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The Medical Profession

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
Forgetting the economics of the NHS for now, I was just wondering what your views on those that actually work for the health service.

Have you got any horror stories, or are you generally pleased with the care you receive?

This has the potential to be a really dull/really interesting thread, but I am genuinely interested in what public perception is of doctors, nurses...managers.

Tenuous link <IMG SRC="biggrin.gif" border="0" ALT="icon">

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think they do an excellent job. No complaints here.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by Kentish:
    <STRONG>I am genuinely interested in what public perception is of doctors, nurses...managers.</STRONG>

    Careful now <IMG SRC="biggrin.gif" border="0" ALT="icon">

    <STRONG>
    I was just wondering what your views on those that actually work for the health service.
    </STRONG>

    I'll hold my comments until I've read others. An insiders view, so to speak...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    My mum was in (an NHS) hospital twice recently for operations and on one occasion a mistake was made but this is only natural.

    She did have to wait a very long time for her operation and I just hope that the new money can help reduce this situation......
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Since I havn't heard any complaints about your health service in britain, it really sounds ace.

    I have endless stories about the danish health service... So enjoy it!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Since doing my 1st ever bit of work experience a year ago I can safely say that the Docs and Nurses I saw, do bloody hard work, its not a glamourous profession (although it carries a bit of sex appeal *winks at Kentish* <IMG SRC="wink.gif" border="0" ALT="icon"> ), its not like ER or Holby City, there have been some major cock ups, and their are a lot of people around who should have never been allowed into Med School/Nursing College, but for the ones who put in hard work, they are the people who deserve to get their own weight in gold! <IMG SRC="smile.gif" border="0" ALT="icon">
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think they do the best possible job with what they are given.

    Not sure about the managers though..They all seem like a bit of a dodgy lot <IMG SRC="wink.gif" border="0" ALT="icon">

    I have no doubt that the high end bosses are complete cocks. They will be doing things for political reasons rather than health related reasons...Thats just me assuming of course <IMG SRC="biggrin.gif" border="0" ALT="icon">
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    As i currently work for the NHS i have to echo the above comments, alot of people work very hard <IMG SRC="smile.gif" border="0" ALT="icon"> Not only doctors and nurses, but things like research teams, medical records staff, pathologists, porters and cleaners <IMG SRC="smile.gif" border="0" ALT="icon">
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    From what I saw, the doctors and nurses are being 'stretched' in the NHS, there are just too many patients and resources are not enough. I think the first thing of what they need is more staff.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by Jacqueline the Ripper:
    <STRONG>I have endless stories about the danish health service</STRONG>
    Please do tell. It's always good to put the NHS into perspective...
    Originally posted by Baldy:
    <STRONG>I have no doubt that the high end bosses are complete cocks. They will be doing things for political reasons rather than health related reasons...Thats just me assuming of course
    </STRONG>
    Possibly, but at the end of the day they take a lot of flak, not only from their staff but the politicians too. It's their head on the block, and the turnaround of Trust CE's shows just how ruthless we have become with hitting targets.
    Having said that, there are plenty of bureaucrats in the health service who have no idea how a hospital actually runs. (Present company excepted <IMG SRC="wink.gif" border="0" ALT="icon">)
    Originally posted by go_away:
    <STRONG>(although it carries a bit of sex appeal *winks at Kentish* <IMG SRC="wink.gif" border="0" ALT="icon">)
    </STRONG>
    The doctor will see you now... <IMG SRC="wink.gif" border="0" ALT="icon"> <IMG SRC="biggrin.gif" border="0" ALT="icon">


    So no real complaints at all? No-one has been swayed by the tabloid stories of bungled operations? The Shipman case hasn't shaken anyone's confidence in doctors?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Warning: This is a <STRONG>seriously</STRONG> LONG post...

    So, where to start? Well first off I should point out that these are personal opinions and should not be treated as fact. As most of you know I am a manager in the NHS (thanks for the vote of confidence Balddog <IMG SRC="wink.gif" border="0" ALT="icon"> ) and I am currently a Modernisation Manager. Basically this means that when the PM/Alan Miburn get up and tell you that things are improving, it is becuase of the work driven by people like me. That said, change can only happen if everyone wants it to. This also means that my views could be biased, but I hope that I am openminded enough to see good and bad in people.

    So lets follow in Kentish's order.

    <STRONG>Doctors</STRONG>:

    Juniors - be afraid, be very afraid <IMG SRC="biggrin.gif" border="0" ALT="icon"> They often scare the shit out of me. Yet they can also be the most helpful people around. It just depends on the individual. Some are arrogant tossers who believe that the title 'Doctor' means that they are infallible. Others, the good ones, realise that it takes ten years to get ten years experience and that on many occasions the Nurses will know more that they do. A good doctor will also realise that attached to the really interesting medical condition (which they have never seen before) is a real live human being, with feelings and family.

    The other thing to remember is that they are there to learn. This means that they will make mistakes. Also worth noting that the only way they get experience is to practice, this means on <STRONG>you</STRONG> and that includes during surgery. Did you honestly believe that only the consultants carry out the surgery?

    Remember, you life is in their hands <IMG SRC="biggrin.gif" border="0" ALT="icon">

    Consultants - you'd have thought that on £80k per year (plus private income) that consultants could afford watches. But no. Many clinics run late purely because the consultant runs late. And Nurses cover for them, making excuses to the patient whilst knowing full well that the bastard is either having a long lunch or a lie in!

    The easiest way round a consultant, is to massage their ego. Or buy them a nice piece of shiny new equipment.

    Yet, these are intelligent people who have spent their entire lives at the top of the classes. They have been told, for the past 40 (?) years that they are the best. This creates massive egos. The other thing to remember is that nothing is as important to them as their private practice. This is where they make their real money. And good luck to them. Some even realise that the reason the private sector is so 'good' is because it doesn't have the same demands as the NHS. No emergencies really helps.

    This may come across as negative, but to be honest there are the 'stars' out there who do believe that you can improve the NHS. There are those who work long hours and (like the link suggests) get very emotionally caught up in their work. I have great respect for these professionals and am proud to work with some. Most people in my position, and I meet them on a regular basis, will say that one of the biggest obstacle to a modern NHS is the consultants. Esp. those with the 'I've always worked this way, and I'm not changing now' attitude. That is the biggest shame, because the public will always blame the managers...(but we'll get to them later)

    <STRONG>Nurses</STRONG> - the angels of the service.

    My arse.

    You should hear what they say about you lot behind your backs <IMG SRC="biggrin.gif" border="0" ALT="icon">

    Actually most are dedicated professionals working with too little resources, meaning both staff and equipment. They are not appreciated by doctors or patient relatives and, as they are the 'frontline' often take the abuse for the failings in the system.

    As usual there are the bad apples, usually found at the nurses station swinging their legs and gossiping. All this while a patient alarm is going off because Mrs Smith in Bed One has filled her commode.

    And you shouldn't believe all the hype about their pay. The figures quoted in the paper are usually incorrect and as they know that the public can see no wrong in them they are ALWAYS asking for a payrise. It is worth noting that most earn more than I do <IMG SRC="frown.gif" border="0" ALT="icon"> . Don't get me wrong, I don't begrudge them a penny, I just wish there was a snese of proportion at work.

    NB Guys, if you get the chance, go on a nurses night out. They really know how to let their hair down <IMG SRC="biggrin.gif" border="0" ALT="icon">

    <STRONG>Support Staff</STRONG> - now I know that these weren't included in the original list, and that's kinda makes my point for me. Forget the nurses, these are the guys who make your hospitals work. The are the porters, secretaries, blood labs, theatre staff etc. These are the people who beaver away behind the scenes, often working longer hours than the nurses and for less pay. These are the people who makes sure that, when the Nurses and doctors turn up, everything is ready.

    You think that the nurses aren't appreciated...the support staff are the ones that everybody forgets and who get the crapiest pay increases - usually about 2% less than the nurses.

    And finally the <STRONG>managers</STRONG> - the people who apparently fuck everything up. At least if you believe the press.

    A common misconception is that managers are suits straight out of college without an ounce of 'real' experience. Not so. Most have clinical backgrounds, in fact a high proportion are ex-nurses. Which kinda kills one of the arguments, the one which says that if the NHS was run by the nursing staff...

    Lets look at it this way. Being a excellent nurse doesn't make you a good manager. It means you are a good nurse. The problem is that after becoming a sister, there isn't anywhere else for nurses to go, so they drift into management without any formal training. Which is a shame, and is a failing in the service. This should never be allowed to happen. Nurses should be trained to be managers before taking on that role. Put it this way, would you let a manager dress your wound?

    And of course you do have your non-clinical managers. And here you have a problem because some don't or won't understand that the NHS is clinically driven. The good managers listen to their clinical support staff (senior nurses, doctors etc) and then make decisions based on this information. Bad ones think that they have the answers.

    When I go into a meeting looking improving a particular part of the service, I make sure that I have the people who 'do' the jobs in the room with me. I then ask them how they think the service should work, questioning them at every step...why do we do this, what benefit is it to the patient etc...this help us validate what we do, making sure that we do it for a reason. Most people in the NHS (and that includes the support staff) have opinions on how things can be improved. Personally I believe this we should listen to them, no-one knows a job better than the person who does it.

    There are other approaches of course. I have a colleague who tells their staff what changes she has decided to make. Guess who gets the better results?

    You also have the national side of thing, the politicos. Think someone mentioned them elsewhere. These are the people who cause all of the above grief. Setting targets based on political objectives rather than clinical ones.

    If you cut out the politicians and their five year agendas out of the equation, you would get a better service....but that's another question.

    Oh and there is one other vital element to the NHS...

    The <STRONG>patients</STRONG> - often forgotten when talking about the service, but not only are they the most important aspect but they also can have a massive impact.

    My current bugbear is something we refer to as DNA or Did Not Attend.

    These are the 'patients' who failed to attend an appointment, without giving a reason. This means that this particular appt. has been wasted. Currently this runs at 10% or all outpatient appts, and a little less for the actual day of surgery.

    Effectively, this means that in every year the one month's worth of work is wasted, just because some people can't be bothered to turn up (even though there may be a legit reason, they could still let us know)...

    That statistic really opens peoples eyes.

    Its all very well complaining about managers and politicians, doctors and nurses, but when the patients treat the service with that kind of contempt then we really are fighting against the odds. My hospital dealt with 500,000 clinic appointments last year and somewhere in the region of 50,000 'emergencies'. Yet little credence is given to the good work which goes on. Patients (the public) also need to realise that the NHS needs their support too, like turning up to appts. But its also about suing for 'negligence' - every penny won by claimant comes out of the same pot as we use to fund the service. So what they 'win' deprives everyone else of a little more care, another nurse and more beds. People make mistakes, I know I do and I pretty sure that you do too, and yet when it comes to the NHS, many people feel that they should get financial recompence for anything which doesn't go according to the way they believe it should (justified or not).

    I guess my point in this whole thread is that the NHS is filled with good and bad staff, just like any other organisation. Yet it is the bad which get the emphasis and this isn't any other organisation. Problems are magnified because we are dealing with people and their health problems. Remeber, no-one ever comes to us because they are well.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by Man Of Kent:
    <STRONG>

    blood labs </STRONG>

    yay i got a mention <IMG SRC="smile.gif" border="0" ALT="icon">

    Got to agree with pretty much everything you put there MOK, i work alot with a consultant surgeon and he is very much driven by ego, lick his arse and you'll be fine <IMG SRC="biggrin.gif" border="0" ALT="icon">

    Nurses nights out <IMG SRC="eek.gif" border="0" ALT="icon"> oh, the memories <IMG SRC="smile.gif" border="0" ALT="icon">

    As for junior doctors, I was in theatre a couple of weeks back chatting to one at the side, he was explaining that the best hangover cure was to attch a saline drip to himself before he fell asleep <IMG SRC="eek.gif" border="0" ALT="icon"> <IMG SRC="rolleyes.gif" border="0" ALT="icon"> gotta laugh though <IMG SRC="biggrin.gif" border="0" ALT="icon">
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Whilst thinking about staff shortages surely there is an issue with the higher education system.

    Remember all that fuss about the girl who got turned away from Oxford and ended up going to America. She was by all accounts VERY intelligent yet she still couldn't get to study medicine, surely the system should be expanded so we can have more doctors....
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Laura Spence.

    She was turned away from Oxford after perfomring poorly at interview. She did not come across as sufficiently committed to medicine.

    Evidence of this can be found in the fact that her Harvard place is not in Medicine.

    Sorry, but that needs defending.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    OK but I still know that university medicine courses are oversubscribed, how will we increase the number of doctors without expansion of education?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    All I know is that they are opening up 2 new medical schools East Anglia and somewhere else, but that won't stop people from e.g moving abroad for better working conditions
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    MoK, lots of valid points there, and it is definitely important to remember support staff and managers, but please realise that I didn't leave them off my list because I thought they were less important. Believe it or not, humility is one of my virtues. <IMG SRC="smile.gif" border="0" ALT="icon"> In fact I see this with my own eyes, not just as a medical student, but I also work at a private hospital and so I know how these people feel when they are not appreciated. <IMG SRC="frown.gif" border="0" ALT="icon">
    Originally posted by DJP:
    <STRONG>Laura Spence.
    She was turned away from Oxford after perfomring poorly at interview. She did not come across as sufficiently committed to medicine.
    Evidence of this can be found in the fact that her Harvard place is not in Medicine.
    Sorry, but that needs defending.</STRONG>
    I totally agree with you DJP.
    BUT the reason she is not studying medicine at Harvard is because you have to do a first degree before moving onto medicine in the US. That's obviously not the case in the UK *case in point*, but it is therefore unfair to use that as a reason to have a go at her.
    She is obviously an ambitious girl and saw medicine as the ultimate career - which is not a good reason to become a doctor. Oxford saw that - good for them.
    Originally posted by Toadborg:
    <STRONG>OK but I still know that university medicine courses are oversubscribed, how will we increase the number of doctors without expansion of education?
    </STRONG>
    There will be 50% more medical students in September than there were a couple of years ago. Here in the northeast, Newcastle medical school is expanding by 85% with the extra places at Durham's Stockton campus (new this year), and extra places at Newcastle itself, plus the graduate entry scheme starting in September.
    Then there's Peninsula medical school based in the West country (Exeter area), Hull-York being planned. Leicester-Warwick - new this year.

    So to answer your question, the medical education is being expanded, and quickly. But do realise that it takes time for the new students to filter through as new doctors. If we were to increase the number of medical students now by, say 300%, so that we have enough doctors 5 years later, there would be over-supply of doctors after a few years. Cases in point being Germany and Australia.

    With regards oversubscription, this is a big advantage for medical schools (as well as being time-consuming looking at all the UCAS forms) because they get to choose who they take, and who they think will be a good doctor in the end. If they weren't oversubscribed, more Laura Spences would get in <IMG SRC="rolleyes.gif" border="0" ALT="icon">
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Well I am glad that they are expanding, thanks for those facts! <IMG SRC="biggrin.gif" border="0" ALT="icon">

    I can't be arsed to discuss Spence now.....
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by Kentish:
    Please do tell. It's always good to put the NHS into perspective...

    Well, you will get 2 stories for now… I am saving the rest for a “special occasion”, lol.

    Number 1: When I was smaller I had problems with my ears, they DAMN hurt. I would keep everybody up at night by my crying (even the neighbours, he he) and ever once in a while my parents would take me to the ear doctor. She couldn’t see what was wrong, and just cleansed my ears and hoped that I would shut up until I came back… Well I was on vacation and again my ears began to hurt. So my mum took me to the doctor, and the first thing he did after hearing what was wrong was to look up my nose. Turns out that I had supersize large polyps (you asked for it yourself <IMG SRC="biggrin.gif" border="0" ALT="icon">), and that they needed to be removed when I came back home. Then again I had ear-aches and I got taken to the doctor, and my dad said, “You know we were on vacation, and we took her to the doctor and he said that it is the polyps”. She looked up my nose and replied “oh, yeah”. That was thankfully the last time I saw her. She was SO mean, but that’s another story.

    Story number 2: My mums friends daughter (not that complicated <IMG SRC="smile.gif" border="0" ALT="icon">) was born with some kind of eye-disorder. She would get checked up by the eye-doctor here, and her mom even paid taxes in Israel so she could see an eye specialist there once a year or so… Then 2 years ago, she had just been checked in Denmark before they went to the eye-specialist in Israel. The doctor there was shocked, he had to operate her on the place. Seems that the doctors here had failed to notice something in her eye which was about to burst at any time. If he hadn’t operated her right away, she could had been blind.

    So as you see most “specialist” here (I have some other stories to prove my point) don’t know much more about their area, than an ordinary family doctor does… It has also been a lot on the media here recently.
    Well that’s all for now, hope you enjoyed <IMG SRC="tongue.gif" border="0" ALT="icon">
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Mistakes like that happen in the UK too <IMG SRC="wink.gif" border="0" ALT="icon">
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Well maybe I am a bit whiney <IMG SRC="smile.gif" border="0" ALT="icon">
    But it has seriously been a big subject here about the qualifications of the doctors.
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