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Tuesday, February 05, 2008


I love nurses, I really do. I don't know the one in the picture or which hospital she works at, but I know that I love her all the same. They do fantastic work under lots of pressure . . . but . . . . . . . some of them are arseholes.

Now now, before you start to tie the noose, let me explain.

I spent 7 years working in the NHS, and in that time I met some truly exceptional Doctors, Nurses, and members of staff, who would go the extra mile to help someone out, but for every one like that, I reckon there's at least 3 who, much like myself, drag themselves into work and do the bare minimum needed before shuffling off home. The difference is that people don't suffer when I do it. Let me explain further.

Case 1.

In the last two weeks I've had cause to visit Stirling Royal Infirmary every single day. My father has recently been diagnosed with a yet unknown cancer and has been confined to a bed for most of that time until 3 days ago when he was allowed to go home to continue his treatment back in Falkirk.

Brrring Brrring!
Me "Hello?"

"Hello son, it's your dad. Can you run me through to the hospital to get my medicine?"

"What medicine?"

"The medicine I've to get to fix ma heid (that means 'head' in Scottish slang)."

"Why didn't they give you it when you were discharged?"

"They were busy."


"Aye son, the nurse said that they were awfy busy and didnae have time to make up my prescription. She said I could go home and just come back in for it."

It's at this point that I should point out that my elderly father doesn't drive and lives 20 miles from the Hospital.

"Aye, ok. I'll pick you up in 5 minutes.

Fast forward an hour and I've been waiting outside the hospital for 30 minutes when my dad returns minus his medicine.

"Where are your pills, Dad?"

"They can't find them."

Case 2

It's Monday morning, it's 9:15am, and I'm waiting in the que outside the Blood Donors lorry.
9:30am. The doors hiss open and we all troop inside.
9:45am. I've registered, filled out my questionnaire, and am waiting to have a sample taken.
10:00am. Sample taken.
10:10am. We're told that the vehicle has left Glasgow without any bags to put the blood in, but they were being sent by taxi. This would take an hour.
"Bugger that!" thinks I. I'll come back tomorrow, the lorry is due to be here for another day.
"I'll come back tomorrow." says I.

It's Tuesday morning, it's 9:15am, and I'm waiting in the que outside the Blood Donors lorry.
9:30am. The doors hiss open and a head appears "We're running a bit late and are still 'getting ready', come back in 30 minutes."
'Getting ready'???
For what? All that's in these trucks are a few beds, some needles, and some Tunnocks Tea Cakes!

The problem is that these women are all volunteers. It's just one big blood-sucking coffee morning to them.
"Oh aye, son, I used to go on holiday to St Andrews."
I don't give a shit. Stop making small talk, take my B negative, and let me get the hell out of here!

If only everyone who worked in the NHS really wanted to work in the NHS, what a wonderful world it would be, but until then it'll just plod along like the wounded animal that it is. Sadly.


Jaggy said...

I concur. There are some true wasters of Rab C Nesbitt proportions in the NHS. Both my Mum and misses used to work there and would come home daily with tails of lazy bastards who only just turn up a couple of times a week to make sure they get paid. And that was the managers, so all and sundry below them learn that it's "OK" to take half your working life off as a sicky and let us tax payers foot the bill.

However, like you say, there are some hard working and faithful individuals who would never think of...blah de blah...

Inchy said...

Call me sad, but I timed my blood donating experience today. From needle in to needle out took 7 minutes, yet I was in the lorry for 90 minutes. That's why there's not enough blood donors.