Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Long may it last...

So...bit of a sad day today at work, a lovely lady that I've been looking after for 5 weeks on and off, had a scan yesterday for possible recurrence of pneumonia, and they found cancer just about everywhere.

She doesn't even know yet, her family is coming in tomorrow once the specialist has had time to review her scan, and they will be all told together. She has absolutely no idea, we just did her home visit recently, with a plan to discharge her soon.

I also heard a really upsetting story today at the team meeting about one of our patients and how they came to be in hospital after an overdose.

I came out of work today in overload with too much running round in my head. I was lucky that I was leaving at the same time as one of my fellow students, and was able to offload slightly with her, it always helps to debrief slightly. I've no idea how the nurses cope with this kind of upsetting news, I had to go in the toilet to cry, and was nearly in tears all afternoon. I know I won't be telling dh about any of this, it doesn't feel right to add to his load of stuff he's carrying around at the moment.

So I'm sharing on here, where I can moan and nobody is going to tell me to shut up (I hope).

When I look at the elderly people on the ward, I think about my parents, and hope that they never end up in hospital. Not that the staff on the ward are bad, in fact I've been impressed by their professionalism and efficiency. But it's so awful to be living long-term in such an impersonal place where you have to adhere to somebody else's routine and live in a clinical setting, with blue paper curtains, and people with dementia in the same bay as you, getting upset and shouting. And while the staff are efficient, they are always thinking about the next job, as they put you on a bedpan or change your sheets. They're always in a hurry, and don't have the time to spend chatting to make people feel more at home.

These may sound like small things, but the great thing about being a student is that I don't have a 'to do' list in my head, and I can find time to chat to people and get to know them, so I can treat them as individuals. The ladies I've been looking after said today that they were sorry I would be finishing on Thursday, because "You're the only one with any patience".

My Mum is 76 and my Dad is going to be 78 in January. They're both currently in pretty good health. Long may it last.

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