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Comments (41)

  • Comment on: Board game aims to improve knowledge on dysphagia

    Forester's comment 24-Mar-2014 4:59 pm

    I welcome any good information on the management of dysphagia because it's difficult and scary to manage. Too many such patients are left on wards at weekends with nobody but agency staff (with very variable skills) and HCAs. I have seen some clueless approaches varying from pureed diets, to nil by mouth for days until a SALT picks up a referral! Patients suffer from clueless care and anything that helps is good, even if it does seem puerile and patronising for qualified staff.

  • Comment on: PM's expert nursing forum fears it has been scrapped

    Forester's comment 24-Mar-2014 4:46 pm

    Well, look what happened to the CNO roles! There's an interesting history here. Once, nurses were senior specialist civil servants with their own departments and able to influence policy directly. Now it's just a disposable ad hoc group. I agree with Tinkerbell. I'm not surprised at what has happened since the whole thing was clearly window dressing, but they used to dish out a few minor gongs before disbanding them. Not even sure this group got a party bag of sweeties to take home. This government holds nursing in contempt. For these people, we're just another subset of the menial servant classes. We shouldn't be fooled by such PR nonsense into thinking they want to listen us.

  • Comment on: Steve Ford: 'Nurse apprenticeships for HCAs are in defiance of the evidence'

    Forester's comment 24-Mar-2014 4:30 pm

    Patients need degree educated nurses for the complexity of modern health care to be safe. I guess the important thing is that the proposed HCA entrant mustn't be asked to work for which s/he isn't equipped (unlike now!) and that at the end of whatever programme is offered, there is absolutely no difference in the qualifications of the finished nurses from current degree programmes and the 'apprentice entry' programmes. It mustn't be a lesser qualification or a less academically rigorous programme, even if the entrants have no relevant prior educational qualifications. Anything less is unsafe for patients and marks a dumbing down of nursing.

  • Comment on: Will recommendations for HCA training recreate the SEN role?

    Forester's comment 25-Feb-2014 3:53 pm

    SENs were entirely different from today's HCAs. They had an education in human biology, as well as training. They understood human anatomy, physiology and the changes and stresses brought about by disease and trauma in ways which HCAs just can't understand at present. SENs may not have been academically minded nurses, but they absolutely needed to know this stuff! Without a real nursing education with enough theoretical background, HCAs will continue to flounder when faced with work where understanding and interpretation of clinical data is required. Currently, too many HCAs are undertaking work well beyond their fundamental understanding and this places both them and their patients at risk. Many hard-pressed nurses forget that their HCA colleagues have not had their basic human biology education and their delegation of some clinical tasks can pose a high risk for patients, as well exploiting their HCA colleagues. We should value our colleagues for what they can contribute, but it's wrong to expect them to be the same as qualified nurses.

  • Comment on: Peter Carter: 'We can look ahead to 2014 with a great deal of optimism'

    Forester's comment 30-Jan-2014 2:52 pm

    I resigned from the RCN. It's beneath my professional dignity to subscribe to some of the nonsense they put out to members. Of course, much of the growth in RCN membership is from HCAs, who don't have these professional concerns and may be easier to impress. It's all fluff and impression management now. This marks another step in the decline of once proud professional organisation putting its respectable history behind it.

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