Episode 14 – with Andrea Spyropoulos

Stuart & Ed are joined by legendary nurse leader Andrea Spyropoulos. We’re talking about nurse activism, where we’ve been, where we are and where we need to go.

We’re hosted on a new platform – Anchor.FM from those nice people at Spotify, where you can find and subscribe here: https://anchor.fm/rmnbehavingbadly.

You can also subscribe the old fashioned way on iTunesSoundCloud or Spotify (or hopefully wherever you get your podcasts – if your app doesn’t work, please let us know in the comments or on Twitter).

Intro music is:

I Want It by EpiJay ( https://music.apple.com/us/album/high-level-ep/605743629)

Outro music is:

Fuzzball Parade by Kevin MacLeod
Link: https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/song/5044-fuzzball-parade
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Mental Health Awareness Week

Monday the 18th of May until Sunday the 24th of May is Mental Health Awareness Week & it’ll be sure to bring a spotlight on the importance of mental health & wellbeing through public engagement via all media platforms.

The theme this year is ‘kindness’ and lets face it, the world could do with a little more of that right now. The problem is, however, that its the same people constantly being kind. Its the same professionals’ commitment & dedication that is conflated with kindness & heroism when in fact it is their job.

In many ways for those of us who are nurses, our person centred approach to care is taken for granted by politicians, bureaucrats & the like. We are asked to be kind this Mental Health Awareness week but what does that really mean for those of us who have cared for people day in, day out & witnessed first hand the system perpetuated by politicians being unkind to our patients?

Yes, kindness is important & absolutely there are measurable benefits garnered from kindness, to both giver & receiver. But what ifs just the same people being kind all the time, chipping away at some immovable force of consumerism & capitalism?

Nursing has born the front of Corona Virus heavily & many of our brothers & sisters have paid dearly with their lives. Our colleagues from the BAME community have delivered care despite the alarming and disproportionate number of them succumbing to the virus. Who will do them a kindness, who will do any of these nurses a kindness, who has the power or authority to change anything?

For our patients & citizens who rely on Mental Health services live with moderate to severe conditions which impede & challenge their lives daily. No kindness was shown to them through the implementation of Austerity, no consideration was given to them when Social Welfare reforms actively resulted in homelessness of the most venerable & an increase in child poverty.

It wold seem counterinitiative of a Pod such as ours to decry Mental Health Awareness Week, so lets be clear, that’s not what we are doing. Neither are we suggesting that we shouldn’t embrace kindness. What we are saying is that we should be mindful that whilst kindness can begets kindness, that there is no replacement for dignity & respect.

This Mental Health Awareness Week 2020, we here at RMN Behaving Badly would like all of our listeners to be kind to themselves first and foremost. Take that moment to reflect on just how amazing you are, how influential you are & how important you are.

We would like to extend our kindness to the people who require our services & interventions & remind them that we as nurses would be nothing without them, that many of us would rather see our roles redundant, their symptoms cured & the days of the Mental Health Nurse deemed unnecessary.

Until then lets all appreciate one another every day, being mindful that kindness has two happy bedfellows, dignity & respect.

RMN Behaving Badly – LIVE! with Lost Voice Guy & Music from Murdo Mitchell

Saturday 30th May 9pm on Zoom

2020-05-30T21:00:00

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Live Pod Number 3

With the four nations of the UK going their own ways in terms of Lock Down and Matt Hancock reminding us that we are all loaded after our bumper pay rises (15% no less!), we thought it would be a good idea to have a third FREE Live-Pod to reflect on the chaos.

Stu & Ed want to continue to bring the RMN BB community together again building on the success of the most recent Live Pod with Susan Morrison & Susie McCabe. This time however, they’ve ‘changed things up’.

Comedy is still at the heart of what’s on the agenda and, like the Live-Pods before, the acts working with us won’t leave listeners disappointed. Now it should be noted that we knew our first guest before Simon Cowell, and he’s been a friend to our profession for way longer than Amanda Holden.

Lee Ridley, known to many as Lost Voice Guy won Britain’s Got Talent in 2018, wowing the public in the process. Lee mixes his life experience with political satire & observations to hilarious effect so we are confident that once again that he will be a hit with our listeners.

Lee has recently launched his book and we will be giving away a signed copy to one lucky member of the Live Pod audience. His book tells of his remarkable journey to the top of UK comedy, radio & TV. We would certainly recommend it so here’s a link – we are sure he could be persuaded to sign some more copies. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Im-Only-Parking-laughter-priority/dp/1787631478

You can find out more about Lee at his website https://lostvoiceguy.com/

If you would like to submit a question to Lee then email to stu@rmnbehavingbadly.co.uk or ed@rmnbehavingbadly.co.uk

Our second guest on our third Live Pod will see the introduction of a live acoustic music set by one of the foremost live performers on the London live music scene. Murdo Mitchell‘s performances have been recorded by hundreds of people in and around London and his own videos on YouTube have seen well of 500k viewings.

He is lead singer in the well established indie-pop-rock outfit Delphi but on the 30th May it will be Murdo doing his solo material and perhaps some covers for you to sing along with from the comfort of your own home.

Well known for his passionate & committed approach to performing we that you’ll all enjoy this addition to the pod. Murdo will be able to take orders for his CD & we would encourage folks to invest in a copy; this young man is going places.

Murdo can be found on his socials, like all the young folks; https://www.facebook.com/Murdo-Mitchell-Music-125130304246180/

To get you in the mood though here are a couple of videos to give you a sneak preview of what’s to come https://www.youtube.com/user/murdoM75

We would also like to thank our Patrons who have given us their support via Patreon to ensure that we have the means to bring this show to you all free & live with such talented artists. If you would like to contribute to the development of our Community then click on this link https://www.patreon.com/RMNBehavingBadly

Our aim is to remain informative, relevant, funny & free so if you feel that’s something you can chip in with to help us reach a bigger audience then come join us.

To register for the utterly FREE Live Pod on Saturday the 30th of May click here, in the meantime be safe & thanks for following us.

International Nurses’ Day 2020

Well technology failed us and our two attempts to record a brief podcast episode were lost somewhere in The Cloud. Maybe future historians will find that data, and somehow piece together a picture of the ridiculous dystopia where up is down and stupid is the new clever.

Today, the 12th of May is International Nurses’ Day and we couldn’t let it pass without comment. Come to think of it, I can’t think of anything we let pass without comment…

This year’s marking of International Nurses’ Day is all the more poignant; it’s the bicentenary of the birth of the world’s most famous nurse, Florence Nightingale, and we’re smack bang in the middle of the International Year of the Nurse & Midwife, right smack bang in the middle of a global health emergency. Never before has the role of nursing had such a high profile, never before has there been a greater need for nurses of all kinds.

Stuart and I have both reflected on the image of nursing and the legacy of Nightingale; she is held up as the ultimate “angel”, the Lady with the Lamp tending to the desperately wounded soldiers with compassion. But her primary legacy, at least as far as we can see, was as a statistician and a social reformer.

Nightingale used statistics, data, evidence to argue for better care, better facilities and higher standards. She lobbied hard for social reform and improvements to public health, challenging politicians at a time when women were not even permitted to vote.

It’s as a political activist and evidence-based practitioner that she should be held as a role model for the modern nurse.

Because we don’t need angels right now.

We need bold nurses who will demand better care, better facilities and higher standards, from the top of government right down to the wards, community, care homes and primary care.

Enjoy your day. Then go out and kick some backsides into gear!

Ed

Episode 13 – LIVE! with the Susans

Podcast hosts Stuart McKenzie and Ed Freshwater are joined by comedians Susie McCabe and Susan Morrison for another night of comment and comedy with a mental health nursing flavour.

If video is your thing then watch the whole show on YouTube here: https://youtu.be/etw0kk-YAeM

Support more episodes like this one by becoming a Friend of the podcast on our new Patreon site: https://www.patreon.com/RMNBehavingBadly

Susie McCabe:
https://susiemccabe.com/
https://twitter.com/susie_mccabe

Susan Morrison:
http://www.suziemo.co.uk/standup.htm
https://twitter.com/suziemo

We’re hosted on a new platform – Anchor.FM from those nice people at Spotify, where you can find and subscribe here: https://anchor.fm/rmnbehavingbadly.

You can also subscribe the old fashioned way on iTunesSoundCloud or Spotify (or hopefully wherever you get your podcasts – if your app doesn’t work, please let us know in the comments or on Twitter).

Intro music by EpiJay ( https://music.apple.com/us/album/high-level-ep/605743629)

Outro music by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) from from https://filmmusic.io License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

Episode 12 – Random Blather

Register HERE for our free comedy show on Saturday 9th May, and click HERE to watch the video from the last one.

We’re hosted on a new platform – Anchor.FM from those nice people at Spotify, where you can find and subscribe to us – click here.

You can also subscribe the old fashioned way on iTunesSoundCloud or Spotify (or hopefully wherever you get your podcasts – if your app doesn’t work, please let us know in the comments or on Twitter).

Intro music by EpiJay ( https://music.apple.com/us/album/high-level-ep/605743629)

Outro music by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) from from https://filmmusic.io License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

RMN Behaving Badly LIVE! With 2 Susan’s

2020-05-09T21:00:00

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Live Podcast

RMN Behaving Badly are delighted to announce our second ‘Live Pod’ on Saturday May the 9th @ 9pm

Following the success of our live event on the 19th of April featuring the fabulous John Scott & with the continuation of the Lock-Down, it felt only right to bring everyone back together.

Recognising that the world is a different place at the moment and that the politicians really shouldn’t be left to their own devices, Ed & Stuart will be discussing the things that they think matter most; it is their pod after all.

To break up their pontificating & postulating, this time Ed & Stuart will be joined by fantastic comedians Susan Morrison & Susie McCabe, both hilarious, both without compromise in their material, a great match up for the pod & our listeners.

Joining the event couldn’t be easier. Click on this link to request a place & you’ll be sent a link via email. W are looking forward to seeing all of those lockdown hairdos.

Susan Morrison – http://www.suziemo.co.uk
Susie McCabe – http://www.susiemccabe.com

 If you havent had the chance to catch up with the live pod featuring the magnificent John Scott then you can watch and listen by clicking below

Episode 11 – LIVE! with John Scott

Join regular RMN Behaving Badly hosts Stuart McKenzie and Ed Freshwater as they discuss topical and political issues relating to mental health nursing in the UK. In the first ever live show, they’re joined by comedian and expert by experience John Scott.

We’re hosted on a new platform – Anchor.FM from those nice people at Spotify, where you can find and subscribe to us – click here.

You can also subscribe the old fashioned way on iTunesSoundCloud or Spotify (or hopefully wherever you get your podcasts – if your app doesn’t work, please let us know in the comments or on Twitter).

Intro music by EpiJay ( https://music.apple.com/us/album/high-level-ep/605743629)

“Comic Hero” and outro music both by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com) from from https://filmmusic.io License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

‘Wobble Rooms’

Corona Virus has brought with it a considerable number of challenges for us all across Health & Social Care and I’m sure that what people choose to call an area designed to offer staff sanctuary is certainly not worth spending too much time upon. Or is it?

I chanced upon a Tweet where a clearly caring & supportive Nursing Manager was sharing pictures of a space in an acute hospital for staff to rest. Now having worked in Mental Health services for over 20 years, I feel more than qualified to comment on tea and coffee making facilities. You will be pleased to know that there was an ample size kettle, a fine selection of biscuits and a not too shabby stock of tea and coffee.

My first thought was ‘well done’, good to see a long over due focus on staff welfare and wellbeing. My second thought was, ‘its a shame it took a global pandemic for such developments to garner traction’. And my final thought as I read the name of the room was ‘really’? (it was actually a bit less printable). The room was called a ‘wobble room’, there was a hashtag and everything.

My fingers were poised to start to allow the stream of consciousness pour from my head to the Twitter feed and begin to praise them for their efforts whilst decry the use of such a nebulous and suggestive title for a room. I stopped myself, I texted Ed. Ed agreed, he too wondered ‘really’? Whilst we both fully agreed with the practical aspect, we just couldn’t get past the name of the room.

On further consultation with some knowledgeable mental health nursing types and a HR contact, it appears such rooms described as ‘wobble rooms’ were indeed popping up, no pun intended. I should be clear at this juncture, the issue isn’t the purpose of the room and the need for such a facility for staff is undeniable, regardless of Corona Virus. The issue here is the tag that’s attached to it – ‘wobble’.

Now whilst others may describe how they are feeling emotionally in a particular way and using words or phrases which they find comfortable to say, for example; ‘That shift was chaos, right in the middle of it I could feel myself having a wee wobble’. Now that is that individual’s own words, describing their response in a particular set of circumstances. Now consider this dialogue between a Staff Nurse and a Senior Charge Nurse.

SCN – “How are you feeling, that was some shift”?

SN – “Yeah, it was pretty full on, it was really chaotic at one point”

SCN – “I could see that, I’d heard you’d had whole load of things happening at once in the middle of it all, do you want to go and take some time in the wobble room?”

We do get hung up on language in our world, but for bloody good reason. If the Recovery movement and actual inclusion of patients in their care and treatment has taught us anything, its that words do matter. Recognising that there are often cultural differences across the family of nursing and that what we may think is acceptable within the world of Mental Health, others may think is superfluous or inane. So we sought wider opinion and launched a mini-poll on Twitter, encouraging our listeners to tell us what they thought and asked them the following question.

Is the use of the word ‘wobble’ to describe a safe space or a wellbeing area for staff acceptable?

We got an incredible response to the question with a host of views and opinions. In total 211 people voted in the mini poll which went up on our Twitter feed for 48hrs. Now we have to say, we appreciate that in terms of rigour, this is not a scientific paper and the poll was merely to understand if there was a variation in opinion out there; a Research Nurse I am not.

The thread of comments made for really interesting reading. I should say that a great many individuals were inclined to feel that the use of the word ‘wobble’ was indeed ok and very eloquently justified their position.

I think it’s important to acknowledge that we all have wobble/ shaky moments, I know I do! Wee have seen lots of images recently likening nurses to superheroes, which is kind. But I don’t feel like a superhero, I’m human & feel fragile & anxious most days as this is scary!

Jennie Lee Sims RMN (@jennieglee)

This was one of the first responses and it reminded me just how vulnerable we all are right now, and that whilst the best intentions of the public and the media are in the main with us, unhelpful analogies such as being superheroes or angels is unhelpful. We are all scared. Another follower of the pod went on to give another honest appraisal of the matter by being ambivalent about the name as long as the space was available.

Can only answer honestly by saying I don’t care. Wobble room, chill out room, safe space if we want to go all ‘woke’. If we have an area then what will make a difference for staff is colleagues around them and strong, empathic leadership form senior nurses.

Derek Pettigrew (@DerekPettigrew)

And it is worth noting that these are just two examples of colleagues who held the view that it was either ok or that the use of the word ‘wobble’ was irrelevant.  I began to doubt myself, perhaps I was in the minority? I’ve been wrong before and doubtless it’ll happen again, but this just felt counter intuitive to me as a Mental Health Nurse. The focus we place upon ‘strengths based’, unambiguous language that helps reduces tense situations or lead to loaded questions when working with people would seem at odds with the idea of referring to someone’s reaction as a ‘wobble’.  They themselves may call it that, as that is what they identify it as; others may use ‘wigging out’ or even a ‘melt-down’.  They could all mean the same thing or very different things. Why, therefore, risk the introduction of ambiguity?

Now, my bias in this matter is in no doubt, nor Ed’s.  We value and encourage the innovation, its the label we were questioning, yet there was clear support for the use of ‘wobble’. Then the introduction of a circa 1980’s children’s toy was dropped in with great effect, drawing sharp focus upon the imagery that could be summoned up by the use of a word.

Makes me think of ‘Weebles wobble but they don’t fall down’.  So is it not ok to fall all the way down? 

Shelley Pearce @spearce33801

Without even answering the question I immediately felt that the connotations of brought about by such a phrase would make me jar at the very thought of spending time in a ‘wobble room’.

I really admire the idea, but to call it a ‘wobble’ room just isn’t right.  Its like the equivalent of the naughty step to me.

Kristy Gibson @KittyGibson90 

Further comments went on to back up the importance of the language in recognising that this was not a room whose function should be diminished by contextualising it with an emotive colloquialism. One comment struck a chord with me personally.

No and I do care about the language and agonise about the use of words in my every day practice  

Preferred not to be Cited

Whilst another colleague offered alternatives which they felt offered less ambiguity and more of a tangible idea.

I’m very in favour of the acceptance of healthcare workers being seen as human and therefore experiencing the ups and downs of life, but I feel ‘wobble’ has a patronising tone to it.  I definitely think ‘recharge or ‘chill’ room would have better connotations.  

Rebecca @BeckiKathryn

Without a shadow of a doubt, every single person who commented felt that the concept was sound and essential to the wellbeing of staff.  Multiple responses referred to wellbeing.  Some individuals spoke of having ‘wellbeing’ rooms already in place long before the emergence of Corona Virus. Several of them suggested that it was the ideal name for such a room given its purpose and function.

I’d prefer to see ‘wellbeing room’ on the door.  ‘Wobble’ seems to suggest that its a deviation from the norm, a lapse or a weakness.  It is not.  Like so many others have said, more eloquently than I can, language matters

Samuel Richards @samueloftensam

I have to say, Samuel is more eloquent and succinct than I had been to this point and articulates the vast majority of views. Whilst some said ‘safe space’ would be good, others wondered if the use of the word ‘wobble’ minimised the importance of the room itself and may generate a stigma of not coping. Will Murcott gave possibly the best suggestion which could have been seen as a compromise, suggesting no name, my only worry then would be would be what word would fill that vacuum? His idea is not without merit given that language often takes us down rabbit holes like this blog.

Lets just have it as a room.  A room that everyone knows they can use and they can call it whatever they want on the way to it to do whatever they want in it (within reason of course) 🙂

Will Murcott @billymurcott

As I watched the chat around the matter progress I was impressed at the professionalism on both sides of the ‘wobble’ debate. Despite people holding different views it was clear that there was respect for one another’s opinions and a recognition that as human clinicians need emotional and psychological support at work.

Ultimately the Poll ended as follows:

The outcome was clear from our perspective, over 50% of those who voted felt that the use of the word ‘wobble’ was not appropriate to describe such a space. There are multiple responses beyond those cited that clearly articulate that language is important when considering the labelling of emotions and human reactions. We could do so much more by analysing it further but the purpose was to spark interest, debate and discussion.

I was going to end the Blog there but this very morning more chatter started about it and when myself and Ed dared to question the language we were advised it was staff choice and that we could go and name our room as we wished.

Lets just let that hang there, we could just go and do what we wanted, is that a pleasant way of telling us to mind our own?

Is it really all staffs choice? Has someone planted the seed, does it seem novel, almost whimsy in these ‘exceptional times’. For the vast majority of us in Mental Health I’d bet we would all take a second to think about how we used language.

Exceptional times or not, as a profession we should consider the impact of the decisions we make, particularly when a significant number are raising their voices. Innovations in practice and endeavours such as the Scottish Patient Safety Programme are designed to bring consistency to practice to ensure quality outcomes for patients, shouldn’t staff have the same? When all of this is over and we are asking for the permanency of wellbeing areas and funding to sustain them, will we want to diminish their importance by calling them ‘wobble rooms’?

We would love to keep the debate alive, leave your views below in the comments section or tweet us as @RMNBBpodcast

Permission was sought for all comments to be used as part of this Blog.

Episode 10 – News of the live show!

Stuart & Ed bring you news of our upcoming LIVE! show on Saturday 18th April, 9pm with comedian John Scott.

The show is free on Zoom – just follow the link to register and get your password: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/uZQsdeqrqjwstNtNFc6e4pMNE7XC9LUiqA

For those who can’t make the live show, we’ll upload the performance to YouTube shortly afterwards.

Matt Hancock’s boxing gloves, wall art and disappointing furniture can be seen here: https://twitter.com/MattHancock/status/1248240059377168385

Thanks to EpiJay for the intro music 🙂

Don’t forget to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts!