Saturday, 31 August 2013

The Greatest Tragedy is Indifference



I am not at liberty to speak my truth,
it tempered by myth of equality;
I can hold no opinions of my own
should I offend those who would silence me.

I shall be watched, monitored, thought controlled;
moulded, become some mindless automaton
who blind yields to the bid of those that rule,
blind to the loss of self and freedom gone.

I but a small cog in a larger wheel,
a cog of insignificance and worthless say,
yet still while strength remains will mourn the death
of  Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité.

Come let us arm ourselves with righteous voice,
let us fight for return of common good,
let us regain our thoughts and freedoms lost, 
let us embrace again in brotherhood.

Let us fight for our humanity,
for shall we not our spirits surely slain,
we will lose the sense of who and what we are,
we will become a number and not a name.

Anna :o]

I like the French.  Many Brits don’t as they see the French as moaning, but do not understand that the French will readily admit to being "râleurs,” that is unafraid to speak their mind or show their feelings.  To "râler" is not to be confused with rudeness, it is getting things out in the open, sorting out a problem and moving on.  And long may it continue.

I guess with my French heritage – oh so long ago, the time of the Huguenots – I have a propensity to ‘tell it like it is.”  But my ‘telling it like it is’ is never confrontational, always wrapped in soft fluffy blankets with the comfort of moving on sure to follow.

Well apart from my personal life, the bit I have an element of control over, this is not strictly true - for as do my fellow countrymen/women I yield to the dumbing down and regimentation - by the forever increasing rules and regulations - of my life and watch helpless as my personal freedoms are whittled away under the lie of equality and ‘human rights.’  And it is true that most of us, worldwide, are indifferent to both the states (ours - not the US) overt and covert policing of us as we ‘have nothing to hide’…

The health professions’ are fraught with loss of autonomy as medicine and nursing becomes an exercise in ticking boxes, no matter that patients do not necessarily fit the boxes.  (In mental health some patients/clients/service-users do not meet the criteria of the ‘speciality’ of (any of) a particular psychiatrists remit and God help them if they need the input of a psychiatrist – it takes months for one prepared to take them on to be found.)

In the good old days, governance of said professions’ was done under the elected leadership of doctors and nurses (how strange!) but is now that of government quangos, mostly ignorant of the professions’ they supposedly serve.  (But they do not serve, they police in the most oppressive way and bow down to whatever government is in power.)  Added to this are countless regulatory bodies whose aim is to police and find fault – if praise is due, it is never given.

I can only speak with authority on the effect of all this tick boxing, regulation on nursing and although I still love my job, I am afraid in it.  There is a constant need (and knock on effect) to cover my back lest I fall foul of some obscure and ill-thought out regulation, I am constantly treading on eggshells and it is taking its toll and although I really do love my job – I would leave tomorrow if finances permitted.

I am not alone here and would ask you to view this article in The Guardian highlighting a recent survey in which (almost) two-thirds of nurses have considered leaving in the last twelve months as they are so stressed.  It is probable that another Mid-Staffs is happening now as burnout takes its toll and those on the bottom rung of the ladder will be again scapegoated. (Please read of burnout – see how it changes you.)

Doctors too are buckling under the pressure an ever increasing workload and excessive policing of their every action and a recent Pulse survey shows that 43% (of GPs that responded) are classified at very high risk of developing burnout.

I do not doubt within this midst are nurses and doctors who are bad, but also in this midst are doctors and nurses who have been suspended due to vexacious and/or malicious complaints (the compensation culture has a lot to answer for here).  I would therefore ask you to read this excellent Dr No post at Bad Medicine in which he highlights the deaths of 92 doctors who were under ‘Fitness to Practice’ investigation.  I would also ask you to consider signing Dr Helen Bright’s  e-petition here.  Cheers!

The greatest tragedy is indifference…

How did I get here?  Brian at dVerse has us writing of slogans – slogans that catch our attention and remain memorable.  And these thoughts just spilled out…  Thanks Brian.


25 comments:

Brian Miller said...

ugh...def let the righteous voices be heard...sad the way they are going too...its part of why i got out of private mental health as unless you were govt sponsored you would be fined out of business...the day we become a number not a name...hopefully people wake up before we get there....

Björn said...

Oh this is strong.. same thing in Sweden.. nurses don't stay on (same goes for teachers BTw) ... to stressful lives.. and in other areas too... stress stress... and often it boils down not to care about our fellow beings.

Claudia said...

Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité.... always loved that slogan of my french neighbors - and in many ways i hope we find back to that again - i too like that they're not afraid to say what they think... and think we can learn from each other

Laurie Kolp said...

I'm sad to read about your situation, Anna, and do hope that things will get better before they get worse. Too much regulation from this government, if you ask me. Anyway, I really enjoyed your poem!

Mary said...

Anna, your poem was heartfelt. As was your explanatory material afterward. It seems like it is the same all over the world. Nurses here in the U.S. say the same; and as Bjorn said, the stress hits teachers too. It is a different world today in these professions than it was some years ago.

howanxious said...

I liked how you incorporated the French revolution slogan Liberty, Equality and Fraternity in your creation.
A voice has to be raised against unjust deeds of the one who call themselves authorities.
Powerful verse and amazing writing.

Grace said...

So sad to read about this situation ~ But to raise your voice, not in indifference, is a good start ~

Orange UaPoet said...

Well done. You have very sophisticated poetic voice. And this poem's texture was well suited for the power of your words.

Debi Swim said...

regulations, restrictions, speak police... it sometimes feels dystopian.

Truedessa said...

A tough situation but, at least you let your voice be heard. In so many ways we are just numbers in the ever changing world.

gabriellaswritingcorner said...

I enjoyed both your poem and the explanations that follow.
Nurses have a hard time and are under a lot of stress! And as you pointed out, there isn't much they can say and do about it.
I also like how you link your thoughts to the french motto and your personal heritage!

aprille said...

Cutting to the bone again...Your writing deserves a greater audience. It is chillingly clear to see that everything you say has been coming on for a long time now and the tide is not about to turn.
I have a very important gp appointment tomorrow, and have been unnerved for days about it. But I know that I will walk out of that office none the wiser, with no path pointed out to me and no help given beyond the easy blood tests and discussion of numbers, which I can do perfectly well on my own with the help of google.
I feel so sad that goodness and quality like yours is squandered by futile ineffective regulations and I so hope that you manage to take care of yourself even if they don't allow you to take care of others the way you would want to.
I honestly believe that our society today no longer has the right to call itself civilized.

Cressida de Nova said...

I echo Aprille's comment.
Aux armes citoyens!
Vive les raleurs!
Vive La France!

^.^ said...

Hard to work in the health profession these days ... I know ... went home from work more than 1 time ... can only do so much ... then it's time to take care of myself in order to function the next day/ night ...

liv2write2day said...

Anna, I completely relate to your comments about what has happened in health care. Even before government-run health care is put in place, before I retired from nursing, the regulations on documentation became so burdensome that it felt to me like patient care was put in the background.

I lived in France for a few years in the 70's and enjoyed it a lot.It proves to me how important it is to look beyond stereotypes. Anywhere you go, there will be all sorts of characters.

bostonpoetry said...

Is there a 'love' button? This rings so true, and is so beautifully rendered in its soft fluffy blankets. The US, with its taking away of freedoms under the guise of patriotism, with its incessant spying, is guilty as well. I loved the line 'I but a small cog in a larger wheel, a cog of insignificance and worthless say, yet still while strength remains will mourn the death of Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité.'

seasideauthor said...

Enjoyed your poem very much. Does anybody hear? Worldwide issue...an obvious cause an effect...just saying the entire world suffers from 'control issues' and arrogance. Fried in place 20 years ago, when changes first kicked in... Wish you the best.

manicddaily said...

Well done, Anna. I feel especially bad for the stress on nurses as they are so terribly self-sacrificing - but in general, our culture has become very greedy. It's terrible. Thanks. k.

Jenny Woolf said...

It's always sad to see notions of equality and human rights used to keep people down.

Jyoti Mishra said...

Indifference and neglect often do much more damage than we realize..

johnallenrichter said...

Fighting the good fight! Love how you squeezed in a rhyme with fraternite'..... kewl....

Optimistic Existentialist said...

I love reading this but I am sorry about the situation. Kudos to you though for making sure your voiced is heard.

hyperCRYPTICal said...

Thanks for you welcome comment folks. Much appreciated!

It is scary that society and that of its freedoms are being stifled by rules and regulations of those that govern on. Even more scary is that we are allowing it...

1984 is alive and kicking...

Anna :o]

carldagostino said...

I think PC Police inhibit the freedom and comfortability of expression in this country. We need more of what the French have as far as expression unabashed. Of course being cruel and offensive is never acceptable. Thanks visit my blog.

mindlovemisery said...

I went to school for Nutrition and we were taught how to communicate with doctors without offending their ego. We were told that doctors look down on Nutritionists and will often pursue a faulty diagnosis to the patients detriment rather than admit an err in judgement especially if that error is pointed out by what they take to be an inferior professional (so the trick is to make them think everything is their idea). That we needed a class to navigate narcissism really disturbed me. Honestly, the nurses I have spoke too have been a lot nicer and more knowledgeable than the doctors I've spoken to. I get really wound up just thinking about it