English: Poster showing a nurse, with her arms outstretched, standing before a large red cross; in background a Red Cross hospital ship, ambulance and field hospital. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In over forty years apart from my Atrial Fibrillation I have never spent any other time in a hospital, so it was all very new and a very interesting stay and even though I was feeling ill, I managed to make notes of all my observations.
I was in a ward called urology investigation suite and it turns out that Hastings does not have this department, so the one I was in the DGH in Eastbourne was covering a huge area and extremely over stretched and full to bursting at the seams and with all that they were completely understaffed. Even though the staff were all full of compassion and as far as they were able, managed to keep on top of the extremely gruelling program of this blood bath department.
The amount of blood tests and blood passing was ongoing to nearly all patients. So the staff were worked off there feet day and night. The eclectic mix of staff was amazing from just about everywhere in the world, from Uganda, South Africa and many other eastern Countries and not forgetting Great Britain. They were all so diverse and and enjoyed their work and were marvellous people.
In my ward in the corner for a short stay was a Russian girl who pretended not to speak English, this enabled her to have her husband with her a good deal of the time as an interpreter, she had two sons, one six and one four who she spoke English to. She cut herself off from the rest of the ward keeping her curtains closed the entire time she was able, as though we all had some virus.
We had a young girl opposite her full of life and eager to get back to work, a nurse, what a comparison bless her.
The lady who brought round the food started off being very offish, austere and may I say it downright rude, after a couple of days as she was coming into the ward she started ranting on about a small chair that had been by my bed as my only means of reaching it had been essential, but did not belong in the ward. Anyway the upshot of it was I asked her ‘was she head of the union’? to which she went into one and everyone in the ward including the nurses started to laugh. From then on she was a very pleasant member of staff and became almost friends and looked after me very well. I think she got worried I would write an article about her, as someone told her I was a writer. However it worked.
Then there was an Auxiliary nurse who never stopped talking and took her ages to do one job sometimes, but her heart was in the right place and you needed to be slightly mad to work in that place. While I was down having my stent put into the kidney, I was in so much pain even with all the pain relief, the poor nurse holding my hand must have had my nails digging in so far. But bless her she never flinched just held my hand for as long as I needed to. I cannot stress enough how the nursing staff give so much care and individual attention.
Just before I was to leave a little lady was put into the bed next to me and was a very independent lady who was not on any drips, so was able somehow to take herself off to the toilet. When she got back she said to one of the nurses ‘I am so sorry for the blood on my sheet’. The nurse looked at her and laughed ‘Blood! What blood’. This put her at ease and I showed her the buzzer and told her not to go on her own yet. She had only just come from surgery.
When it was time for me to leave, I was ushered out into the waiting room, so that they could clean the bed and around and then use it for another patient waiting to come in, who was also in the waiting room. Typical conveyor belt operation. That was how busy it was and there must have been at least eight wards along the corridor and side rooms.
So there you have it a small insight into the workings of the NHS at its best and worst. Bless them all and Thank you.