It’s more than just care!

I woke at 3am this morning. As I woke, I remembered there were a few things I had forgotten to send over to Dr A. Dr A one of our directors and co-founder landed last night and was ‘rolling up his sleeves’ to help me with the ‘system go live’. His coming all this way wasn’t anything to do with my accident he was waiting at Brize when he heard about my fall. He was coming to provide support. I have to say, that type of attitude in a line manager and director fills me with absolute respect. That’s how I operate. We’re all in this together and I am so happy that I am working with a like-minded team. Nothing better than a team trying to solve problems. I thought about that earlier. It’s probably why I prefer collaborating with other songwriters rather than writing alone. Every song is a puzzle, a problem to be solved, a rhyme to be found, story to be told. Hahaha see what I did there, wow haha I promise that just came out. Some kind person may tell me that it’s someone else’s lyric- I’m above 30,000 ft and no access to Google! 🤣🤣🤣. (By the way ex-line managers reading this – you too – you know who you are!)

Sorry back to the story!

‘Look, Emma! There are easier ways to get out of the go live’ said Dr A as he strolled in exhausted from his 18 hour flight and I then. got a hug. He was lucky I didn’t burst into tears!

I was especially grateful because I was technically leaving Dr A to it. Poor Dr A! We had a couple of hours’ handover and I hope that the project is in a position that he will be able to slot in and take it live. Project managers out there who have to leave a project early, you will feel my pain!

So after I sent a couple of emails and ate breakfast, I started thinking about the process of getting out of bed and to the airport. I’m not very good at asking for help. It’s definitely not a control thing; just an independent thing. It’s a liking to get things done thing and a love solving problems thing. If there is a problem let’s find a way out of it. It’s like a computer game, it’s an escape room, it’s interesting and challenging and keeps me motivated. I was intrigued by and answered a ‘troubleshooter required’ job advert once and ended up working for them at weekends for over 10 years. I only wish ‘Troubleshooter’ had been my job title because before I saw that advert, the only other official ‘Troubleshooter’ I could think of at the time was Red Adair when he went to resolve the Piper Alpha disaster.

It’s been really uncomfortable asking for help because my god I have had some real life problems. Can’t reach my charger, ‘so sorry can you grab my charger for me please’. Table too far away when I went to the loo and forgot to position it back ‘so sorry can you move my table back please’. Need the loo – again – ‘So sorry can you please take me to the bathroom’. My leg not positioned properly. ‘So sorry can you move my leg’, ‘So sorry can you please help me lift up my bed’, ‘so sorry can you…..’ ‘so sorry can you…..’ I did try to save things up but sometimes when you gotta go, you gotta go!

I really can’t wait to get home and see how long my normally very patient husband Pete copes for before he is begging me to get back to the Falklands ❤️

Oh the other problem is that you have to press the buzzer too and I paused slightly before each time I pressed it; what if somebody had real problems and really need help.

Oh reminds me, I must get a bell! 🤣🤣🤣

The nurses were wonderful they went above and beyond their duty. I’ve never slept overnight in hospital before and I didn’t realise how vulnerable you can feel. I’m very independent but I was really scared on a few occasions. Actually a lot of the time. Ok I admit it, I thought that I was going to die during the manipulation process and not wake from the sedation. It’s ridiculous when you think about it but that’s how it gets you when you aren’t firing on all cylinders and you are 8,000 miles away from your husband and your mum. However, the nurses and assistants made me feel safe, they stopped me from falling, helped me wash, went home for me and got my things for me, went home, took my washing out of my washing machine, took some washing to their own home to ensure I had clean clothes to wear home. They didn’t have to do any of that. Having experienced it, I really know what it’s like to be at the receiving end of care and to see first hand what nurses really have to do.

I’ve have always held a great deal of respect for my clinical colleagues. I advocate making a difference and most people who know me well get that part of me. But I have only ever been in hospital for eyes, broken fingers or as an outpatient. I’ve never had an ‘episode of care’ as an inpatient. It’s not completely changed the way I think because I have always tried to put clinicians first but I have had situations where the dreaded ‘workaround’ has had to be used. Had no choice and I promise I have felt terrible every single time I have used the words, ‘yes we can do that, but it’s a small workaround’. The ‘workaround’ is code for the system can’t do what you need it to do so you have to change the way you do something whether you want to or not and do it like this. So ‘small’, ‘large’ or whatever size workaround I am describing to the clinician means that we will be making the clinician change their practice to suit the system. With the technology we have available to us, why are we still using ‘workarounds’?

I spent a lot of time speaking to the nurses about systems and how they use them, where they have worked and which systems they have used before. I was being wheeled to theatre and talking to the surgeons about how they managed their processes and wished I had had my laptop to make notes. The consensus was that there are some great systems out there but they are not always designed or set up in the way they they are needed to be. It’s true! Depending upon your project team or consultants will depend what you get!

So I am even more determined to ensure that if I manage to go back to the Falklands or anywhere else for that matter the clinician needs are met first. I owe them! That is easy to say and sometimes there are constraints but I will do my level best. The system should not dictate working practices and workarounds must be non-existent or at least minimal with a view to change. I am using a really good system currently and I am certain I didn’t use the workaround word once! ‘Work in Progress’ for items that were nearly ready maybe but not workaround! Let’s hope it stays that way.

So that was the end of my stay and in about half an hour the safety and sanctuary of the hospital would be no more. I pressed the buzzer again. ‘So sorry can you please help me get to the bathroom’ was my final call and I was now getting ready to leave. I have been cared for brilliantly this weekend by the nurses (and by lots of other people) at KEMH Stanley. But it’s more than care, I saw it in their eyes as I left and I think she definitely saw it in mine. Those nurses didn’t know me prior to my arrival but this weekend I felt their love and compassion. It wasn’t special treatment either I know that. I’ve listened to their stories, I’ve heard how terrible life is for some. I could quite easily have been a fisherman 8,000 miles away from home and I would have been treated just the same. It’s more than just care!

I can feel a song coming on!!

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