May 29, 2022

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Health care, nursing shortage |  Cancer nurse with 25 years of experience:

Health care, nursing shortage | Cancer nurse with 25 years of experience:

This is what it looks like from inside the hospital.

last discussion Expresses the opinion of the author.


This post was originally published on the author’s Facebook profile and is reproduced with permission.

I have always felt the need to say something about what it means to work in a health care system with ever-increasing pressure from patients admitted to hospitals. As we as health professionals are assigned more and more non-patient work tasks in addition to the fact that we have an increasing number of patients to take care of.

Standing in this position takes a lot, and many of us are tired now. This post is not intended to be a critique of my workplace, but rather a critique of the healthcare system as one that needs improvement.

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It’s almost seven in the evening. For the first time since changing my three o’clock shift, I have time to take care of my patient. She had been lying in bed for four hours, unable to tell if she was in pain or even less than turning herself over in bed. My patient is over 70 years old. She had a severe heart attack and suffered from heart failure. Now the body can no longer cope.

I gave up work. Our Lady can do more for the Norwegian health services. I have stopped eating and I have stopped drinking. Our focus is now on relieving her dying illnesses. When done properly, it is a nice and dignified end to human life. But tonight there is little that is true.

My job will be as a nurse to wash beds, sick rooms and toilets

Her husband asked for help to bring her back during her shift and he had a report. This requires half an hour between each shift change that ensures a smooth transition between shifts, and is important for continuity. Plus, this report is often our only chance during the workday to sit for up to 30 minutes straight, but that’s a different story. The guy received help from his daughter, and together they handed the mother aside.

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After submitting a report and changing the shift, there is often a backlog of patients who are ready to be discharged and who are waiting to leave the ward. These patients cause us inconvenience, because they often need a bed and a room until we leave. When they leave the ward after a shift change, the cleaning crew will have gone home. They are usually finished at 3pm, so my job as a nurse is to wash beds, sick rooms, and toilets.

Pain relief only after eight hours

Today we also have two infection rooms that need to be cleaned, and it takes three hours for each room to get it ready for the next patient. My ward is a medical ward where about 100 percent of admissions are acute. This means that we must at all times be able to accept anything and anyone. Therefore, it is necessary to clean the rooms, because we never know when the hotline will call and report new patients.

My patient is dying. Sometimes she groans and makes noises. Those of us who work with this every day, understand that it hurts and is bothered by anxiety. Our doctor had already prescribed starting the pain pump long before the shift changed. Due to bed washing, patients being discharged, rooms getting infected and new patients coming in, my patient is not allowed to plug in the pain pump until 9pm. This is eight hours after the doctor prescribed the pump.

There is something fundamentally wrong with the Norwegian healthcare system when nurses are used to clean and serve food, while direct patient-oriented work must be neglected due to operational considerations. Every day I have to wash the beds, flush the toilets, order equipment and run the porter business.

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Double shift work due to the small number of people

I have three years of education and two years of further education. I am a cancer nurse with 25 years of experience as a nurse, and I refuse to accept that our hospitals cannot employ people in support functions around us who work directly with patients.

Can someone explain to me why people with a cleaning degree, who have training in detergents and methods, don’t work at a local hospital after 3pm?

Why should stressed nurses clean, fill drawers and cupboards, order paper towels, and run for clothes and bedding? The hospital is operated continuously, on Monday and Saturday, May 17th on Christmas Eve. We need cleaners at work all day, who can put us at ease so we can take care of the sick.

We are under a lot of pressure right now. People are tired, and sometimes we have a very lack of illness. In the local hospital where I work, staff are regularly required to go to double service due to a shortage of people. Imagine 14 hours or so non-stop, being responsible for people’s lives and health. In addition, we are constantly short of beds and rooms.

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When I use the hotline, I am often more concerned about whether we have room for reported patients, and whether we have enough people to care for them, than I am about the health of the patients. Solving logistical challenges sometimes outweighs any nursing assignment I might otherwise take on.

Political statements of support are meaningless

Dear health politicians.

We don’t need more pats on the back or verbal support statements like “we’re doing a great job” or “we stand with you”. We need real financial support in the Norwegian healthcare system. Funds from higher levels should be allocated to create jobs in hospitals and to hire more people; Not only nurses and doctors, but also operating staff such as cleaners, porters, bioengineers and kitchen staff.

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We need quality support functions that complement patients’ indirect needs. Briefly; We need more people. We witness every day that the need for health services is increasing. This can only be answered by enabling us to meet it financially. You do not need an MBA to understand that providing health services does not pay. No salable product comes out at the other end.

Needs strong financial support

So, the inhuman pressure that we health workers put on us, when the hospital “as a company” saves money and chooses to do so by stopping work, canceling Christmas holidays as in UNN and asking us to go to work twice. transformations. Any solution to this crisis? How long can one run a business under these conditions?

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For me, political statements of support are meaningless if they are not accompanied at the same time by important immediate action. We cannot operate in a permanent emergency. When the aging wave hits full in 5-10 years, I’ll have turned 60. I don’t think I’m at the front anymore.

To my patient, I can’t help but apologize. She is the victim of a system error.

What is wrong is the way Norwegian hospitals are run, and we need honest political will for change and strong financial support to change the hospital system. I can no longer accept that as a nurse I should be employed in cleaning, logistics and housework when patients’ lives and health are trained to take care of them.