cant imagine your research and subsequent findings will be any worse than the rubbish that is being trotted out at the moment, in particular the NHS breaking even! really?? where? Ah yes, I see its just political spin!I mean, its not like they have added together one trust being under budget with another trust being over budget to cancel it out is it? Or broke even by cutting back on staff/equipment/resources whilst keeping excessive numbers of managers on to push bits of paper around is it??? Or giving nurses a crap 'staggered' pay rise??

    or am I just being cynical??

  4. I find this interesting because one of the first questions I'm asked when I contact my Dr. regarding pain is “Have you taken anything for this?” I always just assumed it was a standard question, since additional medicine might conflict with already ingested medicines.Maybe my Dr. is doing a similar survey, though.

  5. 'Oh no, I never take any painkillers. I don't believe in them.'Hmm…I didn't think painkillers were like the Toothfairy, Santa Claus and unicorns.

    Obviously, I was mistaken.

  6. and then they get shocked when we get them to A&E and sister puts them out in the waiting room with … wait for it …. painkillers.

  7. I “don't believe in them” for headaches actually, as the only time I get headaches is when I'm stressed, so I'd rather be conscious of that and act to bring down the levels than medicate away a valuable early warning sign.So maybe it's more a case of seeing the difference between medicating a symptom, and treating the underlying cause – at least, that's my definition.

  8. PS Having said that, I should add that I find aspirin effectively “treats” sciatica attacks for me, because the pain relief prompts the muscles around the area to relax instead of tensing up, which usually fixes the problem. Horses for courses.

  9. Pills: and other solutions to surviving. Everyone expects there to be a simple mathematical answer. ONE PAIN ONE PILL; to Descartes there be one answer to number of degrees inside the triangle. that be mathematical, but life is about variation, no two 'umans be clones [YET]

    We can statisize the odds that pill A will do this blank on group B: there be no clear answer. so one will have an adverse effect.

    [that is why there be the consent form, in case the answer be wrong.]

    Nature [Life] makes sure that there no one answer, because if the answer be wrong, the whole world goes plop, so each individual has to be aware of the results for themselves, it may not work for thy kin.

    In reality there be so many factors affecting any one condition,.

    For me, some pain warns me against doing sumart stupid , If I took enough pain killer to stop any feeling in my left hand , then I could put it into a fire. [That be extreme] but I had friends that had to play football and had to kill pain in their legs, so now they need new muscles, because they ripped them off the anchor points, but they had to win.

    So be aware wht orks for thyself and what fails to solve the problem.

  10. Don't forget aspirin and paracetamol also have anti-inflammatory properties that do effectively treat the cause of some pain as well as blocking the symptom.I see no point in continuing to suffer with a headache when you've recognised that you're stressed and need to take steps to avoid that. Take the pills, go sit somewhere quiet and come back pain-free and refreshed.

    Better living through chemistry 🙂

  11. We're the same with the Q-Word. But there have been night shifts that were so dull we all stood round in a circle, like American sports teams do, chanting “quiet, quiet, quiet, QUIET, QUIET, QUIET!” in the hope that something interesting will happen.We've started having observers from the general public, which means we have to act like real Police officers instead of a bunch of p*ss takers who give out a sense of professionalism but who really hate the general public. In a nice way!

  12. Nice to know it's not just us that take the proverbial! It's almost a necessity in this line of work though – if we didn't we'd be so wound-up we'd explode.Observers from the general public I can put up with, but we've had a couple of bods with shiny shoulders come down from their plush offices and join us out in the real world for the last couple of shifts – it's tough being professional all shift, you can't help but feel you're being watched like a hawk all the time. Thankfully they tend not to want to work nights, so normal service has resumed for the time being!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *