Wednesday, 26 October 2016

A Moan


This is a moan.
And not one I will apologise for.

In one hour
I will monitor oxygen saturation levels, take blood to assess arterial blood chemistry and make sure the patient's entrotracheal tube is situated appropriately.
I perform tracheal suction and note all settings on the ventilator are written down carefully..
Measurements of heart rate, rhythm, blood pressure, blood sugar, central venous pressure are monitored and infusions of insulin , noradrenaline, potassium and fluids are titrated accordingly.
There are three infusion pumps and six syringe drivers all working together.
Antibiotics have to be retrieved, checked, made up and given.
All fluids entering the patient via vein and nasogastric tube are measured carefully
Everything leaving the patient is monitored too.
Pupils are checked for a reaction with a pen torch and sedation levels assessed.
Visiting family are supported and a plan of care discussed .
The nurse looking after the man in the next bed is helped to turn her patient.
Another nurse asks me to check their drugs before they can be given.
I have not even started to look if paperwork such as the moving & handling assessments or the nutritional audit has been completed and I need to organise help to turn my patient in the next hour.
I also need to brush my patient's teeth but as yet have not had the time to do so.

All this in one hour, of an eleven and a half hour shift.

The day before Yesterday, a chirpy electrician fixed our water heater. The part he needed cost about 25 quid
His invoice for part and labour was £82. It took him an hour to drive to the wholesalers to retrieve the part, fix it and have an animated chat about his bad back.
Don't get me wrong I was grateful he came so quickly.

Winnie was in the vets literally a couple of minutes. She had a painkiller and an assessment
£40.00 quid! Again I was grateful for the input.

The electrician's labour cost ...fifty pounds for an hour's work?
The vets? .................................Thirty pounds perhaps for five minutes.
A band 5 nurse on intensive care? .........£14 an hour.
14 pounds!
Go figure

75 comments:

  1. It beggars belief, John. and I am amazed that this country has anyone working in 'the caring profession'. It certainly isn't for the rich monetary rewards.

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  2. Yadder yadder yadder...

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    1. I know, I'm skint!

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    2. I don't think that reply was meant for me.

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    3. It was....I know I'm moaning but I'm skint

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    4. To work as hard as you and still be skint is a shame.

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    5. He should ask Prof to up his housekeeping money

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  3. If only people were paid what they are truly worth.

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    1. I second that!!

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    2. I would be even more poor.

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  4. I find this totally appalling for the work nurses do. Staff at our local hospital also have to pay exorbitant parking fees. No wonder there is a shortage of nurses, I wouldn't do it for that salary but I'm very glad the likes of you do. Years ago, nursing was seen as a vocation. It bloody well has to be these days!

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  5. It's all topsy turvy! I can't get NHS dentistry as the 'work' I need doing is not available on the NHS. I just paid £40.00 for my dental consultation (half an hour)and next week £200 for a deep clean and tooth extraction. We don't have holiday's or go out. I find the vets charges to be excessive and that a lot of vets don't really care about animals at all (from my experience.) I don't blame you for moaning. Why don't you suggest to put a broomstick up your bum and sweep the floor at the same time?!!! I have never understood how some of the hardest workers receive the least pay. Shitty jobs = shit pay. And whilst I am off on a rant too - how about the vast sums of payment professional footballers get? Shocking!!!

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  6. Are you being serious? You get paid? I thought that all nurses were volunteers - like charity workers. As they say, you learn something new every day.

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  7. it sucks that pro sports figures get paid more than nurses. it also sucks that CEOs of large companies get paid more than the worker bees. bless you, john, for your caring about people.

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  8. Under valued, under paid but appreciated by every patient and family that you come into contact with. I wish there was something we commoners could do to influence the pay of our emergency and public service workers ... I really do 😡

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    1. Just feeling sorry for myself today.....

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    2. I don't blame you one little bit!!

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  9. Things a bit out of order aren't they? I could never be a nurse. My sister is a retired nurse and my grandson is pre med at KU....they are braver and smarter I might add than I...

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  10. Wouldn't we all rather have well paid, happy, well rested nurses looking after us in our times of need? It is similar here in Canada, and many of the higher paid, more "qualified" nurses are losing their jobs in favour of their lesser paid coworkers. -Jenn

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  11. On behalf of those patients, and their families, a heart-felt thank you for being you and doing what you do. Those pay statistics are truly shocking.

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  12. You are underpaid, by comparison. The USA still attracts a lot of foreign nurses, in part because of higher pay.

    I was over in our accounting department try to understand their latest email to me, and I showed them my hourly rate in a project budget - a rate that includes all overhead costs, and she remarked, I don't believe that number - it looks far too low. Without missing a beat I replied, yes because I am dreadfully underpaid.

    Thank you for being there and caring for every patient.

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  13. Yes, you are underpaid, and undervalued. I wish nurses were better paid, and more appreciated.
    I understand your moan.
    However in defence of the vet, at least, they have a lot of overheads to meet out of that fee. The cost of the surgery, with it's business rates, heating, lighting, mortgage/rent etc, the cost of any assistants/receptionists they have, the cost of the syringe, the cost of the safe disposal of that syringe, and other biohazard waste, bloody VAT and the accountant to deal with that, the list goes on. So don't begrudge them their fee. They are there if you need them, just as doctors and nurses are, it's just that there is no NHS for animals.

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  14. I was in hospital for nine months. The work they do is amazing.

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    1. I have been catching up with some of your early posts ........sobering to say the least

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    2. It's a sobering lifestyle.

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    3. I understand it is

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  15. Nurses are underpaid, that is truth.

    The other side of the story is that someone who has their own business has to charge double what they would actually like to earn as their hourly rate because nobody is taking care of their sick leave, holiday pay, insurance or retirement savings in the same way that an employer is required to do for employees.(or at least thats how it is in Australian conditions)

    you have a huge responsibility, a couple more quid / hour would be a nice display of appreciation

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    1. Good point Kylie well made. I do forget the pension and the good holidays !

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    2. Nurses never get paid enough but I think our Aussie ones get better than that ! Come on down !!

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  16. You totally deserve to feel sorry for yourself ! I feel sorry for you too. My experiences with hospitals are limited, thank goodness..having 2 babies and one of them growing up and being in a hideous vehicle crash that luck was abundant in that the occupants all lived. After a very long stay in a hospital in the mountains of a state not known for being especially rich or forward thinking in some ways.
    When I sat in an empty room and just sobbed, out of fear, worry and gratefulness .. a nurse walked in, sat down beside me and just rubbed my back. Not one word, I knew, she knew .. that was one of the times that I was sure that most nurses, of all sorts and everywhere, are angels .. They aren't like the rest of us .. Thank God.

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  17. Things are certainly out of proportion aren't they?

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  18. Same with our teachers. If there is anyone in any work force more valuable than our nurses and teachers, I don't know who it is. And do you know why the pay is so low? Because those fields are still and have historically been (at least in the US) filled by women.
    That's what I think.

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  19. Its a huge responsibility John, all doctors and nurses must go to a special place in the after life. After my crash last year and my time in hospital (nearly a year to the day), I thank my lucky stars for the ambulance paramedics, the nurses and the doctors. And for the nurses who some dont see on the night shifts who had to cope with people like me. My after care has been a little hit and miss with physio etc, but I had an MOT today with a SHO and a nurse, they made me cry because of the pain in my leg. But you know what? at least I still have it. Everyone who works for the NHS deserves bonuses, from the clerks right up to the top. God bless morphine. lol (the night nurse took the button away from me, and laughed when I asked for more and gave me a suduko book!) Is there a form of trip advisor for the NHS? Maybe they should do that and when you leave after a stay you get a unique number that you can then log in with?

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  20. Damn unfair. Our nurses are paid a lot more and don't do half (no a quarter!) of what you've just listed. xx

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  21. That is oh so bad. I gave up nursing because I could not afford to live in London. Retrained and became a specialist SEN tutor/trainer and before I retired 6 years ago I was earning £65 per hour and all I had to do (apart from knowing what I was teaching of course) was talk to a small class of disaffected youths, no fairness in that whatsoever, but I could at least afford to still live in London. No wonder there is a nursing shortage. Sue

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  22. Nurses and teachers have always been two of the most underpaid professions. They give their hearts and souls away on a daily basis.

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  23. I so appreciate what you do and you are, to me and many others, a hero. What you and other nurses do is beyond measure. I guess that after the hospital and the CEO and staff of the hospital takes their cuts of your hourly wage..this is what you are left with. I wonder what they charge the patient for your services. It is mind boggling to me that the most important people get paid the least. I am glad that you do what you do and that you are a very compassionate and thoughtful person. Thank you for helping so many in difficult situations and doing it with skill and grace. I am self employed and here, in the US, I am responsible for paying my own insurance (which is ridiculously expensive), self employment taxes, equipment and other miscellaneous things to operate. My hourly wage is probably pennies after I think about the other expenses...I try NOT to think about it. I guess the only ones that win are the ones at the top sitting in a cushy chair overlooking the rest of us worker bees.

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  24. With you all the way. As you know my son is a nurse. He has just taken his exams to qualify for an aneathetist assistant, he will receive no extra pay for this.
    Briony
    x

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  25. Good on you John for remaining in a caring profession for so long, and for all the valuable work that you continue to do, but you are worth twice that salary in my book. At the end of the day we all deserve a basic standard of living out of an honest days work, you have every right to moan!!!!!!!!!!!

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  26. It is very interesting to get more insights into the workings of the NHS, while the entire medical care situation over here in the States is very much under fire/discussion. Lots of opinions swirling around, but taking time and putting in effort to improve things seems never to quite make it to a successful result.

    My grandmother was a nurse and I know how dedicated she was, working well into her older years. She turned to nurses' training after being widowed with two young children during the Great Depression years of the last century.

    Best wishes.

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  27. and if something goes wrong you'll probably get the blame.

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  28. If it's any consolation you're on my list for 'hand-outs' when Camelot or the Health Lottery smile in my direction - but it has to be a jackpot or, at least, a hefty 'very nearly'!

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  29. There is no justice. Your work is so important (not to mention stressful - all that checking and noting!) and yet so under-valued. I think you're amazing, although that's not worth much in Pounds Sterling, but I do.

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  30. Oh John. It is a good thing you love your work. That is too much. The doctors where I live are retiring early (50-60) as medicine has changed so much in the states. My own internist told me she was only practicing about another 4 years. Isn't it amazing how much others that have no university degrees make? Nurses and teachers. There is not enough money to pay for their services.

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  31. I can't figure... Everyone deserves their fair share, but nurses (and teachers) are SO hugely undervalued. Thank you for continuing to do what you do. We couldn't live without you (literally).

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  32. I forgot to say, the dog walker charges £12 an hour here. And the dog behaviourist who helped us when we first adopted the dog is £35 an hour.

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  33. It's all been said above, John. Let me add 'good goin', from a former intensivest/pulmonologist. If I have my way I'll never end up in that bed, with an art line, a central line, a trach and catheter. I'll see myself out at home, thank you very much.

    Cheers,
    Mike

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  34. You should be paid more like a footballer…and vice versa !

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    1. Oh I totally agree to that !!! Talk about lopsided !!

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  35. That's less than nurses earn here. Even highly underpaid teachers earn twice that. I wonder what will fix it.

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  36. If I ever need all of that done to me in the space of an hour, then I hope you're the one doing it.
    JP

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  37. Absolutely shameful John, and it needs highlighting. No wonder people leave the nursing profession, or go into private nursing. When I think that patient's life is totally in your hands - and all for a pittance.

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  38. Oh John that just makes me want to spit it really does. I saw at first hand just last week the dedication and hard work. The care my husband received after his prostatectomy was second to none and everything was done with such good humour that it really touched me.
    I know appreciation doesn't pay your bills but believe me people like you are shining lights when everything seems so dark and scary-x-

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  39. Bloody Hell. It's so wrong xx

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  40. All of the caring professions are underpaid. Kylie makes a good point about the self-employed. It is our politicians and CEOs salaries and conditions I resent. Big time.

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  41. After being with my sister in ICU for six months till she died, I have nothing but the greatest respect and gratitude. I bow to you. you are worth more than double your weight in gold.

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  42. nurses in Alberta Canada
    start pay/first year 21.00 pound/hr.
    after 9 years/top pay 30.18 pounds/hr.
    first year head nurse 33.76 pounds/hr.
    Bit of a difference from yours I'd say.Still a thankless job, a lot of the time, no matter where you live!!

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    1. I'm a nurse in Alberta. A licensed practical nurse. I top out at $33.94. I do wish people would learn the difference. On general floors, the difference between an RN and an LPN is who can take Charge Nurse duties.

      PICU is the only unit that doesn't employ LPNs.

      We are fantastic value to the taxpayer and are truly under appreciated. On the general units, nursing homes, maternity units chances are you are cared for by us.

      Sorry for the rant, John but its negotiating time for the RN union here and they love to scare the public with how the only safe nurse is an RN

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  43. It's so unfair!
    I love your commitment, John; chapeau to you!
    Greetings Maria xx

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    1. I only work one shift a week! I guess if I wanted more money I would work more hours!

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  44. I am sitting in the hospital right now with my husband. Scary times make me not even care about the cost.

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  45. That's shocking. You need to move to Australia, much better wages here and we have a nurse shortage, you'd be very welcome.

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    1. To old..too many dogs
      Too many old dogs x

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    2. You are an old dog lol .... kidding !!

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  46. The job you do John is priceless...pay rates never reflect the quality of work being performed...just look at politicians salaries.

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  47. I'd give you a hug but with the comedy boobs and short arms it would just go wrong....if it make sees you feel better I worked 60 hours last week to get in my hand 100 quid due to the high expences

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    1. Yes I should shut my moaning mouth

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  48. Our nurses here in California have unionized. They now have a salary of $100K per year on average. A nurse with a master's degree can easily make $150K. Some nurses make more than a general practitioner. And we have a nursing shortage.

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  49. If I stayed in Sheffield I would be on a great deal more but I was a charge nurse there...I am only a part time " junior nurse" here in wales

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  50. Absolutely immoral, John. Sometimes I think the world is upside down. But I am thankful, indeed, that they have you to look after them.

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  51. When I was at school I wrote an essay on how Britain needed a 'Ministry of Proportions'. I still think exactly the same today!

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  52. It's just wrong. We live in an unfair, morally bankrupt and plain misguided country and unfortunately I don't know how to change that. A huge thankyou to you and all other underpaid critical support professionals who save our arses everyday of their lives.

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  53. Just not fair
    Better said
    Wrong . . .
    and I have no answers!

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  54. Just catching up here, oh John that sounds so unfair.

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  55. I'm glad you wrote this because it is shocking. I'd say you're presenting the facts rather than moaning.

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