Favourite Books

  • The Green Mile
  • Animal Farm
  • Lord of the Flies
  • Lord of the Rings
  • To Kill a Mockingbird

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Real Medical Professionals

Well, I imagine many of you know, the brain works in the strangest ways. I wasn't to sure if I was going to continue on my medical rant, but I guess I am just not finished. I really wanted to go to sleep at a decent hour last night. Got a ton of stuff I must do, and, no excuses, short time line to do it in.
  I crawled into my bed, closed my eyes, and suddenly that one organ, with it's own mind, as well as being my mind, kicked into gear. Apparently I have been a real negative Nelly, and somehow I managed to leave out some very positive medical folks, people who have been forgotten by many, people who have been maligned in the media, in public, by their own ...Those are the folks of the B.C. Ambulance Service.
  O.K. Granted I have a pretty long history with some of these folks. My honey dedicated his time to this service for 15 years. Well, it wasn't just my honey, our whole family dedicated to the service. Our lives revolved around this, a pager was a part of our lives for the 15 years he belonged to it. I know what is behind this service in small town B.C. and when I hear complaints about the lack of Ambulance personal in tiny little town, I want to slap people, because, it is clear, they think they live somewhere the government actually cares about!!
  Folks, B.C. Ambulance attendants in places that do not matter to the government are staffed with ordinary citizens who have made the choice to give up their free time, and, now, their money, to attempt to provide  a lifesaving service in a location the Ambulance Service (therefore the government) feels is not financially beneficial to them. Those folks who show up when you make that 911 call, have likely crawled out of their beds, just like your local volunteer fire department, dressed, and jumped into their personal vehicles to rush to the station, start the ambulance, and make their way to your doorstep! They are not paid by our government to sit at the Station waiting for a call. Do you actually think that if they are placed on a schedule to cover ambulance for 4 nights of the week, they receive a pay check for those 4 nights? Nope, if they happen to get a call, they will get paid, but they will also simply get something called pager pay (this did not happen when we were involved) and perhaps speak to one of those you may know, and ask them exactly what that amounts to. Then decide if you would be willing to throw all your plans on the back burner, for the insulting fee they get to dedicate to your community.
  Anyhow, times have changed a little since we were a part of this service, and I can't speak about much, as I could possibly be wrong in some matters, I do know that they paid out of their pockets what amounts to a whole whack of cash now, to cover in small town B.C. and , the system is set up that if they really want to make the service a career, they will not stay in a little town, they will go off to where the government and the service wants them, the big cities, where they will actually get a paycheck, and sit at the station. Their Unions will support them, and your little town will sit, hoping another citizen will dish out the cash, and step up to the plate to ensure you have a chance if something horrible happens to you.
  But, onto the professionals. In the past few years, we have seen the other side of the B.C. Ambulance service, the side of the patient. It has been a pretty scary education, but, it has shown us, the compassion in the medical system is NOT dead. Each and every time we have had to get into the ambulance, we have been shown care and consideration. The attendants have answered all our questions, ensured we were comfortable, and attempted to relieve our stress. They have taken back roads that they knew where not filled with potholes to ensure my honey's back did not suffer the bumps, they informed us on what was to happen when we arrived at the hospital, they made us laugh, and continued to inquire about his comfort. They, in truth, managed to take what was a horrible situation, and make it bearable.
  These folks, are at the bottom of the system. They do not make the big bucks, they do not get the recognition, and they are not allowed to speak to the public or the media, without their big wigs giving permission. They are doing this job, because they love it. Imagine that!!! It takes a very special person to be a part of small town ambulance, a person whose biggest fear is to get a call to an accident or death of family or friends (good chance in small town). A person who will give up their plans for days off, simply because they do not want to leave their community without ambulance coverage. Yet, somehow, they are still the ones who love what they are doing, are definitely not in it for the money, and are still able to actually care about the person in their charge.
  So, maybe that is the answer, maybe the almighty dollar, and the need to push as many people as you can in and out the door, to try and get as big of a pay check as possible, is the problem? See, Ambulance attendants don't have that, they may hope they get a second call during their shifts, and then they will get a bigger cheque, but, if they have to dedicate the time needed to one patient, they are still getting paid.
  Kudos to the small town B.C. Ambulance folks. I hope and pray that there will always be someone who feels the need to provide the community I live in with this service. I also hope (but it is doubtful) that our government makes needed changes to the lack of this service in communities that desperately need it, and stop putting all the money into the huge centers, leaving those who do not have hospitals close by, holding the bag. It has been over 20 years since we were involved in the service, and it appears they are simply making it more difficult for us to have this, so be very worried, the day you need an ambulance may be the day there is no one there. It is not because those dedicated folks are not out there, it is because our system apparently has a problem with places that do not make the big bucks at year end.

Friday, 1 February 2013

Non professional 2

Hey, I suppose you have realized, this is something that I have kept bottled up for some time, and it has festered, right? You have no clue!!It is right next to the political chaos that is driving me nuts, in fact, it is a part of politics, so perhaps that is why I am so pi$$ed off.
  Now, onto the bit that I hope my nursing friends understand. I hear the stories of overworked Nurses, I understand. I think they have simply found themselves backed into a paperwork corner, under management control, that is trying desperately to save as many pennies as they can for the big year end bonus the top dogs get, and all the bloody bits and pieces all the new departments cut right off the top, before anything actually dribbles down into the care part of things. There are so many policies and procedures that must be written up (not unlike our criminal system) that the actual time that used to be given to patients, is bogged down in the time used to fill out the forms.
  If, heaven forbid, you should ever find yourself in the position a loved one has to go into the hospital for any length of time,please, do NOT let them go alone!!! If what they have is not making them totally sick, they will simply get sicker in that system. It is not only the food, it is the total lack of care they will receive. If they are bedridden, they are in trouble. Say what you will, I have seen what happens more than once. You think the lack of care my loved ones received was simply because the staff knew I was there, and did not see the need to provide for this patient, because I was taking care of them? Think again!!! There were other patients in the rooms, people I actually had to clean up urine for, and search the hallways to find a nurse for, although the buzzer was used over and over again! I had to clean the washrooms each time the other patient made his way in, after attempting to call for assistance. It wasn't the patients fault, poor person was frail, and hooked up to various tubes, but he had his pride, and wanted to use the toilet! I could not allow my loved one to walk through a mess when he struggled to the washroom.
  I am aware the Health system is in shambles, places are overflowing, and it is not the staff that is at fault, but.....It appears they have become so disillusioned with the state of the mess, they have stopped even trying! One hospital has only a few actual patients, it is now basically a long term care facility, with most beds filled with old age folks, just waiting for the end. The Nursing staff have cared for these people for months, maybe even years, they need a great deal of care, and I, for one, am all for full time care for the aged, but...not in a hospital! So, between paperwork, and caring for long term patients, what is left for the rest? Nothing!!
  One thing, I noticed that appears to have disappeared, Practical nurses. These were the folks who did the majority of the personal care, and lifted the work load of the Registered Nurses, so they could actually deal with folks who needed medical care. The RN's did not like having to clean bathrooms, or pick up the adult diapers, or run down the hall because a patient needed assistance to use the washroom, or had their IV tube kinked so it would not stop beeping. They did not like to be interrupted in the middle of their paperwork, that they likely would get sh*t from their boss, if it was not completed. Each time they handed out a pill, there was another paper to fill out.
  Besides the fact that my loved one spent 2 nights with a broken back, laying on a stretcher in the casting room, with no washroom in it, and next to the door that leads into the morgue (yes, we were asked if we wanted to wheel the stretcher out, when they had to assess the morgue for a poor soul who had passed), the worst thing was the absolute disregard for the patients needs. Now, not many of us have broken their backs, and I could go into the whole frigging scenario of how disgraceful things were in ER leading up to his being placed in the casting room, but,maybe another time. Suffice to say, he was flat on his back, and unable, and not allowed, to get up. He had to poop!! Hey, happens to be a pretty basic bodily function. The old biddy (yes she had been around the block more than me) told me, she had no clue what to do, except, put some plastic pads under him, and let him do his business. She informed me, he better get used to this. HUH? This was 2012, I assumed we had advanced a little farther than this. BTW, this never went to the point of plastic pads, we waited until the next day, and were given the green light to figure out a way to get to the modern facilities. So...If I had taken this RN's advice, I would have had an extremely upset honey, and I would certainly have been left with a nasty mess, I am sure she would not have had time to clean up!
  Now, the one and only positive note for this particular hospital was the custodial and kitchen staff. Upbeat, friendly, and compassionate. The place was spotless, during the day. These folks took pride in their work, and realized they were in a place where people were miserable, sick and often stressed. They were the ones who figured out how to get us into a more comfortable place, they were the ones who actually considered my feelings, and found a lounge chair I could lay down in, instead of a plastic seat.
   It is time to bring back pride in nursing, maybe the white caps have disappeared, perhaps it is time to put in place some type of identification, to single an RN from a custodian, or kitchen staff. Something to make it obvious what they are, and who to go to for assistance. Perhaps it is time to change their shifts, make it more humane, and cut their hours so they can actually provide care, instead of watching the clock till their shift is over, buried in paperwork.
  It is time for Nurses to become what they are suppose to be, caregivers, allow them to put into use all the education they spent years getting. I think if I were a nurse, I would probably be disillusioned as well, and we all know, I would likely be the most miserable one on the floor. But, something has to change, this is definitely a step backwards in time. Florence Nightingale must be rolling over in her grave!!