Thoughts and opinion from the wards
As I was preparing to start another block of on call days a friend who was staying over commented on my attire for the shift. This wasn't to do with the choice of sensible black trousers (don't show blood to badly) with large belt loops (for hooking things to) and choice of blouse allowing me to be "bare below the elbows", but rather what she referred to as me "tooling up".
As I donned my plain black belt, and then in turn attached the stretchy ID badge clip, the nurses fob watch, and my own bleep, before loading my pockets with pens & pen torches and lastly slinging my ward bag (containing iPad, tourniquet, more pens, hand cream and snack money) and stethoscope around my neck. She likened this process to the montage scenes you see in action movies where the hero straps on their weapon belts and shoulder holsters before going out to meet their nemesis for the final showdown.
I could claim that I am the hero heading out to beat the nemesis that is disease with my weapons of knowledge and my tools of the trade, but the true answer is far less exciting and more practical. When I'm on call, particularly when I'm on nights, I'm covering large areas of the hospital, and while on my own ward I know where to look for a BNF or a tourniquet, when I'm out and about my belt and bag are my office. I know without hassle I can reach for the items I'm likely to need to see me through the first stage of assessment and management of the sick patients.
But do I truly need all these, of is it more of a comfort blanket for myself than a genuine need? well until hospitals role out productive hospital, rather than the nurse led concept of productive ward, then I will continue to save time and "tool up" as usual before I set out for my on-call.
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