Thursday, 10 September 2009

Lying Down On The Job?

Oh dearie, dearie me. And tut, tut, tut. Some doctors and nurses from the Accident and Emergency Department at a Swindon hospital are in serious trouble, it seems. The Hospital Management are on their case, big-time. They are facing a Disciplinary Hearing, no less. They've been very bad. Very bad indeed. In fact, it's a scandal.

So what on earth are they guilty of? What have they done? Did they turn up for work drunk, were they so hungover that they fell asleep whilst suturing someone's scalp wound, did they sneak out for a sly fag and set fire to the Plaster Room. Or worse?

Well, I'll tell you. They played a game and had some fun.

Let me explain.

For those of you not in the know or as in-touch as moi, let me fill you in on the latest craze to sweep the nation. Apparently, and you'll know this if you're as down with the kids as I am (joke), or if you read The Times today, there's a thing called The Lying Down Game which consists of lying flat, face down, hands at your side, palms pointed inwards, toes to the floor, in the most humorous, unusual and public place you can manage. You strike your pose and then get yourself photographed and post it on the internet. It's described as "parkour (free-running*) for those who can't be arsed." It all sounds a bit random but I have to say that this new sport really appeals to me. I may well take it up.

To people with a sense of humour like mine, it's bloody funny seeing pictures of people balanced on top of post-boxes, shelves, mountains, horses, fences and shop counters and as far as I can see, no innocent human being has been injured by this activity as yet. It seems a harmless pastime, as opposed to, for instance, the ridculously named "happy" slapping, or child pornography, or dog-fighting, but I guess it won't be long before some bloody idiot proves me spectacularly wrong by impaling themselves trying to balance on a spike, having not been warned that it's sharp. Ah well. That's what you get for ignoring Health and Safety regulations. If you ignore Infection Control regs presumably you can expect your wound to go septic too.

So, picture the scene. On a quiet night shift in A and E, several young doctors and nurses came up with the idea that it would be a bit of a laugh to play the Lying Down Game and take photographs of each other in unusual and amusing places around the Department and post them on Facebook. Unfortunately for them it seems that although they must have had a lot of fun posing for these photos, lying face down on resuscitation trolleys (unoccupied ones, presumably, or that would have been naughty), ward floors and even the hospital heli-pad, some snitch informed Der Management which has taken a dim view of these japes, sighting "infection control" and "health and safety" issues as the reason for the disciplinary action, despite the fact that no patients were involved and patient care was not compromised at all. They are taking this very seriously and heads may roll, apparently.

Bloody hell. Good job they weren't in charge of us back in the 60's when I worked at a large teaching hospital, or the lot of us would have been sent to Alcatraz. Our nightly parties would often culminate in someone's pants waving from the flagpole, or one of the doctors getting plastered, literally, from heel to groin and then left in a wheelchair to sober up in Out Patients. I seem to remember a young SHO getting his genitals painted bright blue with medical dye the night before his wedding (if you're reading this now, Professor, it wasn't me), and tied with his stethoscope to a radiator (that wasn't me either, honestly), a Health and Safety nightmare without a doubt. A cantankerous senior surgeon found a stuffed moose's head on his examination couch, covered by a sheet but left there by some minion he'd been particularly vile to (OK, that was me), an obvious Infection Control issue if ever there was one. Looking back now, I don't know how we got away with any of it, but no one got hurt and the job got always got done, and with good humour.

Ah, happy days.

So, although I wouldn't like to think that this sort of thing goes on with regularity, and with the proviso that the patients would never suffer from it, I expect a little light-hearted fun on the night shift in the A and E Department made a welcome change from being yelled at, spat at, punched, vomited on, bitten and stabbed, and I feel sorry that those medics have got themselves into such trouble for it. It's a shame they can't just have a stiff bollocking from Matron as we used to if she ever caught us out, rather than have this on their employment record for ever.

Anyway, must dash, am taking hubby and the digital camera down to Waitrose so that we can play The Lying Down Game and he can take a pic of me flat out in the fruit and veg aisle, amongst the pak-choi I think. Or maybe the Chanterelle mushrooms?

Watch out for me on Facebook?

*If you don't know what Parkour or free-running is, this must have been the most boring post you've ever read. Would you mind looking it up on Wikipedia? Thanks so much.