PG’s Tips for Survival at the RHN


Sidney Wonders What We Have Achieved in 150 Years
- to celebrate the founding of the
Royal Hospital


    Dr. Andrew Reed would be surprised at the changes that had taken place since 1854. I can imagine a telephone conversation between him and the Matron on their mobiles in January 2004!


‘Hello is that you, Matron?’
‘Who else would it be, you silly old fool? You got your secretary to log in my number under          

          "Matron". Still, you’re never too quick when it comes to new changes.’

‘True, true. But what’s this I hear about you having MEETINGS with the staff?’

‘You know, Andrew, you really must keep up to speed with all the changes. We’re living in a democracy and an age of open communication. We also hold meetings with the residents (as we call the patients).’

‘Sadly, the days are gone when Matron’s word was law and when you spoke and that was it.’

‘You really are hankering after the old times, aren’t you Andrew?’

‘However, isn’t there a danger of too much talk and not enough action?’

‘This is true. That’s why we rely on you, Andrew, to guide us.’

‘Be that as it may. God bless you for that encouragement, Matron. However, it has come to my notice that you are using COMPUTERS!’

‘That’s correct. They’ve enabled the staff to communicate with ease, using email; they can share information on any topic and also they can keep records on all aspects of a resident’s treatment. Finally using the Internet, staff have access to all resources for research.’

‘I apologize for my scepticism, but is not the penultimate point rather time-consuming?’

‘You mean of course the reference to keeping records. Naturally, there can be cases where you’re absolutely right - times when computers come before residents. I expect that you’ll find this in any large organization.’

‘No doubt, as I have seen clerical staff - who tend to breed like rabbits - walking about with sheaves of paper. They all appear so busy and important.’

‘You really are an old cynic! You know that looks are deceptive. There are bound to be those, in such a busy establishment.’

‘That is of what I am secretly afraid. Perhaps another we have grown too large.’

‘What nonsense you talk sometimes, Andrew. You forget the international reputation that the Royal Hospital has quite rightly gained. If it hadn’t been for your ...’

‘Quite, quite! Well, Matron, it has been good to speak to you.’

‘Oh, one final thing Andrew. Please stop calling me Matron - my name’s Martha!’


Written by Peter Gow

February 2004


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