Tuesday, 8 November 2016

My frustration about generalisation!

Sometimes other peoples negativity can be quite inspiring and I really do find myself thinking up lots of ideas for posts by reading peoples negative comments on my twitter feed or on social media or the news in general. The moment I saw a negative comment putting everyone and everything in the NHS in a bad light, I knew I needed to write a blog post to reflect upon this, and tell you all about how this really is not the case. 

The comment I actually saw was to the effect of 'everything and everyone within the NHS is so slow'. Seems like quite a trivial comment to be bothered about, but for someone who works within the NHS and have done for over 2 years, a generalising comment like this is not really something I take lightly. I can completely understand people having their own opinions of one experience, a particular aspect of the healthcare system, a particular member of staff, a particular place - but saying that everyone and everything involved in the NHS is slow and near enough useless is just wrong, and so so false. 

The NHS, Nurses, Doctors and other members of this association are always highly scrutinised, there is always bad press from somewhere, and usually yes - the reason for the bad press in that instance is because SOMEONE, SOMEWHERE has done something wrong. Of course there are people out there who do bad things, make mistakes and this should be talked about - but not in the sense that it generalises everyone else in the NHS as being exactly the same. It takes one bad nurse to do something wrong, be in the media and then everyone is being watched, talked about and tarred with the same brush. I think its wrong in that sense. There are so many good things which nurses, doctors, hospital trusts and other medical professionals do as a whole which are SO GOOD, and these things go unspoken about! We should be praising the good, as well as recognising the minority of people who do the wrong thing (not tarring everyone with the same brush and assuming we are all the same too). 

I really do love my job, but sometimes it is so so frustrating reading and hearing people saying such negative things about my profession, as well as the NHS in general. I would consider myself (without blowing my own trumpet) to be a pretty damn good nurse and some of the things I have to deal with on a day to day basis in my job, some people would NEVER be able to cope with. Its so tiring sometimes having to sit and really defend my job and the NHS, what I have seen of the NHS so far, in the total of 5 years I have been a part of it, is nothing but pretty damn good. I have worked within 3 hospital trusts in the UK, as a student I worked in many different settings based within the community and also hospital setting, and then had 2 jobs from qualifying within completely different inner hospital settings also. Every team I have had the pleasure of being a part of has worked solidly, to the best of their abilities and we have done a pretty good job in the process. I may have just been lucky in this sense, and yes I am sure out there there will be a few bad eggs in amongst it all - but all I am saying is, I want to seriously crush this association thing with EVERYONE AND EVERYTHING IN THE NHS BEING THE SAME. We are not! 

I genuinely do not believe that there is anything wrong with voicing your opinion if you have had a bad experience with a place or a person, but voice it about that specific thing - not about everyone. I feel like the negative energy towards the NHS adds extra pressure on us within it who really are trying to just do our jobs to the best of our abilities, make people better and go to work knowing that we have done the best we possibly can. There is a constant worry about what is actually going to happen to the NHS, loads of political stuff going on at the moment which is so unfortunate but rather complicated, and stigmas of 'bad nurses' or 'bad doctors' or whatever which we are forever trying to prove ourselves because of. Its all just extra unnecessary pressure, and sometimes I just wonder WHY people on social media make the generalising comments that they do when they are just thinking about a small minority when they are writing it? 

The thing is with the NHS, as well as everything, is that there is a knock on effect causing it be 'slow' in areas. People complain about the waiting times in A&E, which is understandable because they are are REALLY long, but they are only this way because people sometimes unnecessarily come in to A&E with issues and problems that could be dealt with via going to a GP or ringing 111. 9/10 the reason that the waiting time within this environment is slow is not because of the staff or the system. YES its super rubbish when you have hurt yourself, feeling unwell or are with a loved one who is hurt or unwell, and you have to wait several hours to be seen, but either the reason for this is because of it being extremely busy or because of an emergency coming in via ambulance or air ambulance which is requiring all hands on deck and so therefore everything gets extremely back logged. I understand the severity of situations like this, because usually if the patient is very sick, requires a lot of medical interventions and their condition is deteriorating or resulting in them needing multi organ support, we in Intensive Care usually receive them shortly after and then have to take over there care. And trust me, these people cannot wait at the back of a 3 hours queue to be seen! 

I guess what I really want to see happen from this post, is for all of you who are reading to just think for one second about generalising everyone within the NHS as being the same, we are not - other than the fact we are all a part of this really quite important thing which we really need to keep healthcare within the UK ticking over. I am not saying excuse any experiences you have had, you should voice them and do what you need to do in that sense but just please consider what you say about the rest of us, who go to work every day, do LONG shifts, care for really really sick people and do it for a pretty poor amount of money really! I care about my job, and the NHS. I am really passionate about both which is why I felt the need to write this post to stand up for it, and to stand up for a lack of generalisation in this sense - I think its wrong. 

I would not consider myself to be a 'slow' nurse. Holy moly, if I was 'slow' in my job, then my patients would deteriorate before my eyes. Working in Intensive care requires quick acting, quick thinking and careful organisation. Working within such a volatile environment which could involve a complete change of pace within seconds certainly does not allow for slow actions! This is why it frustrates me so much reading comments like above, because if people who are not trained in intensive care nursing, or nursing in general were in our shoes for one hour (let alone one day) then they may well think very carefully about what they say in future. 

I just find it quite sad really that people always feel the need to comment so negatively about the NHS, we are SO lucky to have such a thing. Trust me, the cost of medical care if we did not have it would be horrific. If you were admitted to hospital because of an emergency then you would have to pay for each and every single pieces of equipment that was used on you, every medication that you received, and A LOT of money to become an inpatient. I just sometimes feel as though peoples comments make them sound as though they don't care to lose the NHS - really quite thoughtless comments generalising the whole service are so wrong, we are SO lucky to have such a thing as the NHS. Yes, I can completely and totally understand peoples frustration when aspects of their care have gone wrong, and as I said above feel free to comment on that specific thing, but for a Nurse who is part of this organisation, to read it really is hurtful - I don't like the idea of people saying that I am slow and miserable, and every other comment I have ever heard being generalised about nursing.

And because I feel like I need to round this post up now, I just wanted to express my opinion of this generalisation here on my blog. My job is something I am SO PASSIONATE about, I love what I do and I love making people better, and knowing that I am caring for someone who is really relying on my skills and caring nature to actually survive (because that's what intensive care actually involves). 

At the end of the day, we all defend the things we love, so I hope that any of you reading this can appreciate why I felt the need to write about this, not only because I needed to voice my frustration, but also to see the passion I have towards the NHS and nursing! And just remember, you should never tar everyone with the same brush, in any occasion - not just this situation! 

Much Love



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