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!!