Isn’t it strange that sometimes a compliment can make you feel really awful!…I am a person that likes to get things done, if I have got a job to do then i am going to do my utmost to get it done,, and also do it to the best of my ability…

However, life does it’s best to throw a spanner in the works whenever it can. Working with people is at best unpredictable and at worst chaotic, means that even with the best intentions in the world, things often end up going pear-shaped regardless of how hard you try.Today was one of those days….

I was working in my usual Bay looking after 6 ladies with a newly qualified nurse. Half of our patients were due to have various procedures which involved them leaving  the ward, so we wanted to try to get them washed and ready first. Breakfast was late arriving, and drugs took a while, so were slightly late in starting washing the patients. Unfortunately my colleague had got embroiled in a complicated fight between relatives of one of our patients… It was all to do with a lot of money the patient had brought into hospital with her; it involved the Police, Adult Protection, a wife-beating husband (who looked the picture of innocence sitting in his wheelchair), and conniving relatives, who all turned up at the same time. I didn’t know who was who, but had been told to limit the visitors to two at a time. Great, I didn’t know who the bad guys were!

Still as my workmate had now gone off to try to untangle this mess,I was left to get on with looking after the rest of the patients…I ended up spending a good 4 hours of my shift on my own trying to cater to everything my patient’s needed, as well as carry out other tasks that had to be done as part of my job…

I was starting to get a bit frazzled, as other relatives had turned up (It was still nowhere near visiting hours) demanding to know things like,where the bag was that Aunty Mabel had brought in, and why weren’t  they told their relative had a blood transfusion?(she hadn’t, Aunty Mabel told them she had for some reason). I did my best to answer their questions, but at the same time wanted to continue to try and wash the poor patients that were still waiting, and I was being distracted,

One of my ladies went off for her procedure in a wheelchair, and I was able to get on with helping the lady opposite to have her wash. As I appeared from behind the curtain, I was appalled to see a female patient from the next bay asleep in the freshly vacated bed opposite! I gently woke her up and escorted her back to her own bed, much to the amusement of the visitors!

I stuck my head in our handover room to get a quick swig of my cold coffee, and had a bit of a moan to some colleagues that were in there writing notes. However, as soon as I returned to my bay, I breezed in cheerfully and carried out with my duties. That set the tone for the rest of the shift really, getting further and further behind,and feeling frustrated because of it, Just before I finished, I had to carry out an unpleasant procedure on the patient with the relatives and the ‘Aunty Mabel.’The daughter had gone but her granddaughter waited outside whilst I did it. I explained to the patient what I was going to do and made her comfortable, and it went off without a hitch. As I came out from behind the curtain, her granddaughter said to me, ” you are such a cheerful person, I really wish all nurses were like you” …

I felt absolutely awful. I had been moaning to all and sundry every chance I got, because I had been left on my own so much, and was still washing patients after lunch, not to mention behind on all my other jobs, yet this relative had praised me for being so chirpy! Although I would never dream of being miserable in front of the patients, (they have got enough to worry about as it is) I did have a face like a smacked arse (a Miss Hap special) the rest of the time! I felt a right hypocrite!!