What are my nursing pet peeves?

Day 25 of the nurse blogger / NHS Horizons – 30 day blogger challenge.

You’d think, with my positivity there’s not much that can get to me, and you’d be right! Haha. But I am human, I do have my pet peeves and I do have days where I come home and have a rant about life to my partner. I’m not a robot.

  • Student nurses saying ‘I’m not here to be a healthcare assistant (HCA)’

 

Excuse me?! The people you will learn from the most will be the HCAs. I understand that we are there to learn the ‘nursey things’ but a nurse ALSO does some of the same duties as a HCA does. Nurses roll their sleeves up and get stuck in. HCAs also go around doing the care rounds, filling out paper work etc too! A must for any nurse.

I also understand that sometimes student nurses can feel ‘used’ as an extra member when it’s busy and feel a little bit pushed aside and that will effect their learning. But instead of complaining, taking to social media or having a go at other people…. TALK to your mentor. Explain in a professional and polite way that you’d like to spend more time with them as you can learn a lot from them. Or if there’s a particular thing you really want to do, see or be involved in – ask. Because that’s also why we are here; to learn and get our competencies signed off to be able to become a registered nurse.

I’m mainly aiming at something I over heard during my first year placements, another first year student saying this. This particular person had come straight from another profession into this one, so that person needed to go around with the HCA more than ever (in my opinion). This individual needed to know the routine of a ward, how to effectively care for a patient, how to do the real care side of nursing and the HCAs are absolute pros at doing this (no offence to nurses here). Anyway, small pet peeve there haha. Embrace your placement!

Slide sheets!!

As I have worked as a HCA myself, I have witnessed people over the years not using slide sheets, and I have heard from my nursing friends how awful some professionals can be at this. ‘But it’s easier to just pull them up the bed with a sheet?’ NO!! No and no. It’s not. Firstly, patient safety! You will cause friction and a patient WILL end up with a pressure sore or four, resulting in harm to the patient and more work for you! It will also cause you harm; manual handling teaches us to protect our own backs.

You can always tell the patients who have had poor manual handling because their bed sheet is half way up their bed and their ankles on the mattress… that’s not ok. Get a slide sheet. We were taught a way to use the slide sheet which doesn’t even involve rolling a patient (another excuse to get rid of here). If done correctly it will just slide down the patient – head to toe. Done. 5 seconds to save you all that bother.

I know in some emergency circumstances you can’t use a slide sheet. Because a patients life is literally at risk and you don’t have time to grab one. This is the only exception (in my opinion) that you don’t have to use a slide sheet. As the patient could die by the time you reached for a slide sheet.

Abuse

I HAVE and WILL report anyone I see that abuses a patient or staff. Luckily as a student nurse I’ve never witnessed such a thing. Everyone has been absolutely fantastic! But sadly, as a HCA in a couple of care homes that I have worked in, I have seen it. I won’t go into the details for confidentiality reasons. But on both occasions, I reported it. The first time I did this, it encouraged other HCAs to come forward and report this person (This person had been abusing patients for a lot longer than I thought!). People didn’t report this person as they feared them. Due to me speaking out, this encouraged others to do so. Luckily this person was fired, never to abuse another patient again.

I know sometimes it’s scary to speak up but it’s important! Don’t allow anyone to be abused by any member of staff. It’s not right.

The amount of food wasted

Wherever I have worked, over my years, I have seen so much food being wasted! During meal times, whatever has been left over, gets chucked in the bin?! Staff aren’t allowed to have any food, it’s always been the trust / managers policy. But why not? Why can’t staff have a meal if there’s enough food left? Or why can’t it be taken around to a homeless shelter and shared out? Why are wasting so much food across the U.K.? Absolutely baffles me. If you have the answer please let me know 🙂 Actually maybe I need to ask questions? Maybe this is something we can set up / arrange to happen? Gather all left overs and send them out? Wouldn’t that be lovely? In my head everything always sounds so easy to do haha! I’m sure there’s a lot more that needs to be done and assessed before doing these things. But I’d love to hear thoughts or if your place does this already? Let me know.

And that’s about it I think…. I’m quite a laid back and easy going person so most things don’t get to me luckily.

What are your pet peeves?

About

34 years old and finally achieving my dream of becoming a nurse.

11 Comments

  • Nurse Fred October 18, 2018 at 7:53 pm Reply

    I really, really, really wish the part about the HCA could be a lesson in every nursing program!

    • DiaryOfTheStudentNurse October 18, 2018 at 7:57 pm Reply

      Yes!! It really should be! Agree there. Do they call them HCAs over there too? 🙂 or do you have a nice name for them?

      • Nurse Fred October 18, 2018 at 8:01 pm Reply

        In one hospital we called them care partners, in another they were patient care techs. They typically have a medical assisting or certified nursing assistant license

        • DiaryOfTheStudentNurse October 18, 2018 at 8:05 pm Reply

          Ooooh I love that! It sounds much nicer than health care assistant I think 😀
          Some trusts here call them nursing assistants too. That’s officially my title when I do my extra shifts in the sexual health clinic. But we do bloods there as an assistant where as you can’t do that on the hospital wards here. Not even as a nursing student! They are quite tough haha. You have separate training once you qualify for it. Which seems silly to me! Train them all up 😀

          • Nurse Fred October 18, 2018 at 8:13 pm

            It’s kind of like that over here too. What you are allowed to do depends on where you work

          • DiaryOfTheStudentNurse October 18, 2018 at 8:15 pm

            You’d think everywhere would be on the same page haha! It’s nice to see a variety of things tho and what other people do and don’t do 🙂

          • Nurse Fred October 18, 2018 at 8:27 pm

            Being on the same page makes too much sense!

  • mentalhealthnurseabby July 25, 2018 at 5:55 pm Reply

    I so agree with students moaning about being a HCA, what frustrates me most is when a student doesn’t achually discuss it with the mentor, how is your mentor suppose to best support you if you don’t talk to them?! In my trust any leftover food that’s gonna be thrown away staff are allowed to have. Sometimes there’s none, sometimes there’s loads! It saves wastage and it’s nice for us haha!

    • DiaryOfTheStudentNurse July 25, 2018 at 5:58 pm Reply

      It’s true isn’t it haha. That’s my peeve. No one talks to their mentors, they take to social media instead and it’s so unprofessional. One student said this in front of a HCA once!! Let’s just say… it went down like a lead balloon! 🙈
      Do they?!! That’s so good of them! It’s always been a strict rule for some reason, where ever I have worked. Some places, at the weekend when the managers aren’t around, give the staff the left overs 🙈 it really makes such a difference to staff moral! 🙂 xx

      • mentalhealthnurseabby July 25, 2018 at 6:01 pm Reply

        I know it’s ridiculous! I had one placement where I was missing out on doing alot of meds rounds, at my half way review I chatted to my mentor about it and she was amazing, from then on she made sure I was doing at least one meds round a day! The problem was sorted 🤷 I think maybe because it’s MH wards and we have a kitchen on each ward it’s a little easier. It’s really nice though, especially when there’s some dessert left over haha! Xx

        • DiaryOfTheStudentNurse July 25, 2018 at 6:34 pm Reply

          That’s so lovely of your mentor 🙂 if they don’t know, how can they solve it. Great that you spoke to her about it all though! Go you!
          Awwww I’d love free desert haha. That’s so nice! 😊xx

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