Lessons Learnt on a PICU

There’s a problem here, on the PICU. A serious one in my eyes. Short-staffing. I’ve submitted a complaint as the nurse in charge said it may help them. The thing is, you’re granted privileges such as 1:1 instead of 2:1 staff on you, and ground leave twice a day. When I was on 2:1 it was much easier to access ground leave because you already had two people to escort you. When you’ve upped the ladder to 1:1 it’s nearly impossible to get another staff member to join you. So you either get no ground leave all day, or one session. If my head was in a willful state I would hurt myself to punish myself for not ‘deserving’ my ground leave, which would then put me on 2:1 again anyway and allow me leave easier. But that wouldn’t work because by hurting myself, I’d lose my leave altogether.

I should be grateful for the days I get one session, despite my entitlement but even on these days you never have any idea when you’re going. I applied for 2.30pm and 6pm eventually went for 6pm (which was the postponed 2.30pm one). It was great afterwards, nevertheless. It was cold but not too cold when getting a power-walk on, celebrating the last day of October and those crunchy leaves.

That considered, this morning I put my assertive boots on and approached one of the male workers, as he always enjoys coming for walks with me, and he happened not to be on observations. I asked if he would come with me at 10.30am. I made sure I started filling out the form early (you have to before and after any leave), and then he reassuringly approached me near the time to say everything was sorted and ready to go. So I’ve had my woosh of fresh air and exercise. Let’s see if the same will happen for 6pm. I learnt the lesson here to approach someone individually, instead of just asking any staff if there is staff available. Oh, and we finally binned a rotting old cob of sweetcorn that’s been near a parking space for days, and that was satisfying. It’s exciting as it gets folks.

I’m learning lessons every odd day here on how to get by. I suppose in any surreal environment you do whatever you can to get through day to day. And each environment you’re in, that’s different.

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.

Take care,


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