Thursday, 21 June 2012

The Pen

"26 year old female, moaning about a pen"

OK, bear with me! This is a rant, not a big one, not a long one, but one I want to get off my chest! One thing you'll notice if you are ever on an ambulance is how much paperwork we are doing. Throughout a 12 hour shift we could do maybe 10 jobs. That is 10 patient report forms. If it is a difficult job there may be continuation sheets. Depending on the job there may also be capacity forms, vulnerable adult forms, vulnerable child forms, recognition of life extinct forms and parental agreement to investigation forms. If your vehicle breaks down there is a vehicle defect book to be completed and if you crash there is an accident report form to wade through. If you are assaulted or injured, or if someone gets injured in your presence, there is the accident report form, and if you receive abuse there are forms to flag addresses. Every shift there is a vehicle summary form for all the mileage you have done. You have to sign in and out, sign out and in drugs, you have to do a vehicle cleanliness audit and keep a log of all the skills you use during your shift. Are you getting my gist?! There is a LOT of writing to do and therefore we get through pens at an alarming rate!

I'm not just talking about the amount of ink we use either. Pens get lost, pens get nicked and pens get covered in bodily fluids! The result each time is the same, you need a new pen. There is no point in having a nice pen as it won't last and the cheap biros don't work! OK, they do work most of the time, but sometimes, if we are not taking a patient to hospital we have to write on the back of our PRF and get the patient to sign. As it is carbon copy paper, the back has an oily film over it which most cheap biros don't work on. I can't believe I am talking about the ins and outs of what pens to use, but I have started so I will finish. The Paper Mate biro works a treat but it costs more than the cheapo ones! That said, you need to be able to write on both sides.

My issue with all of this is that I have to buy my pens myself. We all do. There are no pens provided whatsoever. And why not?! I know it doesn't cost much but over the years it adds up! Why should we have to pay for it when we have to write so much for our job?! We are told we have to fill out all the extra forms, so surely pens should be provided?! It is no different from employing a typist and telling them they have to provide their own computer! We are not alone; most NHS staff have to write loads and loads of paperwork and most have to provide their own pens! It is just something that annoys me every now and again. I'm annoyed today because last night I lost my pen. My crew mate had no pen and I had no spares! I had to go and buy another with the £2 I had on me. That meant I had to go without a Costa! Why the hell should I have to pay?! I don't want to write everything! I can treat a patient and take them to hospital without the need to write. I write because I have to, because it's part of my job! If you want me to write, GIVE ME A BLOODY PEN!

Rant over! 

23 comments:

  1. @princesschar8921 June 2012 at 08:10

    This made me chuckle!
    I get laughed at for keeping my pen in my ponytail...
    But I rarely lose a pen due to this...
    Apart from when people like to irritate me and pull it out...
    If only I could store 6 in there for people like you who lose them :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Seems a perfectly reasonable place to store it! I could easily get 2 in there!

      Delete
    2. I thought I was the only one that keeps pens n my ponytail. How marvellous to find someone else that does it! Saves on finding a hair tie at times as well, simply use 2 pens to clip your hair back with :D

      Personally I think pens should be provided, gets flipping expensive after a while.

      Delete
    3. I have been meaning to rant about it for a while!!

      Delete
    4. Ahh someone else who does the pen rant!! I also keep mine in my pony tail. And woe betide if anyone in work takes it. We're like Gollym give me my precious hahahha

      Delete
  2. Learn to love the pen, then paper work becomes that little bit more fun.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If I was given the pen, I would love the pen ;-)

      Delete
  3. Pens! Always loosing them or they go for a 'walk' with a colleague :(

    I must buy a new pack every month.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are definitely serial pen thieves!!

      Delete
  4. I bought a pen torch as there were none in stores. My wife (a civil servant) was not happy. "why are you spending our money on kit work should provide?" "how would you feel if I had to buy my own pens for work?" she continued. "I do!" was my retort. This turned the "discussion" from "Paul is an idiot" to "Paul's job is stupid"

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  5. I'm married to a medical rep, so have an unlimited supply of good quality biros for free. Sure I could send some your way? Or maybe you could fund your pen habit by selling 'trying my patients' pens? I'd buy one!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm married to a medical rep, so have an unlimited supply of good quality biros for free. Sure I could send some your way? Or maybe you could fund your pen habit by selling 'trying my patients' pens? I'd buy one!

    ReplyDelete
  7. WH Smith, £2 for a pack of 40. 20 black, 20 blue :D You shouldn't have to buy them, but there you go. Its the NHS.

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  8. It's got to be a 'clicky' pen too.
    (The cheapo £2 for 40 are absolutely useless, a false economy.)
    I get the 10 pack black Zebra Z-grip from Wilkinsons. They're not too expensive. I take the whole pack to work with me in my bag, one on my uniform.
    My employer doesn't provide either.
    They're tax deductable though, aren't they?

    ReplyDelete
  9. Do you want me to send you some, unusually we do get pens bought for us. Used to be Bic and now Paper Mate!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Join the college of paramedics. Free pen!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Wow, great article, I really appreciate your thought process and having it explained properly, thank you!


    Sign-Mart

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  12. I work in IT as a developer and had to pretty much beg our Director to give me more than 2GB of RAM for my work desktop.

    I broke it down as follows:

    I currently spend 20-30 minutes per day wasting time because my computer has slowed down to a crawl

    That equates to 100-150 minutes per week or 400-600 minutes per month (6-10 hours)

    This costs you, the director, £90-150 per month - the RAM upgrade costs £40.. You do the maths!

    I got the upgrade (and now spend 20-30 minutes reading your blog.... (JOKE!!!))

    ReplyDelete
  13. I work in IT as a developer and had to pretty much beg our Director to give me more than 2GB of RAM for my work desktop.

    I broke it down as follows:

    I currently spend 20-30 minutes per day wasting time because my computer has slowed down to a crawl

    That equates to 100-150 minutes per week or 400-600 minutes per month (6-10 hours)

    This costs you, the director, £90-150 per month - the RAM upgrade costs £40.. You do the maths!

    I got the upgrade (and now spend 20-30 minutes reading your blog.... (JOKE!!!))

    ReplyDelete

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