Comment

No place for 'blamers' in the NHS

Those who blame others for their mistakes should not be allowed to get away with it, says Jane Bates. 
Jane Bates

Those who blame others for their mistakes should not be allowed to get away with it, says Jane Bates

When I was pooped on by a bird the size of a light aircraft, I knew how my companion would react. Not with a baby wipe and sympathy, but with reproach.

You only have yourself to blame, she said, as though I purposely position myself in the flight path of creatures with massive bowel movements.

She is a blamer, you see, one of those folk who can only make sense of the universe if they find people responsible for whatever happens to them.

A different kind of blamer is even harder to deal with. The other day, I saw a doctor I worked with years ago - the only NHS colleague to ever blame me in front of a patient for a mistake he made himself.

...

Those who blame others for their mistakes should not be allowed to get away with it, says Jane Bates 

When I was pooped on by a bird the size of a light aircraft, I knew how my companion would react. Not with a baby wipe and sympathy, but with reproach. 

You only have yourself to blame, she said, as though I purposely position myself in the flight path of creatures with massive bowel movements.  

She is a ‘blamer’, you see, one of those folk who can only make sense of the universe if they find people responsible for whatever happens to them. 

A different kind of ‘blamer’ is even harder to deal with. The other day, I saw a doctor I worked with years ago - the only NHS colleague to ever blame me in front of a patient for a mistake he made himself. 

Regrets

The patient in question watched sympathetically as I rapidly became the colour of a raspberry. This is not embarrassment, I wanted to say, this is righteous indignation. But not wanting to dignify the doctor’s accusation with an excuse, I let it go.

On reflection, I should have taken him to task. He was young and inexperienced, and felt awkward because he had been careless. As much as I understood this, his was an act of perfidy, pure and simple. 

I have broad shoulders, but the next person might not have. He might put a colleague in the frame for something more serious next time, and I shouldn’t have let him get away with it. 


About the author

Jane Bates

Jane Bates is an ophthalmic nurse in Hampshire

 

Want to read more?

Subscribe for unlimited access

Enjoy 1 month's access for £1 and get:

  • Full access to nursing standard.com and the Nursing Standard app
  • Monthly digital edition
  • RCNi Portfolio and interactive CPD quizzes
  • RCNi Learning with 200+ evidence-based modules
  • 10 articles a month from any other RCNi journal

This article is not available as part of an institutional subscription. Why is this?

Jobs