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Is There Still Such a Thing as Procedure?

Chris Wright
Dispensary Systems Perspective

Issue 72: June 2008
Page: 1 of 1 Author's Profile | Send to a Friend | Printer Version

Mrs “very senior” Wright is now ensconced in the nursing home section of the RCF she reluctantly calls home.
I say reluctantly, because apart from the fact she thinks it’s a gaol, she doesn’t particularly want to be here with the rest of us, anyway.
I add with some haste that to the best of my knowledge, she’s never been in gaol, so her comparison is perhaps a touch misguided.
Whilst visiting her recently a young lady wheeled the medication trolley into the room.

With a flourish, the ubiquitous Webster appeared.
The young lady proceeded to push the medicines out of the required section into a cup……..no gloves.
In between all of this, the writer was asking some general procedural questions.
Nothing too taxing I add, no point in frightening the horses…….
Mrs Wright was asked if she wanted a particular pill cut in half……"Yes", was the answer.
(At this point Mrs Wright rolls her eyes around in the very well known manner in which she demonstrates frustrated impatience……….this pill is always cut in half, apparently.)

The young lady (who has just been rather proudly telling me of the training she had undergone to reach this exalted position of responsibility) plunged a fingernail into the pill, deftly cutting it in half…….still, no gloves.
If this writer has a gift, it is sarcasm… (Ask Mrs (junior) Wright)
I politely suggested to the young lady that she had probably executed this devastating skill on several occasions….
“Yes”, she countered,”Many times”, complete with the appropriate smile of misguided satisfaction.

This Residential Care Facility RCF is generally overcome by the same mayhem one might witness at a Dog Show.
Need I suggest this young lady proved the point?

Once the young lady had departed (after possibly exacerbating yet another gastro outbreak) I asked the now attentive Mrs Wright snr if the young lady ever wore gloves when handing out medicines.
“Gloves, in here, are you kidding?” was the response.
Clearly Mrs Wright snr has never associated gloves with health care.

For my part, I thought it unwise to start a debate with the young lady in the company of Mrs Wright snr for two reasons: firstly; it would have started an “issues war”.
Mrs Wright snr is, a most rambunctious debater, and at her age, with any one of a number of ailments capable of seeing her off our shores, I decided to keep my counsel to myself.
Secondly, I wanted to observe the entire process.

Once the young lady had departed with the potentially gastro-ridden trolley, I discussed the issue with Mrs Wright snr.
My mother of course thought my reasoning was way out of order, and suggested; “At my age and condition, what does it matter?”

Well, it does matter.

We live in a society where there is little care or consideration given these days and ‘nearly’ is good enough for far too many people.

A friend recently told me of her refusal to do a course that would “allow” her to give out medicines in the RCF where she is employed.
She refused on the basis that she would be required to give medicines to 35 patients in 30 minutes………….so they wouldn’t be late for dinner……..good grief!

I’m sure most pharmacists have no idea that the RCF they supply DAA’s to somehow manage to make a mockery of the ridiculous amount of time and effort that goes into the task.
Let me share with you another recent Mrs Wright story, again, about “procedure”
This time from Mrs Wright jnr, otherwise known as the
“Minister for Instruction and Information”.

The said “Minister” has a physically handicapped friend that may be considered by some to be a bit “slow”; we’ll call her “Betty”.
Betty has an indomitable spirit and is independent.
After waiting for three years for a knee reconstruction, she was recently summoned to a distinguished Melbourne hospital.
The anaesthetist did the job and Betty went under to plan.
It was then discovered that the instruments laid out for the surgery had not been sterilized!
The end result was that the anaesthetist recovered Betty to a state of reality and she was unceremoniously sent home…………unaided, alone and in a state of acute distress!

Now, we could debate for some hours the ramifications of this, but in the end, it is an issue of care…….or lack of.
Procedures are in place for a reason and they are not an excuse for people charged with the care of others to take licence with the health of those they are paid to care for.

There is an emotional cancerous element attached to caring for those that need care, and the price of disinterest by some health care professionals is high, and needs to be addressed with urgency.
Sticking to the relevant procedure just might be a good starting point, and need I say funding and training in the right places?

Chris Wright.
June 2008.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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