I Hate Night Shifts…!!!!!!!!!

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Our vehicle data terminal exploding due to over use…!

Nearly finished my last set of four nights! Less than half an hour to go!

I am creased! I am knackered beyond belief! I am exhausted! I am twitching!

12 jobs in one shift! So far! On a night shift on a Thursday!

What is wrong with everybody? Has control been ringing people up to ask them if they want an ambulance because I,m on duty?

When I first started on A/E many moons ago, if you did three jobs on a night shift then you was said to have been busy. Now it is getting ridiculous! 

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My Sanctury Soon…..

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18 Responses to I Hate Night Shifts…!!!!!!!!!

  1. ecparamedic says:

    Twelve jobs?

    Easy life!

    SD ;-)

  2. Iain MacBain says:

    Quiet shifts are the exception now – saturation piont.

    The public demand.

  3. Kingmagic says:

    Demand is outstripping resources more and more.

    We need to educate the public/GPs/hospital wards etc.

    Either that or have a two tier service….one for emergencies only and the other a private ambulance service for routines/urgents/out-patients/after treatment-discharges/discharges etc.

    All calls involving alcohol where it is a major contributing factor to the patients condition should be charged for at £80 each time!

  4. traineeparamedic says:

    I cant say im looking forward to night shifts. Not through actually working through the night, just figuring out how not to fall asleep! Plus my station has comfy leather chairs that im sure will be lethal at 4am!

  5. Millietant says:

    Hi, Kingmagic,
    Appreciate that supply is not meeting demands for yourselves and that somethings got to give but regarding your above comment, i’m interested to know why you suggest non-emergencies should be covered by a “private ambulance service”

  6. Kingmagic says:

    In our service we developed PCS, STS crews. Patient Care Service and Special Transport Service respectively)

    They were trained to give O2 and use advisory defibs and manage I.V. s in situ. They would be used to transport the GPs urgents and generally non-emergency details.

    Initially this was fine as it left us to concentrate on the 999 calls. Now there is a blurring at the edges and we find ourselves (the A/E crews) still doing the transfers and urgents etc and the PCS/STS crews doing the caz’s (as ORCON is the thing that matters the most not patient care).

    I mentioned “private ambulance services” as they are contracted to a defined role where as we are contracted to do anything and everything plus any future roles that the powers above can think of!

    I would love it for our service to be run on a more common sense and rational footing. Our PTS crews (out-patients and non-emergency day crews) are the bed-rock of our service in that this is where we as ambulance peeps learn our communication skills and social interaction. It is also where we learn to talk the hind legs off a donkey!

    I just find it frustrating that the service pays out a lot of money to consultants to tell us the bleedin’ obvious, and then comes up with different tiers for different roles and still tasks out jobs the same as before.

  7. Emmbee says:

    Ha ha. Beat you. 16 jobs on 6.30 nights wednesday. Completely lost the will to live by the end of it though. On the plus side we managed to break three ambulances in two shifts.
    Hope the rest of them quieten down a bit for you

  8. Julia Pitts says:

    Have not done nights for over a year now, but after 20 years service , think I have earned a rest. It all went pear shaped after getting chest pains that really made me think my knicker elastic had snapped. After having extreme difficulty sleeping during the day, coming to work absolutely slaughtered, and finding it hard to keep my hands off the throat of the moron who calls you at 3 am with a problem they have had for a week, but they think A&E won`t be busy at that time. Still deal with same dross but I am in a better frame of mind during the day.

  9. Kingmagic says:

    I envy you Julia.

    As I get older I,m realising that I,m getting more tired more easily more otyen and I,m starting to really struggle on nights!

    But the service does not give a toss about my welfare or the patients just so long as there are “bums on seats” and Orcon is hit!!!

  10. Do you think NHS Direct (ammend as you wish) has something to do with the night time onslaught? That and the fact as it is so bloody impossible to get a DR’s appointment, so that say a child that has been ‘bit off ‘during the day sudenly seems to its over anxious/ sleep deprived parents so much worse at about 3am; cue panic in parents, ring NHS direct then say child can’t breath (well it’s nose is snotty)
    and there you are, draged from your little ‘cat nap’ to a non crisis

    I can offer no excuse/ reason/ theory for the rubbish calls though.
    I would soooo not nice to know, if I worked night,;sweet dreams you shift workers.

  11. Kingmagic says:

    NHS Direct get a lot of bad press, but we don,t hear about the good points. They do alleviate a lot of unnecessary calls from us…its the ones we get and turn out to be pathetic jobs that winds us all up!

    We live in a “now” society where people want sorting out right now and cant or wont wait! NHS Direct has contributed to this by creating a demand where prior to their formation there was,nt.

    All there was before was the MOP wanting to see a G.P. But because it was nigh on impossible to arrange an appointment to see a GP within the next fortnight people looked elsewhere…999 most of the time.

    Add to the cooking pot the possibility of NHS Direct getting it wrong over the phone and being sued hence the “erring on the side of caution.”

    What we really need is a national education programme to teach members of the public how to look after themselves or what is an appropriate reason for dialling 999 etc.

    Failing all that we should be issued with “bolt guns” to put the persistant, regulars out of their misery by a quick shot to the back of the neck!

    I hasten to add that regulars who are genuinely ill ie. chronic asthmatics etc are ok.

  12. Stonehead says:

    I feel for the lads and lasses in the Scottish Ambulance Service up our way. They do a 10-hour day, then go on call for 14 hours (taking the ambulance home with them). Then another 10-hour day, then 14 hours on call. They do that for four days, then three days off.

    I’m amazed any of them can function at all by day four – especially if their rota includes Friday and Saturday night, with numerous small villages and towns to cover.

    As for educating the public, how are you going to define need and what exactly does looking after yourself entail?

    I wouldn’t be surprised if I find myself in the back of an ambulance at some point due to osteomyelitis, endocarditis, cavernous sinus thrombosis or similar, but I’ve been looking after myself for months.

    I have a dental abscess and have had for two years. I’ve been to the NHS dentist numerous times and, after 14 months, finally managed to get booked in for root canal treamtnet. But the dentist stopped halfway through, said it was beyond her skills and equipment, and told me to go private. I can’t afford to, so I’m went on the referral list for the waiting list at the hospital dental clinic.

    I’ve had no further treatment for seven months. The dental surgery says it’s no longer their problem, the dental clinic says I have to wait, and my GP (or rather GPs as I’ve seen two different ones) says it’s a dental problem. I have pain every day, blinding headacher a couple of times a week, stiff neck, diarrohea, and other symptoms but no one wants to do anything.

    I restrict my use of painkillers to once or twice a week (to get some sleep), rinse regularly with mouthwashes and saline, and have drained the abscess twice (using sterile veterinary equipment).

    The NHS Dental Advice Line says it’s not their problem, NHS Direct tells me to see a dentist or GP (I have, umpteen bloody times), and our MSP is not interested.

    So, I continue to look after myself and hope that I’ll eventually move from the referral list to the six-week waiting list at the dental clinic – or that the Other Half will be here to call an ambulance when I keel over.

  13. Kingmagic says:

    Education can be either through the press or TV.

    Unfortunately the recent British Heart Foundation campaign showing the huge billboard posters of a man with a tight belt round his chest has increased our callouts even more for alleged “chest pains”.

    Dont get me wrong…that campaign will have saved someones life so it has worked, but the knock on effect has ben the over erring on the side of caution.

    We have two distinct types of people in our country….the first are the older generation who “dont want to bother us” until its too late and the younger “I want seeing to now” generation because that is what they are led to believe.

    We live in a very impatient society who wants everything done like yesterday.

    With your dental problem I would hound the GPs, Primary Care Trusts and the Dental services and threaten to go to the press. Yours is a genuine medical/dental problem which is having a serious impact on your daily life.

    Hope you get it sorted soon….All the best KM

  14. Stonehead says:

    The press? Ha! The story is far too common to be news.

    I know of at least a dozen cases where people are genuinely suffering and can’t get treatment up this way. We had a few friends over to dinner recently, and one knew exactly which dentist I was talking about as he’d had the same experience. Another person at the table had taken their child to the dental clinic for emergency treatment (broken teeth) on a Saturday and been turned away because they’re registered with a dentist and emergency treatment is for visitors to the area or people who aren’t registered. Or the farmer with vibration white finger who saw the same GP as me and was told, “what else do you expect with your age and job”.

    My point is that on the one hand, time and money is wasted on numpties who are drunk, drugged, lazy or stupid, while on the other hand people with genuine illnesses and injuries are ignored.

    Two years back, our youngest boy was crawling around on the floor when a firedoor dropped off its hinges and crushed his hand (dodgy builders, of course). The out-of-hours GP service had no GP on duty, NHS 24 said call an ambulance, and the control room we were put through to said we were not a priority.

    I applied dressings to his open wounds, splinted his hand with a wooden spoon and crepe bandages, then used a triangular bandage to put his arm in a sling with the hand elevated.

    The Other Half then sat with him in the back of the car, while I did the 70-minute drive to A&E, stopping every 15 minutes to check the circulation in his hand. Once in A&E we had to wait while numerous drunken football fans were attended to (match day in Aberdeen) but once we got through the mayhem treatment was excellent.

    Anyway, apologies for ranting. It just annoys me a tad!

    From your blog, I’m sure you know the feeling. :D

  15. Kingmagic says:

    Dont apologise for ranting…thats what blogs are for…sometimes.

    If you have had this abcess for two years what meds are you taking? The reason I ask is that after a while the pain killers will be not as effective and there could be probs with stomach bleeds if you dont eat before taking them.

    You also need anti-biotics as you are probably aware that you are at risk of developing osteomylitis.

    Its one of those things where it might be best to go private….which is wrong in principle as you will probably see the dentist you are on the waiting list for!

    From your posts I can see why you have to be more self reliant in neck of the woods!

  16. Bloody hell stonehead,
    If you can’t access the dental care you need, what hope the less able and articulate, there will locally be a host of others with the same if not worse.
    A letter to your PCT or MP, or see if the vet can fix it.

    Must Fly, Kevin McCloud is down in the woods with a Grand Design. :)

  17. Stonehead says:

    UHDD – are you following me or am I following you?

    And I was watching Grand Designs, too.

    As for going to the vet, I use veterinary instruments to treat myself – and I’d probably be more likely to get antibiotics from the vet than the GP or dentist.

    Anyway, I’ve hijacked Kingmagic’s thread more than enough…

  18. Stonehead; may I refer you to my blog roll! I was ‘ere first: LOL
    Sorry KM, we will clear off now.
    (btw, nice house in the woods, oh and what a little poppet of a baby, all that and Kevin McCloud ;)

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