3. Get your facts straight, Jeremy Hunt


  4. I got mugged last night

    and the only part of the whole ordeal that could remotely be considered a silver lining was that, when I was taken to the A&E of the hospital that I work at, I was seen by triage, xray and Max Facs within an hour. Perks! I also have new sympathy for patients who have stitches (took three to the face, ouch) and realised even more the importance of a good bedside manner - the conversation I had with the Max Facs dr that went like this being the example:

    Dr - “So where did this attack happen?”

    Me - In …………………., where my boyfriend lives.

    Dr - “Oh, but that’s such a safe area!” (firstly, it’s not, anyway; secondly, don’t say that to someone who’s just been mugged and beaten)

    Me - Er.. I beg to differ.

    Followed by this gem:

    Dr - “Ok, so your stitches are in place. There will be a scar but in a few years when you start to get wrinkles it won’t be noticeable.”


    Anyway, luckily I’m alright but very shaken and have a face like the elephant man from where I was punched about 7 or 8 times. More than anything I’m now just very scared. Scared about leaving my flat when it’s dark, scared to own anything valuable that I might need to carry around with me (my week-old iphone, gone forever :( ) and scared for my friends who might find themselves in a similar situation. 

    It’s horrible to think there are people out there who would carry out such a violent attack on someone just for the possible rewards their handbag might bring. I know I was actually lucky to get away with bruises and nothing more but I shouldn’t have to feel that I’m “lucky” because of that.  The worst part of the whole thing was that, where I was attacked and screaming the place down, there were two flats right next to me that I know are both occupied, and no one even opened the door to see what was going on. What the fuck, society? 

    From this experience I will take the following: 

    - Stuff is not that important. Although I am so, SO horrendously gutted about my iphone, if I’d dropped my damn handbag earlier I might have escaped without a single punch. If you have to carry valuables, split them up on your person so if someone does steal your bag, they don’t get everything. My ipod and headphones in my pocket are luckily still mine. My bank cards and other valuables are replaceable. My face will now always be scarred.

    - Even if you’ve been there a million times, it’s always safer to have someone meet you as soon as possible if you have to travel alone at night. 

    - Make sure your insurance covers what you need it to. I’m gonna have to pay about another £300 to replace my phone. Insurance is boring but worth it.

    - Ice really does help with swelling.


  5. A Challenge

    Working in an environment in which most of my patients have some form of dementia or cognitive impairment has been one of the most challenging things I’ve ever had to do. It’s been something of a baptism of fire considering it’s my first job as a newly qualified nurse - I’ve been scratched, slapped, punched, verbally abused, had my patience pushed to the limits and had to try and maintain a calm and polite exterior throughout, as well as juggling all the other tasks required of a nurse on a busy medical ward. 

    What’s been bothering me lately is that the stress and strain seems to have been taking its toll on me, and the enthusiasm I always had to get up and go, to really do the absolute best for each one of my patients, has been waning. It’s difficult to put on a happy face every day when the therapeutic relationship I always try to build with my patients can’t be maintained because of the degenerative cognitive illnesses that many of them have. When some patients can’t remember who you are or what you’re trying to do for them, and why, through no fault of their own, it can be really frustrating and demoralising. It’s tempting to feel like putting in that extra effort is pointless, as it won’t make a difference in the long run.

    But that, I think, is the opportunity I have to decide whether I want to be a nurse who gets by on the basics, or goes the extra mile. It’s my chance to really prove to myself what nursing means to me, reinforce why I chose nursing as a career in the first place, and reestablishing certain principles I hold not just as a nurse but as a human being. If anything, patients with degenerative cognitive illnesses need that extra effort more than other patients - aggression is usually due to feeling scared, and not knowing where you are and why you’re there must be terrifying for so many patients with dementia. That’s when that extra bit of patience and warmth is really needed.

    I’m not going to pretend that I will come away from this experience with entirely fond memories or a wholly rose-tinted nostalgia for the “learning and growth opportunities” I gained over my first six months as a real nurse. I won’t. It’s been really, really hard and there have been a few times when I’ve had to call my mother for sympathy THE MOMENT I got home. If it hadn’t been for the support of my loved ones and colleagues (some of whom are now also loved ones), who have managed to help me see the funny side of getting slapped in the face by a 4’7” 89-year-old, I may have imploded a few months ago. However, I now also know that whichever department I find myself in next, I will be ready for it. Bring it on.

    And, sorry for the long post, here’s a picture of a horse:

    Horse, wat r u doin. U r drunk

    Horse, wat r u doin, u r drunk. 

  7. I’m currently wearing a big dressing on my arm because one of my patients scratched the bejesus out of me. Blood and er’thing. So… that happened. 

    First shift back after Christmas. 

    NOT a good day.


  8. Second night shift

    of the four I have to do this week before I can go home for Christmas is tonight. After tonight I have two days (/nights?) off before I start the second two and then I’ll get to go home and relaaaaaaaaaaaaax! Yesssssss. Many lettersssssssssss.

    I did find out that I’m also working nights on new years’ eve, which will be interesting. Kinda sucky, but, whatever, out of the two I’d definitely rather do that than work Christmas.

    My main tips for working nights are as follows:

    - Don’t spend the whole night drinking coffee/energy drinks because you think you need them in order to to last the whole night. You will feel awful after about your fourth one, and probably won’t be able to get any sleep when you get home. Drink water instead, and maybe draw the line after one coffee.

    - Take snacks with you, there is nothing worse than 1am grumbles. My stomach has disturbed a sleeping patient before. No joke.

    - Use any free time you have during the night to do useful things around the ward that usually bother you if they’re not done during your daytime shifts - tidy up, organise the drug trolley, clear out your patients’ bedside notes of extra paper, etc. You’ll keep busy so stay more alert and the day staff will love you.



  10. parkerla02 said: Hey im a 2nd year student nurse it is hard. Just wondering what you wrote your dissertation on? I think im going to freak out when i have go do mine! Congrats on passing btw :-) xx

    Hey, thank you for your message and the congratulations! I wrote my dissertation on how nursing is presented as a career choice and why school students are/are not choosing it. I was really terrified before I started writing it, but once you choose a topic you’re interested in it’s actually quite fun.. at least I thought it was, anyway, not sure everyone would agree with me! Good luck with yours and the rest of your course :)