Saturday, 9 November 2013

The Bad Reflection

We have just had the most horrendous Refection ever!
It begun because we'd been told today that yet another new rule had been put in place that the staff we are allocated each shift (the one who writes your notes at the end of their shift) are the only ones we're allowed to speak to. There was uproar. The thing was that one of the Nurses said that we're always complaining that there are no regular staff on some shifts and there's no one we can speak to. I pointed out that telling us we can only speak to one member of staff will not make us speak to them! And it doesn't detract from the fact they need to hire more regular staff. Some of the girls pointed out that for most of us, it's a massive step just to go to someone and say "I'm struggling, I need a 1:1." I said that it looked like yet another rule where we haven't had our opinion considered, they tell us, we all get upset and angry and in the end they realise it won't work and all of that was for nothing. They made everyone struggle unnecessarily.
The Charge Nurse who'd came into the meeting then pointed out that they have some staff finishing their shift burnt out because they'd had to have so many 1:1s with patients. One of the girls pointed out that this meant they were thinking of staff and not us. And I added that if one member of staff in a shift was the only one being asked for 1:1s then maybe they should look into what that person is doing right and the rest are doing wrong. I checked if there would be some lee-way so that if we have a valid reason why we can't speak to the allocated person then we can speak with who we would prefer to. The Charge Nurse responded with "well if you're coming to us every day and saying 'I can't speak to him or her' all the time maybe there's something wrong with you." I think we were all a bit stunned into silence then! One of the girls said that of course there is something wrong; that's the point!

And then the Nurse added that staff are calling in sick because of us, basically. I said she'd made me feel like such a shit person and that now I was going to be worrying about talking to someone in case it was too much for them, upsetting or stressful. Everything got pretty heated and three girls were in tears towards the end of it. So I said "to the staff, remember that at 8pm when you're all going home to your freedom and the ability to do what you like, remember that we're all still here. Still crying."
I decided to go and speak to the Nurse afterwards and I told her that the whole learning thing from my overdose a few weeks ago was staff trying to make me realise that they're here for me and that I should talk to them when I'm having the thoughts and making plans to self-harm. And that had started to happen but now I was worried it would go back to the way it was. Somehow, it seemed to become a competition with her trying to prove her life was worse in some way... She was saying I had no idea how hard it was for them to do a 12hr shift and realise at the end of it that they haven't made a difference to anyone and they haven't made anyone smile and then they have to go home and they have a house to keep and family to see and a car to run! And I got the usual "how do you know what I've been through?" lecture when you tell staff they haven't got a clue. This time though, I had a reply. "How do I know you haven't had happen what I did? Because you're sitting on that side of the table, and you're smiling." The chat all become a bit detrimental and I decided to end it seeing as I have an important appointment tomorrow and I didn't want my mood totally affected for it.
A little later though, I went back and spoke to her. I said I wouldn't take back what I said because I still stood by it but I'd apologise for one of my sarcastic comments and I told her that I do still respect her and I didn't want the whole thing to go into tomorrow. She made me fist bump her.