Friday, 3 April 2009

"Mandatory Training"

Every year I have to attend various 'mandatory training' courses...along with everyone else who works in the NHS.Doctors,nurses,cleaners,receptionists...everyone...

Every year I go to overheated lecture rooms,drink dishwasher coffee-that I have to pay for-,and listen to some 'retired expert' tell me how to suck eggs...

Every year I have to do fire training;infection control updates;basic life support;etiquette classes on how to scratch your testicles in a crowded room...etc etc

And its basically just so some passive-aggressive manager can demonstrate lip-service to the unrealistic demands based on imaginary events and patient demands of some faceless bureaucrat in London or Brussels.

Their motto is :"Errors have been made. Others will be blamed"

This year, the local yokels in the city council have mandated that I need to learn how to care for vulnerable adults...and I have just spent the last 4 hours being harangued by some mealy-mouthed and past-her-prime social worker ,with a poor dye job,who assured us that we were potentially letting old people and mentally disabled people die because we didn't care enough about them or for them...

Humm...when I challenged her you just know I would...she just trotted out the usual phrases that the marginally educated generally,and social workers specifically...-who have never had an original thought in their life-...hide behind...'integrated ,multi-agency care pathways predicated on end-user satisfaction'...


Heres the deal lady...if I didn't like working with people I wouldn't still be nursing!!

And if I simply practice in as safe and inclusive a manner as I can,treating my patients with respect and showing even marginal interest in their life...the same way I was trained to do so 35 years ago...then my patients will be safe.

More importantly though...what really gets me going is the arrogance...the assumption that the only way of doing anything is the English way...the NHS way...there is an implicit belief that no one else has any different or new or...heaven forbid...a better way of doing things.

Now...I don't have a Nobel Prize in Medicine...but when I worked in Children's Casualty at the Johannesburg Hospital for 4 years we had a very slick and responsive plan to child abuse..."robust" even...and whilst I can't speak for what happens now,I can say that the plan that was put together by a whole raft of people including Alan Rothberg and Pincus Catzel and that it really ...really....worked...and the principles and process is easily transferable.

More than anything else that irritated me on a long and arse-numbingly boring afternoon,was her parting shot...delivered in that simpering and yet supercilious tone that Poms of a certain age and class use when talking to their Colonial counterparts...

Well...just do the best that you can.

(Do the best that I can ?)

If I wanted to do the 'best that I could' I'd be a traffic cop...or working for the Labour Party...or picking fruit ...

"Honestly sounds like English, but I can't understand a word you're saying"

"You are however validating my inherent mistrust of strangers "

1 comment:

  1. Alternatively, if you wanted to "do the best you can", you could always leave nursing and become a social worker ... ;)

    And goodness, now you've confused me. You mean there IS another way to do things, other than "the English way ..."?? 19 years here and I missed that? Pfft, what WAS this Colonial thinking?