Sunday, September 30, 2012

Unsung Heroes

District Nursing was the reason I stuck out my training in Cambridge. If it hadn't been for my placement in rural Canbridgeshire after 6 hideous weeks on a geriatric ward I would have left. The professionalism and compassion I witnessed for the next 2 weeks sustained me until I could do it myself. At last someone in the public sphere has recognised the work DN's do...

"District Nurses are the unsung heroes of the NHS and I witnessed the most amazingly high standard of care and commitment which they gave to their patient and her family – and it made a sad contrast to the low standards offered by some hospital nurses."

I get sick and tired of the attention acute nursing gets - community nursing is special and very skilled but often invisible or seen as a lesser form of nursing. We need to build the profile of District Nursing - one of my students said exactly the same thing as this blog when her Mum died this year. We hear so much about Macmillan and Marie Curie but so often it is the DNs doing the work. I left District Nursing because it was limited by its own imagination in relation to the work it could do - I suspect this is still the case.

Learning from Twitter

Have been keeping up to date with policy and evidence based practice on Twitter - fascinating stuff.
Shared this with some 2nd years and they were very enthusiastic - now following Ben Goldacre and Trisha Greenhalgh - sharpening their critical appraisal skills!!

Images of the week

Posting some images that I will come back to as I see this blog as a way of collecting data about myself and will be reviewing and analysing at a later date.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

A Different view

A long walk with the dog (Fudge) this morning tired us both out - but what a glorious autumnal day.
Walked over to the fields with the wonderful view of the City.

More to it than just the singing!!

I watched The Choir on Thursday with growing fascination and astonishment.

There in all its glory was power, hierarchy, suppressed emotions and the toil of managing self in the face of trauma and suffering. I have long been fascinated by the "total institution” of the Hospital and how its seemingly "normal" function is actually dysfunction and damaging.

I did not like working in hospitals and got out as soon as I could being “allowed" into district nursing just 18 months after qualifying. I loved working in the community and I am pretty sure the reason why I finally had to leave clinical practice was because I was working in the Hospital environment with all its related power relationships and expectations that all illness is presented on the wards rather than working to prevent people ever getting in there in the first place!!

Anyway enough of that for now but I was quite shocked by what I saw on The Choir - after 16 years away I thought things would have changed BUT no - still the same. On thinking about it this morning whilst walking the dog I wondered whether the folk who were on there were:-

1. Very brave for showing us their fragilities and frailties


2 Blissfully unaware of what ails them!!

Monday, September 17, 2012


Discovered this blog through Twitter and I do wish I could write at this level. Like the entry about consilience - a new word to my vocabulary but useful for my work in nurse/health care education!!

Attitudes as well as aptitude

Saw interesting article in Guardian about Priya Singh Medical Director at Medical Protection Society  - favourite quote from the piece

"Education, not just in clinical skills but also in how we communicate effectively, is key to reducing the rising numbers of claims and the adverse impact that claims can have on public confidence in healthcare."
Think I have been saying this for a while (12 years at least) and I am very good at facilitating this learning!!
Let me at them....

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Book binding

Spent yesterday at the Hearth at Horsley learning to make books with Chloe Daykin - think I completely knackered myself and had a bit of  a backlash today BUT slowly but surely I recovered and after a quiet day feel OK.
Decisions, decisions, decisions!!!
My books!!

Finished collage

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Work in progress

Have been assembling materials for a couple of collages - felt a bit restless - this new term not as plain sailing as I was kidding myself!!
As I was putting together these pieces I was reflecting on my downward spiral of mood yesterday. Realised it was simply that folk who I have connected to other folk and have benefited from this connection have not said "thank you" This has happened twice - both writing organisations that I have linked up with in HE and they have subsequently developed work from the connections. I don't want the work - just for them both to say thank you for thinking of them and creating the connections. Might be immature and petty but explains my mood.
Useful insight.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

More stuff

Tidying up

My husband has had a big sort out in our enormous garage and as a consequence has unearthed all sorts of stuff. Enthused by this tidy I decided to have a sort out in the spare room wardrobe where my art stuff is stashed!!
Found the following collages that I did before I really "thought" about what I was doing - winter blues therapy I believe. I like them, I must say!!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Late Summer

Often a tricky time of year - new term, new beginnings BUT this time not been as bad as before. I started nursing 33 years ago and I am pretty sure that the weather then was similar to what it is now. I seem to remember getting to know Cambridge pubs from their outsides first. We started in early September weeks before the undergrads started and it was ohhh so quiet. The social landscape really changed once the students arrived.
Led a fabulous poetry workshop yesterday with skilled and committed Hospice staff - humbling and exhilerating. I want to do that type of practice development/service improvement activity ALL the time. I swear I left walking 2 inches off the ground. They are going to have a monthly creative writing meeting - trying out exercises with each other.
Also discovered other nurse bloggers via Twitter - all good stuff

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Big School Angst

Well it was not as bad as I thought starting "big school" - just getting up earlier and getting jobs done by 10 a little disconcerting but determined to use time well. Seeing my friend Cath first thing is a great start to the day as well. Knowing you are not on your own with these changes is wonderful - we have been sharing this journey for 7 years.

Have discovered Moodscope   and Twitter are 2 good ways of interacting with others (or just listening and retweeting), observing yourself and learning - not bad in a week!!

Not sure which debates to get involved with yet? Hunt as Health Secretary (are they short of choices) or make sure care and compassion remain top of the list in preparing practitioners.

 Glorious walk in late summer sun this morning on reclaimed industrial land.
Watergate Park - Gateshead

Saturday, September 1, 2012

More Images

Saturday Saunter

Went for a lovely walk at Low Hauxley.
Bought a "bridge" camera the other week and trying to sort out how I might use it. Compact for macros, SLR for landscape and brdige for wildlife and sea shore!!
Sanderling on the turning tide at Low Hauxley