Thursday, 15 December 2011

Get a gun

For over 30 years of my career I have done my job with, I think, a pretty average degree of competence. My training has been long and detailed, but appropriate and relevant.

So why, all of a sudden, am I expected in addition to relevant CME, to attend presentations on stuff that I have got by without for those 30 years. Manual handling, substances hazardous to health, Riddor and Caldicot. What is the logic behind taking me away from where I am doing my job to lecture me on stuff which is of no use or relevance to that job. I regard finding various reasons and excuses not to attend as something of a sport, but running rings around the intellectually challenged and pointless individuals who run these lectures is something of a hollow victory. rather like kicking a toothless old dog.

So I thought that, just to cheer them up, I would attend just one, and I actually found one that I thought might be interesting. “Handling violence and aggression” seemed to me that it could be worthwhile, as apparently this is on the increase in the NHS, even though I have never seen a single instance.

Well I was disappointed. Firstly, what could have been an interesting topic was presented in as dull and dry a manner as you could imagine. No juicy anecdotes, no personal experiences, no examples. Just a drone on how to recognise and avoid potentially dangerous situations, most of which came under the category of “the bleedin’ obvious.” 

And that was where it stopped short. What, I was waiting to hear, happens next? When all the various actions to recognise, avoid and defuse a potentially nasty situation have failed, what then? When 18 stone of drunken ape is definitely going to hit you, what do you do then? Well that was not addressed. The talk stopped once all the sociological and psychological claptrap had been exhausted. The one bit of potentially useful advice they could have given was never imparted.
What a fucking waste of time.


  1. the a&e charge nurse15 December 2011 at 13:35

    "When 18 stone of drunken ape is definitely going to hit you, what do you do then?" - well the first rule is not to fight back, that's for sure.
    Your employer will only trip over themselves to apologise about NHS staff having the temerity to inflict their chin on some losers boot.

    If you have not seen any violence you must have lived a very sheltered existence?
    As a psych nurse I can still remember one intimidating bloke who somehow managed to hide a razor blade under his tongue - while one of my most memorable (and stupid) incidents in A&E involved an attempt to remove a machete from a patient with a cocaine induced paranoia.

    I agree though, mandatory study days are usually on a par with 95% of 'meetings' held in the NHS - best avoided whenever possible.

  2. Some years back the A&E unit at one of our local hospitals used by repute to have members of a certain hush-hush elite military unit regularly doing 'attachments' to gain experience in emergency treatment of injuries. The story was that, when the A&E staff got someone seriously scary-looking making threats, getting said military chaps to stand about looking quietly purposeful was rather more effective than calling for hospital security and then waiting 20 minutes for the latter to show up.

    On the subject of mandatory training, which bedevils all large organisations these days, we were talking about it on Twitter the other day and I recalled this comments thread about the University version. There is definitely a certain parallel with the course you describe and many in-house ones for Univ lecturers on 'how to teach' (high on socio-babble and general waffle, low on useful practical info).

    My favourite "You what?" course on offer at the Univ used to be the one on "Working with ladders'. Though at one point there was even a course on "Using the stairs" (sic), now gone but not entirely forgotten.

  3. I now realised that it is a ploy (from ? PCT) to not let hospital doctors see patients. Saves someone money.

    All training should be left to medical schools and Royal Colleges.

  4. We have quite a lot of this mandatory crap from the PCT too. Being lectured on the bleeding obvious by the barely competent who have no obvious qualifications to lecture.