Is This the Last Taboo? (probably not but I thought I’d give it a try)

When I’ve been in hospital I’ve encountered men and women who, frankly, should have been firmly ensconced in prison.

The last time I was in there was this guy wandering all over the ward yelling that he was ‘gonna hurt someone’ if he didn’t get his ‘Lorazies’. It was the sheer number of nurses who seemed to have nothing better to do that to run around after him that got to me. It was as though they were in competition with one another to see who they could get him to ‘warm to’ first. ‘I- Nurse A am really great at interacting with Mr Psycho Patient (No apologies made for that), whereas as she – Nurse B- can’t interact with him at all. In fact she seems to be a little afraid of him. This means that I – Nurse A – really am the superior nurse.’

Later I sat with him in the exercise yard and said: ‘Funny how you’ve got all those nurses running around after you, isn’t it?’

Response: ‘Yeah, good, innit?’ a la ‘it’s a fair cop, guv.’

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4 Responses to “Is This the Last Taboo? (probably not but I thought I’d give it a try)”

  1. cbtish Says:

    😀 Nicely done!

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  2. This Week in Mentalists: Raoul Moat Will Blow You Away Edition « Mental Nurse Says:

    […] Sick of Drowning comments on mad vs bad. When I’ve been in hospital I’ve encountered men who, frankly, should have been firmly […]

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  3. VanDee Says:

    “he was ‘gonna hurt someone’ if he didn’t get his ‘Lorazies’.”

    That’s all the explanation I need for their behaviour. Do you think that if they had some burly officers with truncheons to hand, they’d still be pandering to him? They have no especial wish to be injured, and I for one don’t blame them.

    Besides, Theodore Dalrymple’s written on the timely police response to violence on wards:

    http://www.city-journal.org/html/10_2_oh_to_be.html

    “His girlfriend arrived shortly afterward with the things that he would need for a hospital stay. He at once resumed the quarrel and began to beat her again, this time in front of the nurses. They called the police, who claimed that, because the assault had been so minor—the girlfriend was not yet badly injured—there was nothing they could do, especially as they were busy elsewhere… And the effect of this example on those who saw it—particularly young men—must have been profound.”

    Particularly on the nurses, I’d say.

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  4. Louise Says:

    yes. it’s true. it would help if they didn’t hand them out like smarties. I was written up for some and I’ve never taken them before in my life. I guess some people are just pains in the
    a$$ whether they’re ill or not. And it is possible to be both ‘mad’ and bad’. Interestingly, they managed to summon up a couple of big, burly male nurses when a five-foot-nothing bipolar girl, who was not responding to her medication, tried to leave the ward.

    I got the impression that it was the other male patients who were at the most risk. The nurses can, after all, leave at the end of the shift. But they still are on the ‘front line’. The psychiatrists prescribe but they don’t see the consequences. It is the nurses though who determine the way in which the wards are run. The atmosphere on that ward was gloomy yet when I was moved to the ward next door it was like stepping into a parallel universe. The staff were caring, the patients were an amiable bunch, there were games and the therapy groups were always full and took place on time.

    His girlfriend arrived shortly afterward with the things that he would need for a hospital stay. He at once resumed the quarrel and began to beat her again, this time in front of the nurses. They called the police, who claimed that, because the assault had been so minor—the girlfriend was not yet badly injured—there was nothing they could do, especially as they were busy elsewhere… And the effect of this example on those who saw it—particularly young men—must have been profound.”

    Particularly on the nurses, I’d say.

    An interesting view from the other side: http://inspectorgadget.wordpress.com/2010/05/13/police-overtime-payments-shock/ And, to be fair to the police, I know of cases in which they wanted to press charges but it was the psychiatrists who stepped in and spoke up on behalf of their patients and the prosecutions were stopped.

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