It’s not my proudest memory. Back when I was working at CKNX radio in Wingham management brought in a smoking ban. I smoked then. I smoked when I wasn’t even actually smoking, that’s how devoted I was to the habit. I protested the ban saying it would lead to – and this is embarrassing – dizzy spells and feeling ill because I wasn’t getting my regular infusion of nicotine. I wish I was kidding. That was my defence and I lost, rightly. (My apologies to then-GM Al Skelton for the time I wasted being such an idiot!)
But what’s about to happen at London hospitals and the response to it are a world away from my lame attempt to keep lighting up in the studio. The Labour Ministry has decided to ban coffee cups and lunches in the ERs. This follows an inspection that discovered “drinking containers, including water jugs and Tim Horton cups” in patient areas.
It galls me when someone who hasn’t even done the job of a medical professional (and this applies to the way beaurocrats treat police officers too) draws a line in the sand and says this is how it should be done. The doctors and nurses in the ER hydrate, caffeinate and fuel up when they can. Now the Ministry wants them to go on a proper break and eat and drink at that time only. So what happens if an ambulance comes in during that break? It’s ridiculous!
If an ER doctor wants to sip on a Timmies between seeing patients and washes his or her hands accordingly before conducting an examination, what do I care? In fact, I’d rather be seen by a nurse with coffee breath than one who has been deprived on her daily hit because of some Taliban-style rules about where she can and cannot have her fix during a busy 8-hour shift. Nurses are already dealing with cutbacks. Patients here already have a longer than provincial-average waiting time to see someone in the ER.
What happens to some people in decision-making positions that their heads become inserted so far up their backside tunnels? There haven’t been any complaints. There is no stated risk to patient health. It’s just someone who’s not even working in the environment saying, that’s not right because they say so. I’m with the doctors and nurses on this one. Let them have their Tims. I’m sure it’s somewhere in the Canadian constitution that it’s their right along with eating donuts and wearing a sterile toque, if they so choose.