Well nhs…. I’m 7 months post qualification and you have broken me.
I arrive on duty to shift (after being called in due to low staffing levels) to there being 2 of us on the main A&E floor. There’s meant to be six nurses in this area. Treatments are piled up, chest pain, sepsis, confusion, intoxication, the list goes on.
I took over 7 cubicles, each of them needed all of the initial assessments, 3 needed morphine, all needed a new set of observations. Finally compiled my priorities to get on with my septic patient and the alarm bell goes. Cardiac arrest, our priorities suddenly shift. As we all click into action like a well oiled machine, others end up waiting even longer. Corridor is full of queuing ambulances and we’ve nowhere to put them.
Phone is ringing out as there is nobody to answer it. After almost an hour of trying we didn’t get our patient back…..RIP. We have just enough time to call relatives in and the red phone goes, severe asthma and young.
Rush into resus to prep what we anticipate to need, patient arrives looking dreadful and observations confirmed it. Then another arrest. Again, we click into action. This is what we’ve trained so hard for… right? We get patient back, although barely. Now we need ITU, anaesthetics etc. Of course all of this takes time.
Our already huge workload was piling up every minute, I have not had a spare Split second today, none of us have. How can it be that 13hrs is not enough time?
I’ve trained so hard for this, really hard, we all have. How can it be that now I’m
Finally where I want to be, I cry with exhaustion and overwhelming stress with every shift. I do not want to feel like this anymore.
It’s the people that keep me going. Our fantastic team who work like Trojan horses day in day out. And our patients, who mostly are having the very worst day of their lives. In amongst all the chaos, I can see how much they need me. So I keep going. Like we all do. My worry is how long I can keep this up.
What’s even sadder, is that I’ve had to work extra agency shifts to be able to afford a 4 day UK caravan holiday for my family. Nothing posh or fancy, just time away for the holidays. What was leftover from my wages wasn’t enough to cover it.
The NHS is on its knees, and we are too xx”