Saturday, January 06, 2007

Urgent plea

This is a plea from the deepest darkest depths of the Home Counties and all the areas within the M25...

Could all you yummy-mummy's (and you know who you are - you shop in Waitrose, buy your kids ready prepared packed lunches because making lunch isn't in the nanny's job description, drive Chelsea tractors and send your kids to independent prep schools) stop bringing your kids into A&E departments just because you cannot get to see a GP.

Your child is highly unlikely to have meningitis just because he has a headache and a temperature... how do I know this? Well their runny nose, hacking cough and croaking voice all scream "viral infection" at me as soon as they walk in the door, and if that isn't enough, I know because one of your snotty nosed brats has passed said hacking cough onto yours truly.

Your child is also unlikely to have irritable bowel syndrome just because they have stomach ache and diarrhoea (and I don't care if you've suffered from it for years)... how do I know this? Because I happened to walk past the waiting room whilst you were feeding them packet loads of crisps and bars of chocolate. They are more likely to have overeaten, or possibly have anxiety due to the pressure placed on them to pass school selection tests at 11, and how do I know this? Because when you weren't feeding them junk food you had them working from revision books for their SATs and reciting pieces of information for the private school exam.

Plus an A&E department will not give you the advice of a consultant paediatrician just because you turn up at triage with a child, you will get an SHO, if you are lucky an SHO who is specialising in paediatrics.

And do not be surprised when you get a cold emotional response to your pleas from doctors and nurses when you have just exclaimed loudly in the middle of the department that if you do not get to see said consultant then you will resort to BUPA or PPP or whichever medical insurer you use.

Plus I do not care if your husband works for an important company or you have friends in high places or you could get media coverage of the hospital being medically irresponsible.

I am trying to do my job and I am not a paediatrician, nor am I a consultant. I am an SHO who is working very hard to earn a living and to get her career to progress. I have my own worries about my fiance being in Iraq and I could do without your abuse whilst I am trying to complete my job.

Is that understood?

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