|WINWICK HOSPITAL WARRINGTON|
EDITORIAL COMMENTThis week our pages contain a contribution from a student nurse. Such letters, giving spontaneous comment from members of a group which might be expected to prove more critical and more vociferous than most are few and far between. Whether or not this is to 'The Standard' - and the hospitals advantage is certainly a matter of opinion. However, it should go without saying that we of 'The Standard' always welcome their viewpoint - indeed can we even comment on the paucity of student nurses articles without at least making passing reference to the fact that, after 35 issues, our magazine's existence has yet to be acknowledged by the most influential professional group within the hospital?
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Social Therapy Review
Evening Entertainment on Geriatric WardsEntertainment is perhaps the correct word to use concerning the evening socials organised by our department for the Geriatric patients. The older members of our community cannot be expected to want to join in anything which entails them being actively involved, so for the majority dancing is out of the question. We wouldn't expect our grand-parents to want to be 'jigging' around every night and the same applies to our patients. Also, they do not enjoy loud or boisterous music, again I'm speaking for the majority because some of them do enjoy it but I would think that music should be kept quieter after all many of them are in bed by 8.30 p.m. and I'm sure it would be quite unresting to find music blaring through the dormitory. Of course, we have problems in competing with the T.V. I usually find it acceptable to all concerned if we leave the T.V. on for an hour and then have a little 'sing-song'. Visitors from other wards, on these occasions , may find a bingo session in progress or a game of cards or dominoes where those who want to may join in. To summarise I should say that geriatric patients need to be entertained in the evenings and not have to join in anything too energetic. This week we received communication enquiring about staff, net-ball fixtures for the season '72. We have decided to try to organise fixtures and are now short of one thing only - a TEAM. Anyone who is interested please cone down to the gym and be counted. Your team needs YOU!
ON NIGHT DUTYI went on to night duty because I had taken my Intermediate exam and I was told that night duty was the next step in my training. Whilst training may benefit, social lives are destroyed or, frozen into a limbo period of twelve weeks. You have to go to work when other people are going out. You have to stay awake when it is natural to sleep. You have to sleep when other people are awake. Bodily functions are upset. Eating cooked meals at 1.00 a.m. doesn't do your stomach any good if you haven't made it a regular practice to eat a meal at that time. Constipation occurs easily. After coming off duty at 7.00 a.m. I found that no matter how much sleep I managed during the day, there came a time the next night when time seemed to stand still, and my eyes felt like closing. Those who have never worked at night can't realise what it is like when 7 O'Clock arrives and the day staff don't arrive till late. Working on nights gave me the opportunity to see the hospital as a whole and what really does happen at night. So often if anything happens on a ward during the day time which can't easily be explained the night-staff are blamed. This is hardly a constructive attitude to adopt because they are not there to defend themselves. There is a great lack of continuity between what happens at night and what happens during the day, and the "buck" is always passed from one to another. At night time as well as during the day there seems to be an acute shortage of staff and I'm glad that I escaped the introduction of the new shift system. The lack of staff on occasions means that some wards are left unattended for long periods. It also means that women are left in charge of a male ward with a heavy work load. Some of these women may have never worked on a male ward before. Sometimes there is such a great staff shortage that women have to be left on their own on male wards. They can only call the patrol or roundsmen by using the emergency bell. Sometimes there are only a few roundsmen so that help to a ward is not immediately forthcoming. Two disturbed wards are left under the supervision of one nurse. The senior staff on nights seen to take more of an interest in their staff than is taken on days. The Unit Officers visit the wards nightly and occasionally the Night Superintendent comes around, so that staff can be seen on the wards as well as at the frequent meetings. People in training are usually readily accepted and the majority of permanent night staff are helpful to us - even though some of us in training try to encroach upon their nightly preserve. Training is helped in the form of lectures given by a night charge nurse. These lectures, although they may not be included in the G.N.C. syllabus, are useful as encouragement after the training school has (or seems to have) disowned you for three months. Slowly you adapt to the profound changes in your daily (or nightly) environment, only to find that your period has ended and that you can return once more to your normality. You then find that it's hard to return to sleeping at night and seeing the hospital working by day. I don't think that you will long for another period on night-duty. I won't.
W A N T E DFully-furnished flat/bed sitter for couple who are about to be married. Any area convenient for hospital, e.g. Warrington, Newton-le-Willows. Contact B. Nugent at the Nurses Home or Male 3 Up.
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W A N T E DA text-book of surgical nursing.
Contact M. Owen
Designed to keep the senior ward staff in touch with current teaching methods, the scheme has been in operation for several years now.
The charge nurse selected to join the present school is Mr. G. Moon.
Whilst on the subject of in-service training we hear that the course of lectures for nursing assistants given by Sister Hankey has now been completed.
State-enrolled nurses are the next group to receive post-graduate instruction, and the course of lectures begins next week.