Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Revisiting The Battlefield: The Blog-Rape of Nurse Ratchet

War is hell, folks. It leaves people scarred and traumatised, and all too often the lessons are ignored. Fortunately for a select few of us, we are already so mentally unbalanced (from, say, studying in a hypercompetitive results-obsessed university) that we are immune to the psychological attrition of war. Which is how I lived to revisit the battleground that is Nurse Ratchet's blog.

Having summarised the event in the previous post, i revisited the comments section on the offending post to see how far the battle raged, and found myself in the midst of a few tail-end skirmishes. Seeing as how both sides lambasted each other with pretty thoroughly, I tried sifting through the debris to see if there were any deeper issues that had been drowned out by the whistle of nurse-thrown grenades and the explosion of doctor-lobbed shells.

The first casualty I found was, surprise surprise, the patient. Yes, a few brave patients had wandered out into the midst of the carnage and attempted to restore some perspective, but were mostly ignored:

As a mere patient (who remembers when the NHS worked and when hospitals were clean) reading this sober and professional exchange of views I note that the low percentage of intelligent, informed and helpful comment, compared to that of the functional illiteracy, condescension, snobbery, sexism, aggression, arrogance and plain stupidity shown, accurately equates with the number of compentent medical prac (or should I follow the quackers and write "pack..."?)titioners I've come across.

What I will say is that the medical profession (and the higher up the greasy pole you climb the worse it gets) has revealed itself to be nothing more than a bunch of vain preening peacocks. If you don't have a medical degree, then you're obviously thick as shit and beneath contempt.

Unfortunatly the sheer arrogance of the medical profession knows no bounds. I mean these guys bleat on upon Quacktitioners and don't actually do anything about it. Why don't they lobby parliment or do something? What is wrong with them? Answer: they are full of shit!!!

I'm just a humble 'comsumer' of NHS services. In other words, a patient due to have an operation this week. How reassuring to see the health care professionals at each others throat in this way.

Unfortunately, not all patients are as immune to craziness as I am, and this notable casualty was so stricken by the horror that she was converted. Literally:
crivvens I am never going to be seen by nurses or doctors again. You are all really horrible, both lots of you. I will stick to boiling up seaweed and invoking Spirits
However one patient got it spot on when he/she uncovered another common thread that seemed to run through the more rational comments:
How reassuring to see the health care professionals at each others throat in this way. Why not devote your energies against the bullying control freaks in what passes for our government.
And she wasn't the only one. Many others who called for ceasefire pointed the guns towards the REAL enemies:
Grow up, all of you.While you're slagging each other off the morons at the top of the NHS are dismantling it.

Lots of posts from doctors and nurses but none from the managers. Whilst we argue the toss here they are dismantling the NHS, rewriting the rules and dumbing down roles at the behest of their political masters.

As I've said before, we need to be uniting against the common enemy: Patsy Hewitt and her DH idiots.

Meanwhile, in her Evil Headquarters at Castle Spewitt, Leicester West:

"Bwahahahahaha! Die, pitiful worms!" *zap crackle crackle*

More and more people are coming to the realisation that the NHS is being managed by a bunch of half-witted morons. The frustration and resentment of not working in a properly managed field that has the potential to be so much more, and of having their intelligence insulted by a complete goon whose only functioning body part is probably her digestive tract, is spilling over into real life. To quote the comment left by Potentilla on the previous post, "doctors are MORE prone than other professionals to close ranks behind the actions of any of their number". The nursing profession is just the same. So as tribal and knee-jerk as our reactions may be sometimes, my opinion is that this is a reaction from professions under fire by a misled public and watching sadly as their once-great field goes up in smoke, thanks to a bunch of numbskulls.

The other point, of course, is that we have completely managed to make utter arses of ourselves in front of our patients. Just today I happened upon this article in Medical Student which gives the results of a poll on the most popular profession amongst the public. Under the bold headline "Everybody Loves Us!" it states:

The Government may have tried to blame the NHS funding crisis on doctor's wages but public support for the profession is unwavering after a recent survey named medics as the most trustworthy people in the eyes of the public.


Right. Um. I suspect that poll needs to be redone following recent events.

Who wants to be the first to e-mail them?

(thanks to Medical Student's Casualty City for the pic)


Dan said...

well, at least nurses get to wear hot, sexy uniforms.

Rosey said...

what hospitals are you in?

My uniform is a pair of ill fitting trousers that come up to my chest and a baggy tunic!

Still, I am not in it for the uniform (thankfully)

Dan said...

wow! that's pretty sad.. hmmm.. how do you work, then? sounds like you're wearing a sack.

then again, sacks are kinky...

Rosey said...

oh no, they were picked for practicality and not attractiveness!

Unfortunately, the company that supplies the trousers seems to think that all women have tiny waists and huge thighs! (well I don't anyway)

Sorry, am I ruining the illusion of sexy nurses for you?!

Spirit of 1976 said...

That thread really didn't do anything for the dignity of either medicine or nursing. Glad I'm not the only one who noticed how horrified the patients were to see doctors and nurses bickering like children.

I'm starting to feel that Nurse Practitioners seem to be becoming scapegoats for anything that goes wrong in the NHS.

That's not to say that the criticisms by Dr Crippen et al aren't valid, but just lately on medical blogs it seems that if a patient hasn't had their incontinence pad changed, it's because of nurse practitioners. If patients are becoming malnourished in hospital, it's because of nurse practitioners. If a wall collapses in a hospital, it's because a nurse practitioner leaned against it too hard (must be all the bourbons they eat on the training courses). It's never because of NHS budget deficits, bad teamworking or inadequate management support.

In all the furore, nobody seemed to have noticed the rather obvious fact that there's nothing to indicate that Nurse Ratchet is a nurse practitioner rather than a common-or-garden nurse.

Oh, and regarding nurse uniforms, why do you think I'm in mental health nursing? So I don't have to wear the shit uniform, that's why. ;)

Dr John Crippen said...

"ust lately on medical blogs it seems that if a patient hasn't had their incontinence pad changed, it's because of nurse practitioners. If patients are becoming malnourished in hospital, it's because of nurse practitioners. If a wall collapses in a hospital, it's because a nurse practitioner leaned against it too hard (must be all the bourbons they eat on the training courses). It's never because of NHS budget deficits, bad teamworking or inadequate management support."


Well, spirit of 1976, in a way it is; it is not the NPs fault, but the RCNs. And Project 2000. The honourable profession of real nursing has been devalued and abused.

It is all here:


And young Angry Medic is taking his Ghandi-esque position on the moral high ground. He will learn when he starts practising medicine. Yes, I agree the comments on the Ratchet site went OTT... actually, I haven't read them all, I sort of lost the will to live by about number 45 and then gave up.

When Angry Medic is older, and qualified and has been around the block a few times, he will see for himself what I have seen and what Dr Rant has seen.


That is why doctors are so angry


Anonymous said...

What's with you and nurses? LOL


Spirit of 1976 said...


I agree with you that the Project 2000 system was inadequate and over-academic. However, it should be pointed out that most nurses agree with that too, and nurse education has now been reformed under the Fitness for Practice review.

I'm currently in my third year of a nursing degree under the reformed syllabus. Students started going out on placements early - just eight weeks after starting the degree - and work on a rotation basis of 8 weeks lectures, 6 weeks placement. This continues until the final module, which is 2 weeks lectures followed by a 12 week placement to ease the student into being a practicing nurse.

All my assignments that I write (with the possible exception of the dissertation) are based on my practical experiences out in the clinical area. During the 8 week lecture blocks, one day a week is devoted to clinical skills training. In my case, as a third year mental health student, the bulk of this training tends to focus on CBT skills.

The degree has also been reformed so that the NHS has a say in what goes in the syllabus, not just the universities.

So yes, I agree with you that Project 2000 was inadequate, but the next generation of nurses are being better trained than those before them.

Regarding the RCN, you seem to be attributing a power to them that they don't actually have. Not least because you claimed that they "did away with" SENs. Since the RCN are basically a trade union (and not the only one that nurses can join - they're also eligible to join Unison or Amicus) I'm not sure how they managed to do that.

It's certainly true that the RCN has been over-timid and has lacked the will to challenge politicians in the past, but this has been changing recently. Notice the flame-roasting that Patricia Hewitt received at the RCN Congress this year.

Also, you chide Angry Medic for taking a "Ghandi-esque position on the moral high ground". As far as I'm concerned, he just called it like he saw it, which was a display of appalling rudeness and unprofessionalism that demeaned the dignity of both medicine and nursing. Every single patient who commented on that thread said they were horrified. A lot of people have lost a lot of trust in both doctors and nurses as a result of that thread.

Anonymous said...

I`m an admirer of Dr. Crippen. Indeed, I have advocated elsewhere that he write a book and form a Copperfield / Chalk / Crippen alliance to save the public sector as a whole.

However, I do fear that he becomes a little too grumpy on occasion. Then he seems to forget that nurses, such as myself, who are committed to the noble art, who have no desire to trespass into medicine, who are dismayed by the RCN and who are unimpressed by P2000 are still a significant majority. Many are kindly, gentle souls who find being militant and vocal uncomfortable. As a consequence we have become something of a silent majority. We are still out here though and we can be antagonised. Doctors, therefore, need to be circumspect in what they say. They may end up losing their natural allies.

Anyway, that`s rather a long winded way of saying that there is nothing at all wrong with "Gandhi - esque morality ". In fact, I think it will serve you well. You`re on the right track Angry Medic, don`t be diverted.


Spirit of 1976 said...

On a more trivial note, the discussion of nurse uniforms earlier in this thread has sparked off a few thoughts in my head on this subject. Go here.

Anonymous said...

In favour of your ghandi-esque morality too. The world could do with more of it.


mushroomate said...

Wow... I thought that getting myself into the legal profession meant joining a pack of bloodthirsty wolves but that seems comfy compared to what you're getting yourself into. I thought that it was all about sex! Damn Grey's Anatomy...


Mother Jones RN said...

I don't wear a sexy uniform, but I'm very handy with leather restraints:-)

Sorry, I couldn't resist.

Anonymous said...

well, it depends on what you think is sexy.. in some sense, wearing a sack and only a sack can be sexy too :P

Irishdoc said...

Wow there's a lot of friction over there about nurses and MD's. Can't we all just get along

Anonymous said...

Kudos! Very informative article, keep up the good work!
This blog will be one of the many that I visit everyday.

Best of luck,

Martin said...

Good Job :)

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