Blimey. Back again.
Today I have The Fear. This is because rather than being on an early shift at work (I love earlies despite having to get up at 5 in the morning and starting at 7am) I am on a late, which today starts at 1pm. Why does this give The Fear, you may ask? Well there are a number of reasons:
1) Being moved. This is something none of us likes very much, being shifted from your own ward in the hospital to cover a shortage in another. Usually you get moved to a ward which does similar work (ie: elderly care) but sometimes you can be put on a ward which is entirely different, where they do things in a completely different way. It is, I suppose, a fear of being out of your depth. I thought that after 5 years I would have got over this but I actually feel it worse than ever because the fear combines with FRUSTRATION that even now that I am experienced I feel stupid. It doesn’t help that people in those other wards think their way to do things is how it’s done everywhere. I sincerely hope we don’t make people who get moved to us from time to time as idiotic as other people can make me feel.
My reaction to this is to want to cry. Even at my age. Or be sick. This is EXACTLY how I used to feel as a child and discovering that I’ve never grown out of that is a bit of a shock.
2) Difficult patients. Generally patients with dementia are, in my experience, much more settled in the mornings. In the afternoons, however, due to the stimulation of lots of staff, lots of visitors, etc, some patients become very, very unsettled and in some cases can become very aggressive, even violent. Of course I deal with it, and never have to do so alone, but I would rather avoid it if I could. It can be distressing and dangerous for everyone.
3) Difficult visitors. This reminds me of my years working in retail. Many people’s expecations are WAY beyond the realms of reality and, boy, do they not like hearing the truth. In the hospital patients’ relatives sometimes believe that the ill person will be “cured” within days and get angry when they can’t be told a definite date for their discharge. They won’t accept that their relative can be aggressive because they never behave like that during visiting time – do they think we’re making it up? “My Dad came in with £200 in loose change but we can’t find it!” Why the fuck did he have that with him? Did he or someone in the family sign the disclaimer? They did. Tough shit, then. Why hasn’t my Dad had a shave? Because he tried to bite me, that’s why. And on it goes.
Makes it sound awful doesn’t it? In reality, probably I will have a lovely afternoon working with people I like and patients and visitors will behave like angels. I just don’t like uncertainty.