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Jane Bates: Forget pride, it’s over efficiency that comes before a fall 

In her haste to be highly organised, Jane Bates almost costs her trust a fortune by opening an expensive pack of medicine that may not be needed after all

In her haste to be highly organised, Jane Bates almost costs her trust a fortune by opening an expensive pack of medicine that may not be needed after all


Picture: iStock

I was on a roll. You know what it’s like – you are in for a busy morning and you suddenly up the ante, as though you have been given intravenous double espresso along with the blood cells of an eager-to-please border collie. You have become turbo-nurse, and efficiency oozes from every pore.

They say pride comes before a fall, but in my experience it isn’t pride, it’s being super-organised.

Getting ahead of the game, I opened a pack of the multi-million pound drug that I expected the doctor to use for the next procedure, only to find that the patient was better and didn’t need it.

Scatterbrained

Okay, it wasn’t that expensive but it was still eye-wateringly pricey, more than my monthly salary, as one of my colleagues pointed out. Thanks for that.

We had many patients that morning though, so surely it would be used? But it wasn’t. And as we went through the clinic, I became increasingly anxious about this squandering of NHS resources.

Would I have to forfeit my salary? Would the press find out about this scandalous wastage? Would I be dragged before the chief executive to explain why I had bankrupted the trust? It went to the wire in the end – thankfully it was needed by the very last patient of the day, so disaster was averted.

So what did I learn? I don’t need Gibbs’ – or anyone else’s – reflective cycle to point out the obvious. If I had been my usual scatterbrained self, this would never have happened.


Jane Bates is an ophthalmic nurse in Hampshire 
 

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