A Rebel Without a Gauze

Everyone thinks being a rebellious nurse in a pandemic is cool, but I certainly don’t

If mixing up my Vs and Bs makes me sound like a Russian revolutionary, then soviet, but I refuse to toe the line when it comes to authority. If you can’t throw the rulebook out of the window in the middle of a global pandemic, when can you? I’ve recently started an anarchist support group, but no one’s following the rules.


About a month ago I became the leader of the loveliest bunch of lunatics I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with:

Us Lunatics Have Taken Over the Asylum


Looking back over the car-crash that is my nursing career, I’ve never felt the need to climb the greasy pole of management. As a burnt-out dope-smoking drunkard, cleverly disguised in real-life as the newly appointed clinical team leader of a fast-paced, acute psychiatric admissions ward, I don’t really have the time for such shenanigans. Talking of time, the other day I asked my manager if I could leave work early and she said only if I made the time up. So I said, “okay it’s quarter past a million.”

Our team’s recent raising of its game in the face of potentially overwhelming odds has gained the attention of the veritable ship of fools that is our senior management team. You’d be a halfwit if you thought their sudden interest was due to the innovative, creative and compassionate leadership style that now steers our ward’s shared moral purpose of getting through this shit-storm together. Let’s just say that these managers understand the effectiveness of compassionate leadership styles like Donald Trump understands the basic principles of biology.

Here in Hospital Management Land, there’s only one thing these vultures are interested in and that’s self-promotion. No joke.

Now, admittedly I’m partial to a bit of ‘increase in patient-turnover’ here and there, but let’s not force the outcome, and certainly not to the detriment of the wellbeing of staff. That kind of shit just doesn’t make sense! It’s like that one time my ex-wife said I ruined her birthday. What she said didn’t make sense, I mean, I didn’t even know it was her birthday.

Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t got anything against these managers individually, but as a collective, they couldn’t organise an easily organisable, low-key event with all the funding and resources they could possibly need.

Instead of investing in staff wellbeing, they make futile and half-hearted attempts to motivate their workforce. A recent example of their complete and utter lunacy is the decision to attribute names to management meetings.

As a result of such a hair-brained idea we now have a meeting called ‘Make-it-Happen-Monday’. I would’ve preferred ‘Fuck-you-Friday’. Seriously, this is no joke, ‘I Shit-You-Not-Sunday’. I’ve also heard rumours amongst the team that these same people are going to ban overly specific nicknames. We all think that’s because of Snitch-Rat-Raymond-the-grass-arse.

Armed with an archaic top-down management style and an ill-gotten reputation for beating teams into submission, these people are now hovering above me and my team. They call what they do ‘change-management’, I call it being an arsehole.

I foresee a potential problem arising.

Even though I possess both a professional reputation for challenging the inappropriate use of power, hierarchy and control and a personal reputation for being a complete fucking idiot, I’m still not sure this will be enough to keep the vultures at bay. These people are complete lunatics after all.

What could possibly go wrong?

When all this COVID-19 malarkey is over and done with, I bloody well hope people will continue to stay the hell away from me.

“Always do what is right. It will gratify half of mankind and astound the other”

Mark Twain

Originally published in ‘The Swipe’ 04/05/20.