If you live in Britain you have probably seen these posters everywhere. You’ll see them in house windows, maybe on telephone poles and if they aren’t outside NHS hospitals well they aren’t doing propaganda properly.
Every time I pass a poster, especially since the numerous times I have been in hospital the past year, I had wanted to write about my time in hospital but I never wrote about it knowing that people would roll their eyes and call it drivel.
But recently, there have been two things that have raised the issue and made me finally bring it forward to your attention.
One is that there is a general election happening in a matter of weeks.
The second reason being my feelings after watching Channel 4’s Confessions of a Junior Doctor.
I knew what doctors go through. I had seen it first time over and over again during my lifetime. I know what other’s thought of the NHS too; they’re rubbish, they don’t care, there’s no money in it.
It’s true; there isn’t enough funding and the doctors are running around like headless chickens so yeah they don’t spend more than five minutes with you but they are not rubbish. Those doctors are the opposite of rubbish and it made me want to scream when I heard a woman complaining about the shambles the Acute Medical Unit was.
Why am I so protective of the NHS?
Well, from the age of four I wanted to be a doctor until I back-tracked at eighteen. There are fourteen years of my life, fourteen years of my making that everything led up to becoming a doctor. And I know I didn’t get there but you don’t know I might find the motivation to go back down that career path.
It’s also because over the past year I have been in the hospital four times, and although I had been in numerous times in the past it was only this year I was able to observe how much the doctors and nurses work.
I have been at Brighton General Hospital four times since October. Once was over my housemate’s broken jaw, another with my best friend’s kidney infection and twice over my self-harming.
I can’t deny it did take hours for my housemate to get treated (maybe it felt longer because of his gruelling company I had to endure) but he was dealt with, they gave him photocopies of his jaw when he jokingly asked and they had a surgeon come from Eastborne (20-something miles away) at the end of her shift to sew his jaw back together.
Clara was seen in a lot shorter time. We waited for triage for about twenty minutes and twenty minutes after that she was on fluids. We were entertained, the doctors gave me additional information due to my medical knowledge and interest and she was treated like a queen during her stay.
Both times when I was on my own in hospital things seemed to go as if I was in a dream. I was both sleep deprived and drug-induced on both occasions so maybe that’s why I can’t remember much. The first time in hospital I had the company of another one of my housemates and on the second occasion I was on my own.
When I balled in tears because I felt so alone and helpless the head nurse sat with me and calmed me down. She personally went to talk to my boyfriend who was outside talking to my dad and, quite frankly, didn’t want to see me. It was the nurse at the Acute Medical Unit who sat and talked to me and found out what had happened to me that night. She had let me charge my phone when it ran out of battery and gave me her personal supply of magazines to distract my mind.
So yes, I see that they do rush about and they don’t spend that much time with you but these people do care. If they didn’t care would they have spent so many years learning and training to look after us? Would they run to the canteen on your discharge to get you food for your journey home?
These people hold the most power; they could save and change lives, they bring life to the young and deny death to the old and weak. I for one can say they saved my life and it wasn’t because of some drug they administered. It was those people doing their job and helping me back on my feet when I thought they had been stolen from me.
That’s why during this general election I urge you to vote. Whether that’s for the NHS to be supported by the next government or whether you decide to vote in the other direction. As long as people are voting I will be happy because then we are truly represented and maybe the NHS will survive.
Channel 4’s Confessions of a Junior Doctor is an ongoing, weekly series and you can watch it from the link below: