I Don’t Like Mondays

Ergh – what a day…

There is a reason why so many of us who work in emergency healthcare hate Mondays, it's because they are one of the busiest times for us. Us ambulance types are run ragged, the A&E department is packed solid with few people moving up to the wards and I would imagine that GPs get a lot of 'emergency' appointment requests.

The reasons for this are many, and I may miss one as I'm writing this while my brain is still recovering from this particular twelve hour shift.

It's mostly to do with the weekend. Hospitals tend not to discharge many patients on the weekend as a lot of the 'non-essential' roles tend to keep office hours and aren't available during the weekend. Assessments for going home aren't done and there is often only one doctor team on call for for each of the specialities. Therefore one team is unlikely to discharge another team's patient.

So, over the weekend the patient's stack up in the wards and the nurses there are so busy trying to discharge them they are too busy to accept new patients from A&E.

This means A&E trolley waits go up which spills over into us ambulance staff waiting for a trolley to put our patient on, which means that ambulances can do less jobs in a shift.

From our end of things, we have three main types of patients, those who couldn't see a GP over the weekend and are now so ill they have to go to hospital, the patients that are finally seen by the GP who then sends them into hospital and the people who don't want to go to work or school or who didn't want to waste their weekend, but now they are off work, don't mind wasting that time.

So, Mondays are terrible and the sheer number of people going to the hospital tends to leak over into Tuesday.

We did do something unusual yesterday – we went to a little old lady who'd fallen out of bed, as she wasn't seriously hurt and didn't want to go to hospital we put her in her wheelchair and told her to call us if anything changed.

Seven hours later, to the minute we were back at her place because she'd fallen out of her wheelchair. This time she agreed to go to hospital as she'd skinned her arm.

What was quite sweet was that she was worried that we'd moan at her for calling us back. As I tell many of our patients, 'I'd rather be picking you up off the floor of this nice warm, clean and dry house than wrestling with some drunk by the side of the road in the rain”.

And I'm serious about that.

7 thoughts on “I Don’t Like Mondays”

  1. Your absolutely spot on Tom…Mondays can be the busiest day/night of the week. I go to a lot of people who have struggled to make it over the weekend because they were 'going out' or had 'an appointment' somewhere!Most of these are just ignorant and see the NHS as a necessary evil that gets in the way of their 'busy' and hectic 'social' lives! The vast majority of these people are suffering from self inflicted woes…either excessive drinking or drug taking.

    Then there are the really sick and poorly. The ones who are really at deaths door but hang on to attend what will be possibly their last meeting with family at a christening or wedding. I can sympathise with these ones.

    Its the ones who seem to be able to go out and party to excess and then come Monday they lose the ability to 'walk'!!! And then they do it all over again the next weekend!

  2. I have to say, this a prolem with the health system in this 24/7 society, weekends.I am not one to call an ambulance unless medically advised to do so, unless something major happened god forbid i knew was a threat to my life but, I've had some health problems recently that has needed emergency gp visits and emergency dental visits, it needs to be improved.If gp's were open 7 days a week, dentists too it would spread the load and not get people with the 'monday morning' sickness, I know people have a right to time off work, but surely it can be spread over 7 days?I know nurses, paramedics etc all work like this so why is the system still flawed in this aspect?

  3. “What was quite sweet was that she was worried that we'd moan at her for calling us back. As I tell many of our patients, 'I'd rather be picking you up off the floor of this nice warm, clean and dry house than wrestling with some drunk by the side of the road in the rain”.And I'm serious about that. “

    Amen brother, amen.

    While for me, Mondays always sucked for many of the same reasons you so nicely illustrated, there was also the fact that at my hospital Monday was the day for the payroll dept. to fuck up my bi-weekly time sheet, and then invariably blame it on me. I often wondered if the people who worked there would have been better off trying to use Braille, as it seemed they had problems interpreting the simplest of things just by reading it.

  4. We call it 'Medical Monday'. We start a tally of how many GP urgent calls we are sent to during the day and compare scores at the end of the day!! We also include any NHS24 calls which has had symptoms beginning over the weekend as these are essentially (9 times out of 10) the same thing!

  5. I see another aspect to this – Home Care gets a lot of Friday discharges of people who are not well enough to go home and who often don't have the equipment to look after them in place at their home. We always feel there is a pressure to empty beds before the weekend. The result? You lot are in the hot seat again when they cannot manage at home and have to be readmitted. You lose either way :o)

  6. Once upon a time there were seven days, and of course at the end of the sixth day one was pooped so he it be deemed that that you could rest on a pew or stand around and prayer while the ladies looked on or …So the 6 day work week was instituted ,

    that was fine you could claim a rest day by taking a Holy day there be a hundred or so.

    That created a problem not enough widgets were be made, so the 60 hour work was instituded, or six 10 hour days be nice, but some groups saw an opportunity to sell bead and cheese on the day of rest as every one wanted to rest at the same time except those that be giving homilies, then work be reduced to 56 hrs so people could do their archery or kick a ball around.

    Then shop keepers still not have customers so they reduce hours to 48, that did not help, still had to make the same number of widgets, so reduce the hours to 40, still could get thy bread and cheese as the baker would close up as thee came wearily home,

    Then one of the powers to be realised that money could be made by keeping the stores open late. But the Day of rest still stayed the same, the Saturday afternoon stayed but reasons to have have the day of rest on a Sunday was to allow folks to sit in a pew, but now very few go pew sitting anymore, so the day of rest could be any day, and thy favourite occupation of vegetating can be on any day, too.

    Habits of Two millenniums die hard.

    Personally I like my days off when all others be watching for the whip, but now I have 7 days to pew it but I do not, I just exercise my keyboard. And I have always dislike Holy days as live stock never take a day of rest, And Molly would put her foot in that part of the anatomy if I failed to relieve her of bounty, and of course my knees would give me hell too.

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