Journal entry 4

Due to staff cancelling their shifts, I had 8 patients overnight. I was very nervous as this was the highest number of patients I had looked after and on a night shift there are less MDT members around to assist in an emergency.
Went to say hello to my patients and one pt was very angry about his surgery being cancelled for the second time. He said he wanted to make a complaint and go to the press. He refused any further observations to be taken on him. He expressed that he feared his learning disability and mental health problems would mean he is neglected from our care and has no one to advocate for him.
I had a long discussion with him listening to what his experience had been so far and trying to reassure him that as nurses we are his advocate and would work hard to make sure he felt safe and comfortable within the hospital. I was very frustrated as I understand the pressure the system is under and that surgeries are often cancelled due to lack of staff, however, I felt like it was very unfair to postpone this patient who had been moved from his local hospital and is now likely to get increasingly distressed. It felt very out of my control but I still have to bear the frustrations of the patients without having an real answers for them.
I asked the patient what was important to him in his care and then tried to fulfil those wishes as promptly as I could. I was grateful that I had met him on a night shift as it meant I had slightly more time to provide TLC. If it was a day shift, I was worried that people wouldn’t be able to attend to him as frequently as he needs due to workload and staff shortages.

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