Process or People?
This is yet another of my short posts another snapshot of my life as I see it.
I recently spent a couple of days in hospital for physical health issues and one thing I saw upset me. One woman with dementia was in my bay, small, head bent, talked quietly to herself, lost in her world I guessed someone’s mother, wife, aunt, friend she may even have worked as a nurse?
One thing I noticed during my stay was the processes that took place on the ward, regimented like clockwork lights on, beds made, breakfast, medication, wash, cup of tea, lunch…. and so on, another thing I noticed were many lovely kind nurses doctors porters and other staff really working hard.
What I saw were the people seemingly getting in the way of the process, if you wanted to do something different because you felt ill then the process couldn’t deal with that. I saw staff stretched, off ill, there was no time, little time for people only process.
What made me sad was the woman I spoke of with dementia, they got her out of bed at 8am and she struggled, slapped them but they dressed her as she complained said ‘no’ and was left to sit in her chair. A banana left uneaten a cold beaker of tea, head bent and I asked her if she wanted tea and she said ‘no’ so I left went back to my bed. I noticed her bed looked really well made though !!
I wondered if the staff had instead asked do you want to get up? How are you feeling today? Does it hurt when we dress you? Not assumed she couldn’t answer, not forced someone who was ill to get out of bed at 8am to sit in her chair ….They didn’t force me… Maybe someone can answer me I’m not a professional. Or is there just no time left to talk?
I just ask myself as I work in mental health ‘am I here for the process or the people?’ For me I know the answer. Or is it due to the huge cuts within the NHS that there is less time to spend with people and it’s all about the process? It would seem the NHS sometimes forgets staff and patients but it looks good in glossy leaflets …