Friday, 25 April 2008

My bust blood vessle

How I have manged to keep my head from exploding over the last few days is both beyond me and a testament to my self control. I have been told that my start date for the ward of Hospital B is to be the 1st May. I am not sure if I am going to work Thursday, Friday and Saturday but I really am not fussed-it is nice to think that the start time for me is actually less then 6 days. I am not sure what I am to wear though as only my tunic has arrived (I think the patients would not be pleased if I turned up wearing only a tunic and boxer shorts- though that may raise a laugh).

Anyway, I should be glad to be here, as my mate and I were nearly killed in the ambulance the other morning (more of that later). I was out on Tuesday with my mate and his girlfriend to take a St John Ambulance (Renault) down to the county HQ to pick up a Land Rover based ambulance. The Land Rover is the only one which has a tow bar fitted for towing First Aid posts. Once we picked the Landie up, we went back to the main HQ of my area (the original County HQ before two counties merged in 1999). There, we saw the first aid post. I thought that the FAP we were to use was an old caravan. The one we had was in fact an ex-mobile office. To say it was a mess is an understatement. We could write in the dirt inside the cupboards in the clinical area, and the fridge in the staff part had black mould inside it. Most of the response bags were full of out of date bandages and dressings. In one there was only a triangular bandage, a bottle of mineral water and a trauma dressing. What use would THAT be in an emergency I wonder? It took the three of us 5 hours to clean and re-stock it.

On Wednesday, me and my mate took the Land Rover, with the FAP on the back and had to take it on a 50 odd mile trip to the event where it was being used. Wednesday was the set up day. We were going along without too much problem, when about 3 miles away from the destination a lorry (the class 2 HGV type) pulled out across the road right in front of us on a corner. If my mate had not had the time to straighten the wheel up and do an emergency brake, that would have been one heck of a crash (the FAP on the back tends to want to flip the Land rover over. Imagine the post flipping up and over on a busy road in rush hour and falling on top of cars...). Anyway, we got to the location still alive and set up the post. The day was quiet and there was only one person who I saw (minor injury). While I seeing to that, my mate and another first aider who had met us at the event treated another person.

Yesterday, I was there. I started off in the firsts aid post and we had only just started when me and a fellow member who took induction together had two patients. One was sent back to event while the other I advised to seek the attention of their GP or practice nurse to follow up treatment. It was while with the second one that I got very annoyed with an ambulance service EMT who was working the event with St John who kept butting in and interuppting wanting to know how long we would be. I asked if there was another patient, though it seems there was none. They seemed to think good patient care can be delt with in a dismissive manner. Arse.

Thats about the highlights. The end to an arsey week was me arguing the toss with my divisional superintendat about me wearing a Fob watch. The hospital and the latest research suggests that wrist watches should not be worn. This is the opposide of SJA policy. Gun to your head, where DO you sit on the debate?


northern nurse said...

I don't think there's any research on this bare below the elbows thing actually. Word on the street seems to be that it's a gimmick.

Thinking about it logically though, you would expect a wrist watch to get pretty manky - very close to your hands (and you know where they can end up!), and when you wash it you can't wash underneath without taking it off, which blatantly nobody is going to do.

On the other hand, to look at a fob watch you have to lift it up in your hand, so I think that's just as likely to get covered in germs. I have had mine thwack a couple of patients on the head whilst leaning over them too.

No idea what the solution is to this one, but I don't think heavy handedness from either camp is particularly helpful!

friendlyrn said...

I've seen stethoscopes with small watches on the top side....Try the internet.

Staff Nurse M said...

@ Northern Nurse. Its true with the directives which I think send only a tenuous link to make a case for either camp. The whole OOT approach realy then seems to come out when you end up with two organisations and both are opposing the other. I also think it exposed the funsamental flaw that no two schools of thourght can agree on the use of what watch to wear.

@ friendlyrn: I have not heard of these stethoscopes before but that sounds like something I will follow up.