Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Not a hump day that I ever want to repeat

Today can only be described as the day from HELL.!

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Now I as you probably know by now have been nursing for more years than I can remember, I know about stress and I know just how busy and ill-equipped vet practices can be. But wow today just took the prize for the most unnecessarily stressful day yet.

So I started my shift, early as usual and stupidly put the kettle on thinking I'll set the scene for how the day may pan out....I never got to make that cuppa. For no sooner had I clicked it on the other nurse came through and said 'I've had the area manager on the phone and they may need you to go somewhere else, we've got a potential emergency in consult currently, another one on its way and oh I've got to disappear for college in 30 mins,,,,! Well, shit me joy!

And that's just how the day started and carried on from there! I'll be a bit careful here how much I say, but let's just say the place is ill-managed at the best of times and ill-equipped to boot. They have constant staffing issues and generally problematic clients. I realise this blog post is now turning into a dear diary vent/rant but hey, perhaps it's good for the general population to realise that it's not all cuddling puppies. Anyways I digress. My next blood boil moment was when the area manager phoned to speak to me, whilst I'm trying to hold an animal, comfort a meltdowning vet and answer 10 other ringing phone lines. Needless to say this phone call didn't end well, to hell were they going to pull a nurse from this practice to bulk up another (where is the sense of pulling from one to then make that one in the same boat), it ended in a very uncomfortable NO you can't have a nurse I'm sorry and to put it bluntly I am sick of having to constantly sort out your staffing issues on a daily basis when I don't even work for your company.

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Whilst I can't go into the finer details, the two emergencies were in fact admitted and needed a nurse each sat with them either delivering oxygen or administering meds or calculating dosages. I regularly feel that management at a certain level just don't understand what happens in clinics, what can go wrong on a daily basis and how you can't cover for every eventuality. Even the managers that have in the past been vets or nurses seem to forget so quickly, it's a shame.

Anyways my day from hell was topped off by an abusive client. I was speaking to him on the phone about a problem he had to register a microchip to a new owner of one of his puppies (yes he was a breeder) when I couldn't help with his query as it was now up to him to change over the details with the company in question he became increasingly agitated, started shouting at me and telling me how we'd done a very bad thing and he was going to call the police on us. This culminated in him swearing at me once to which I warned him that I'd have to hang up if he continued to be verbally abusive.... to me then hanging up when he was!

I mean you couldn't script this day really. I know I've touched on this before in other posts, but sometimes it's good to show what we have to go through on luckily rare occasions. Today I had a vet in tears because she felt unable to help clients that couldn't afford emergency treatments, area managers expecting waaaay too much, clients shouting at me, and a poor trainee thinking what on earth have a I let myself in for! I for one totally get why our profession has such a high suicide rate, it's sometimes emotionally and physically draining. Our hands are tied with regards to payments and costs and yet clients are too quick to take out their frustrations on us :(

In other news, one emergency went home feeling heaps better and unfortunately one had to be put to sleep - not a great end to an already difficult day :(

It's great that the profession & RCVS are now moving with the times and offering support for people and some mindfulness - check out the links below if you're struggling or just need someone to talk to.

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0303 040 2551 or confidential email via Vet Life.
Talking to others can help lighten the load. That’s where Vet Helpline comes in. It’s available 24/7 to listen and offer a safe, non-judgemental space for you to explore your options. It’s for VNs and students, too. All calls are confidential, and callers are referred on for specialist advice where appropriate.

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