The Nation's Health + hospital

Some People!

"78 year old female, fall, ? Injuries"

Friday night. A & E was an absolute war zone! Nurses were near to running between patients, the resus door were repeatedly swinging open and shut as doctors ran in and out. Porters were going back and forth moving patients from minors to majors, majors to the ward, resus to ITU, and even one, I saw, off to the morgue. Down the corridor from the department was a queue of ambulance trolley beds, at its worst, 8 in total. That's 8 patients, 16+ ambulance staff and 8 ambulances that can't answer calls because there was simply no room at the inn!

Slowly, we crept towards the front of the handover queue. It was simple, if your patient could go to the waiting room, they would, if they could sit in a chair and be observed then they would. If they needed a bed, they'd have to wait. And wait a long time.

Our patient had been a prat. He was a 17 year old guy who had felt he was more than capable of jumping the gap across a large outdoor staircase. Even I could see that it was a gap that Greg Rutherford would struggle to breach! Unsurprisingly outpatient had fallen woefully short. Even his landing had been found to be wanting! He managed to break his ankle and possibly his wrist in the process. When we arrived on scene, his opening line was...

"Sorry guys, I've been a total idiot, again!"

By again, he was referring to the previous time we went to him after he fell down the stairs and dislocated his shoulder whilst trying to do something fancy with a hand rail! He was indeed an idiot! But a likeable one all the same!

Anyway, despite his injuries, he was more than suitable for a chair. We put him in a wheel chair and my crew mate wheeled him round to the waiting room. No doubt he had a 6 hour wait ahead of him! I then went to hand over to the nurse.

I was half way through explaining what happened when she had to rush off! It's one of the perils of being the Charge Nurse on a Friday night! Lying in the bed in front of me was frail old lady. Her arm was in a soft sling, her head was bandaged and she was looking sorry for herself. We shared a little smile! Then out of no where my arm was grabbed in a manor to turn me around.

"I want a word with you!"

I immediately took huge offence at my arm being grabbed, even more so when relished it was a total stranger doing so! Stood in front of me was a woman, 55ish, hair up in a 60s perm and covered in lavish jewellery. She also had the most bizarre looking drawn on eyebrows and lipstick that appeared to have been applied by a drunken toddler! Before I got a chance to even reply, she launched into one!

"How dare you?! You lot have no consideration for your patients. There was absolutely no need to bring my mum here. You could have picked her up, put her back to bed but Noooo, that wouldn't suit you now, would it? You don't think of the consequences for the family. It's MY sons wedding tomorrow, don't you think I've got better things to be doing than being sat up here because some bloody ambulance driver couldn't be bothered to do their job properly. It's a disgrace. A total abuse of your power. Disgusting."

I starred at her blankly for a few moments to see if her tirade had finished and said:

"Who's your mum?!"

"Who's my mum?! Who's my mum?!" she said, looking around for spectators to be shocked! "The woman you just dragged to hospital!" she said, pointing to the woman with head and arm injuries who only moments before I'd been smiling at!

"I didn't bring her to hospital. I've never met her before. I brought in a 17 year old with a foot injury. Is he your son?"

She starred at me realising what she'd just done, planning her next move.

"I don't care who you brought in. You're all the bloody same. You're just selfish, only thinking about yourselves. People have families you know"

The nurse returned to the desk so I turned around to continue my hand over.

"DON'T turn your back on me." she said grabbing my arm.

"Touch me again and I'll call for the police. I didn't bring your mum here, I don't know you or your mum and I'm handing over MY patient to the nurse."

She stood starring at me for a few moments until the nurse told her to go back into the cubicle. I heard her continue to slag me off as if she were addressing a crowd like Martin Luther King! Sadly for her, her mum was the audience and wasn't big on conversation or applause!

Some people!

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