Friday, 30 November 2007

Critically Funny

Understanding CPR is a crucial part of the nurse's knowledge. But have you ever attempted resuscitation and found it to be side-splittingly funny?

So far, the highlight of this semester has been the practice of caring for the critically ill patient. But we were not let loose in ITU, HDU or indeed theatres to hone our skills. In fact, we were not required to go anywhere near a real person. The genius of modern technology has meant we can practice critical nursing care from the comfort of the classroom.

Enter "Danny"; an advanced piece of technological equipment designed to increase one's confidence and management ability of the critically ill patient. Gone are the days of standing over a limbless plastic dummy. Danny not only has all four limbs but also presents with radial/carotid pulses, his chest moves as he breathes, and - best of all - he speaks, therefore causing a group of third year nursing students to get the giggles. It certainly didn't help when Danny explained, "I don't feel very well. I think I've got a rash" in a Yorkshire accent!

Who knew CPR could be so entertaining?!

Monday, 12 November 2007

Semester 5 Placements

Following an interesting lecture on Perioperative Care, many of us rushed home today to see if the postman had delivered the details of our next placements. There, in my mailbox, was the brown A5 envelope from the University, the contained information mapping out the next six months of my nursing life. As I ripped open the envelope, I thought of all the places I might end up; the Burns Unit, Oncology, Theatres...

But no.

I get sent to Eye Casualty and Trauma & Orthopaedics. Six months of conjunctivitis and hip replacements.

Ok, so I'm being somewhat cynical. I would be fibbing if I said I wasn't disappointed with my placements, but I'm sure these will both be enjoyable. I don't have a great deal of interest in ophthalmology, emergency or otherwise, although as I learn more about it I'm sure I'll begin to enjoy it. T&O is one of those departments where a lot happens - RTA patients and the likes - and there are a wide range of departments I can attend for Insight Visits, but I've worked in this area before. However, I'm going to look on the bright side and not be too envious of whoever landed the Burns Unit for their placement.

So, be mindful that from January to April 2008, I shall be discussing muppets who have managed to poke themselves in the eye, and grown men falling out of trees...

Thursday, 8 November 2007

Eating my Words...

Ok, so I may have recently suggested that the NHS may not be ready for the obesity crisis threatening to hit the UK over the next 25 years. Maybe I spoke a tad too soon...

East Midlands Ambulance staff are doing us proud, thanks to some jolly expensive equipment. All hail the "bariatric ambulance"; a larger version of our well-known vehicles but fitted with greater capacity, suspension and hydraulics. Costing a whopping £100,000 each, they are equipped to carry patients weighing up to 55 stone (349kg). Four are currently in service around the East Midlands; Nottingham, Derby, Lincoln and Leicester.

While these are clearly very helpful pieces of equipment, let's hope the underlying issue of obesity continues to be fiercely tackled, rather than the effects of it being worked around.

On a completely different note, a Year 11 pupil at a school in Nottingham received an interesting birthday surprise from him parents this week. They ordered a singing telegram, but instead a stripogram dressed as a police woman turned up and performed in front of the entire class! Ooops.

Saturday, 3 November 2007


Calling all those who love the NHS! We've got a fight on our hands...

Today, the "I Love the NHS" march took place in London. Around 7000 doctors, nurses and members of the public marched their socks off to campaign against the privatisation of the service, and hats off to them. A huge chunk of the NHS has already been privatised under the Conservative and Labour governments - hospital services such as catering, laundry and maintenance are often carried out by private companies. As well as this, some of the big management positions have been filled over the years by people who have nothing to do with the NHS - the government have invited tops dogs in 'Tarmac' and 'Sainsbury's' to name a few, to manage a considerable portion of the NHS, with a considerable salary. Now the Conservatives are saying there should be more competition in health care.

Why do we need competitiveness in health care? Surely, if you're ill, you're ill. Choosing heath care is not like choosing between Sony and Panasonic, is it?! Sometimes I do wonder whether our politician's cerebral hemispheres have been misplaced...

It clearly looks like the NHS is in for a bumpy ride over the next few years, with administrators thinking they know best, private companies getting excited about how many pounds sterling they can milk out of the service, and the government thinking this is all beneficial to the UK population. Time to roll up our sleeves and get the rolling pins out!