Letter: Dear Health Care Worker

Dear Health Care Worker,

Did you see what I called you there? A health care worker. That is what you are. You’re a nurse. Or a doctor. Or a pharmacist. In choosing that career – and being paid for it – you have agreed to help people, to care for their health.

It is your responsibility to find out their clinical history. You can’t just say ‘I don’t know.’ You need to ask them, the patient, the person you’re (supposedly) caring for. You’re also meant to open their file, read back, work it out. That’s what you’ve been trained to do. And yes, if the files are stored on a different floor, down a long passage, you need to make that walk, to get it. Sorry, sometimes you just have to get up off your arse.

While I know that working in the healthcare sector can be hairy, and stressful, and there are lots of you/us working under conditions that are less than ideal, it’s not an excuse for shoddy care. Please remember that your patients’ lives are in your hands.

Missing your tea break won’t kill you. Missing vital bits of a patient’s clinical picture may kill them.

Please, pay attention.

Yours, having a long day in The Ivory Tower,

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