I have been working bank shifts as a healthcare assistant in my trust. Just to earn a little extra money. At first it was liberating having next to no responsibility. All you have to do is worry about washes, feeds and obs, everything else is the nurses job. This soon became quite frustrating a patient becomes breathless or starts desaturating and as a student nurse I would shove them on oxygen. I cant do this as an HCA I have to ask the nurse. A patient complains of chest pain I cant just put them on high flow o2, do an ecg and show it to a doctor, I have to wait until a nurse appears so I can ask her if its ok.
I was in a bed space yesterday with a nurse and the patient starts vomiting large quantities of blood, the nurse asked me to get a doctor or another nurse in there as quickly as possible. I go out to the nurses station where the doctors are discussing their rounds and I shout, "we have a problem with a patient, we need help NOW!" everyone, every last one of the doctors and nurses in sight said "find someone else, i'm busy". So i go back to the bedspace and hit the resus alarm, this gets some fairly immediate attention. Despite the fact this tactic worked in the face of overwhelming stupidity I spend the next two hours being shouted at for misuse of the alarm and making the senior sister look like an idiot.
When I'm qualified and running a ward if I EVER see a member of staff ignoring an urgent call for help I will see to it that even if I cant fire them the only favourable option available to them will be to quit.
The patient survived, just about.