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As my Good Lady has said, last night was a trial. Little Miss S. with an earache is not pleasant, for her or anyone around her. She was unsettled, waking from the pain, and crying, and not being able to go to sleep, so tossing and turning, and then, because she was utterly exhausted, yawning, which would set off the ear again, and make it all worse.

I didn't go to the heraldry meeting, so that we could comfort her in shifts.

At one point Abi turned over and told me that Susi had told her "I don't like you!". I explained that Susi was in pain, and grumpy, and that she didn't really mean it. I old her that Susi was so grumpy that she was saying the worst thing she could think of, and "I don't like you" is it. If she were older, and knew some swear words, then she would be saying them instead. I also said that Mummies and Daddies used swear words sometimes when they were upset, but that didn't mean that they meant it.

"What words, daddy?" asked my little angel.
"You'll learn them in good time," I replied.
"Will you tell me some?"
"No, a cuisle, you'll have to learn them on the playground like everyone else."
She was most understanding. She did say that if Susi was mean, that she would be mean back, but I convinced her that Susi wasn't being mean, she was just hurting and swearing as much as she knew how, and Abi accepted that and rolled over.



In other news, my grandmother was in hospital recently.
She has RSI damage from using her walker, and was in for surgery to correct it. But because she still needs the walker to move around, she was booked in for a few extra days to recover a little before going home. Sounds straightforward, right?

She discharged herself early and went home almost in tears. )

I found the cantact details for Nanna's State MP, and she says that she will follow up with him. I suggested writing to the hospital again, cc-ing the MP, the Minister for Health, and optionally the Age and Herald-Sun, and that this might get a response from them. We'll see how she goes.

And what she is describing from the nurses, is something I recognise where I am. It is a symptom of a service staff, highly trained, having been demoralised and overworked and strangled in a twisty little maze of procedures and protocols and hierarchies which, from the lofty heights of management look like they'll bring in a New Golden Age of efficiency and productivity, but in practice only inflate the workload while simultaneously utterly failing to do anything to address the real, structural problems which only serious action can even touch.[1] Handover procedures are all well and good, but when they add half an hour to every shift change, and the shiftchanges are frequent because there aren't enough people to do the work, then they are actively preventing the actual work from happening. Procedures for keeping track of patients when they are moved are icing on a turd when patients are being moved twice a day because there aren't enough beds. More strictly defined and enforced hierarchies only make things worse when the real problem is that you have to get more beds and more wards and more staff, or else stop admitting as many patients.

I know this because, although my job isn't anywhere near as important as a nurse's, all of these things have been happening at my work. And, like the nurses, there isn't a damn thing I can do about it except ride it out and hope that sanity is restored sooner rather than later, or look for another job (which is kind of pointless, because all the employers are doing the same thing, or will be soon).



[1] (Wow, that's an impressive sentence if I do say so myself. I don't have the time, alas, to make it shorter.)
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When I said at 00:00 1-1-2008, as I do at that time every year, "May this year be better than last", for the first time in a very long time I had the faintest whiff of hope that it might be.

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