Saturday, February 24, 2007

No amount of shouting and screaming will help....

Hospital staff don't take too kindly to being shouted at, threatened, whined at or physically attacked. If you have a problem then the best way is to discuss it is in a polite manner rather than kick up a furore in the waiting room upsetting genuinely sick people. Put it this way, if you're well enough to shout and punch, you can bet your bottom dollar that we won't really think you belong in the Accident and Emergency Department and you will be put to the back of the queue (Screw the waiting times).
Recently a "regular" "patient" who has been known to punch nurses and doctors turned up with a "medical problem" along with their usual drink/drugs problem. Most of us point blank refuse to see him which made it very interesting when calling for others from the waiting room to be met with a growl of "I have been waiting for hours, what about mr **** *****". Now I don't enjoy sweating with fear, nor do I like ushering the frail and injured into the department in a rushed manner but this is what we are reduced to. I refer to the big dream of medical school..."To help others when they are unwell or infirm". I don't remember promising to treat numbskulls with personality disorders brought about by drink and illicit substances, Nor did I promise to do "everything possible" for my patient including risking my own and other colleagues safety yet day in day out this is what we are subjected to. Whatever happened to the good old days where the docs and nurses were respected and idiots were sent away immediately until they learned manners. In Britain we are so scared about being labelled as prejudiced so we treat everyone "equally". The theory for this type of behaviour is great...(see modified Hippocratic Oath for more details). You don't judge your patient on any basis other than their illness at the time. However when faced with the contrast of the elderly patient who has slipped and broken a hip and is genuinely thankful for your time with the twenty-something year old who has been fighting after having one too many down the pub and broken a bone its only natural to make a distinction. I will call both patients "Sir" and arrange all the adequate tests,treatment and pain relief as needed but deep down I want the latter patient to suffer. Why? because he has brought this problem upon himself, he is wasting valuable resources that ought to be used for people who really need the help. Because he is exactly why the moral fibre of this country is wearing thin and gang culture rules. He is why the elderly are afraid to leave their homes for fear of being mugged. In short he is useless wasteful scum and most healthcare professionals would agree(although not openly). I sometimes wonder if we took a "Third World country's" view on this and left these people to learn their lesson the hard way that perhaps they might not be such a pain and make way for the real sickies. After all when we took that Hippocratic Oath thats what we were referring to....


Dr Michelle Tempest said...

Thanks for this post. You highlight a difficult problem. It is always so important that treating some patients does also include managing the risk to staff and members of the public - but I know these situations are so difficult and I find are increasing in frequency. Anyway - just wanted to add, interesting blog you have here. All the very best. Michelle

Dr No No said...

thanks for the comment...and for swinging by..nice to see the odd friendly face in here :)

if anyones interested, the bbc have written about my topic today...but in a more eloquent and properly researched way...funny that ;)#
heres the link

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