Opinion, analysis and debate
A few years ago I took my son to a walk-in centre with a bad cut on his knee. We walked into a consulting room and the nurse washed his hands, put on some gloves and started examining the wound. The telephone rang, he answered it with his gloves still on and then returned to my son’s knee.
I am new to healthcare. I joined Nursing Times in the summer, having spent most of my career working for a TV corporation. My main role is helping to develop Nursing Times’ digital platforms and, to do so, it’s essential that I learn as much as I possibly can about the nursing profession.
Questions bounced around the lecture theatre full of student nurses in 2016, “What does this mean for us?”, “I wouldn’t have done the nursing course if I could get paid to be a nursing associate” and “who will be responsible for them when they do meds?”
What frustrated you most on your last shift? What will prevent you from providing the level of care you want to give to your patients on your next shift?
I spent today with a clutch of matrons, is “clutch” right? Better than “gaggle”? I don’t think “herd” works.
We have just finished about a week and a half of judging for the Nursing Times Awards. It makes everyone in the office happy to have it flooded with nurses for those few days.
The NHS constitution sets out that the health service “touches our lives at times of basic human need, when care and compassion are what matter most”. This picture certainly describes the role we as nurses play within the NHS.
September usually signals a time when everyone returns from their summer break, ready to face the long slog of winter.
Last week’s news story about a community trust refusing funds raised by men dressed up as nurses provoked a mixed response from nurses.
So what is nursing? It seems to me that no one can really decide whether nurses should diagnose, prescribe and treat, or observe, provide personal care and assistance to patients and service users.