Friday, 31 August 2012

Oh shit!

We are now faced with the distinct possibility that this religious nutter could be the next president of the most powerful nation on earth. He's already promised to "show backbone" to Russia and Iran. Perhaps predictions that all will end in December this year are not so implausible after all.

Friday, 17 August 2012

Nursing process

Grumpy, in one of his comments has dredged up something I have not heard of for a long time. The “Nursing Process”. This was an approach to nursing that was very popular about 20 years ago but has now, thankfully, died the death. 

One of it’s features was that it set out to be thorough and holistic, so all patient’s had to fill out a questionnaire enquiring into every aspect of their lives, no matter what they came in for, and all aspects were supposed to be addressed while they were in hospital. While this is perhaps no bad thing when it comes to, say, dietary requirements, there was a section that pried into the patient’s sexuality. So you could come in for an ingrown toenail and asked how you got your jollies. Unsurprisingly most nurses skated over that bit without being too intrusive, but some of the more fanatical felt that this was wrong.

One (male) academic published a paper in which he asserted that, not only should this area be fully explored, but any problems uncovered should be dealt with. He even gave an example. These were the days before the popularity of internal fixation of fractures and many orthopaedic wards had several patients on long term traction, some of whom were young males. 

The author suggested that being in this situation for weeks at a time was likely to cause a build up of sexual tension, and that this should be addressed. His idea was that the hospital should employ a specially trained physiotherapist who would periodically visit these young men and give them “a helping hand”

I remember thinking at the time that this was likely to result in perfectly fit young men breaking their limbs on purpose.


There is little doubt in my mind that the great majority of Doctors regard the practice of appraisal with utter contempt. A purposeless, unfit abortion of a concept, with revalidation as it’s bastard offspring.

That this seething undercurrent of animosity exists was brought home to me by a friend who recently attended an interview for a Consultant position. He was asked what he thought of the revalidation process by one of the committee. He knew the “correct” answer but felt strongly enough to be truthful, and let rip with what he really thought.

He got appointed.

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Driving again

Back in December I commented on the dilemma faced by GPs who might feel that one of their patients is no longer fit to drive because of their age, and the fact that the GMC have issued guidelines to address this problem. It looks as if one GP hasn't read these guidelines.

Monday, 6 August 2012


I've commented before on the dilemma a doctor might find himself in if he perceives substandard care within his Trust, and that there is no body that can assist and protect any whistleblower. There is now a petition to address a number of problems related to whistleblowing, including, hopefully, the safety of the whistleblower. Please sign it.