“I rearrange treatment room for fun.” says nurse.
Felicity Ballcracker is a staff nurse with seven years post registration experience. Her colleagues despise her and analysts think she may be responsible for up to £2.6m in lost efficiency due to her antics. We spoke to Felicity, or “Flick the Dick” as her colleagues know her. She told her story.
“It all started when I qualified. I went straight to an intensive care unit. They were so anal about where everything was kept and how many of each thing you needed. It drove me mad. I didn’t really fit in there because I wasn’t a huge fan of biscuits, cakes and Pringles. You see, they used to bring food in for shift and it was always a diabetes fest, so I decided to bring in carrots and dip. I literally thought they were going to kill me. Janice, the HCA who ran the place, told me it was time to think about whether I could learn to love carbs. I couldn’t so it was time to go.”
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Felicity considers her rearranging activity to be a behavioural rebellion against the principles of her previous workplace. Following her departure from the intensive care unit, she started working on a general medicine unit within the same hospital. Marjorie Brexit, the HCA in charge of the ward, told us about the first time they encountered the problem with Felicity.
“Well, I literally couldn’t believe it. I came in after morning handover. Felicity had been on night shift, which is when she does her deeds. I just felt it in my bones, something wasn’t right. I’ve been doing this job for 137 years and I can sense these things. I was looking for the Cavilon and just couldn’t find it. Forty five minutes later we eventually found it where the dressings used to be. Of all the things I’ve seen since I started this job, this was by far the worst.”
Our investigators have found that this is not an isolated phenomena. According to the National Institute of Ambiguous Research most wards or hospital departments have a compulsive rearranger, which is not to be confused with compulsive tidier/sorter. Professor Hillary Millary-Smithe said that ” Our 2017 survey showed that there may be as many as 45,000 people like Felicity in the NHS.”
The story has a darker side. Last month, one of Felicity’s colleagues, Jane Snowflake, was trying to find something and couldn’t, eventually getting so angry that she cried. “I was trying to do my IV’s and I just wanted some normal saline, that’s all I wanted, nothing else. I took the yellow key and went to the cupboard where it was kept. The sticker was now green. I thought this was strange, but tried the green key. It didn’t work. I then tried the yellow key but it didn’t work. Eventually, the blue key opened the door, but the cupboard was full of oxygen mask and airway management stuff. It was like a nightmare. I just broke down.”
The NHS is now launching a “Leave it the F**K alone” campaign. The objective is to stop people from messing with things that don’t need to be messed with. Trusts are also implementing the “Kick a colleague” policy, which requires staff to kick a colleague if they are found “messing with shit”.
Does your ward have a Felicity. We’d love to hear from you.