Bureaucracy vs Common Sense
Staff members from Accident & Emergency at Great Western Hospital in Swindon, UK have recently been suspended after their role in the lying down game.
According to BBC News:
“The game involves being pictured lying down with arms by your side and toes pointing towards the floor.
It is understood staff were pictured lying down on the hospital’s resuscitation trolleys, ward floors and the Wiltshire Air Ambulance helipad.
Seven hospital staff have been suspended for their part in the game, played in mid August.”
A hospital spokesman, Dr Alf Troughton has also added his two cents to the situation, stating “A number of staff were suspended following allegations of unprofessional conduct while on night shift duty in the hospital during a weekend in August. This did not involve patients and we are satisfied that at no time was patient care compromised.”
Really, So What!? Anyone who has spent any time working in any emergency department knows that staff work hard, and play hard. Spirits are generally high & in down times staff try to smile a little. Why? Because that’s the only way to cope! Believe me when I say the busy times can be absolutely emotionally, physically and mentally draining.
You can be assured that this game would not have been played when there was a trauma patient rolling in to a resus bay. Even the hospital confirmed this, “This did not involve patients and we are satisfied that at no time was patient care compromised.”
I don’t think I’ve seen many emergency departments that didn’t use humour from time to time (1%) to offset the rest of the crazy times (99%). To the 7 people who have been suspended, it’s a real shame. These are likely competent, qualified and very needed staff members who were just trying to enjoy themselves in down time.
Today I came across the following anonymous comment posted on NursingTimes.net:
“As a former member of staff in this department,The full story has not been released, Initially over 40 people were suspended, some of these being Drs however the ED consultant refused to accept this and the Drs are now back at work the nurses however have no real support and these are the ones who are being made an example of – Shocking really as it is a good if busy unit and yes they were a bit silly and it may have gone a bit far but this is an over exageration of management in my opinion.”