Rightly or wrongly sometimes first impressions linger – or at least their shadows do. When I first came into nursing over 30 years ago I didn’t really notice the Royal College of Nursing. I was a mental health nurse and didn’t feel we were their type back then. They liked people who ironed vigorously and listened to Phil Collins; when they looked at us they saw people who played pool with their patients and called it work.
I realise that as a columnist I shouldn’t say this but I try to avoid the news as much as I can. I have for a couple of years now. I don’t really like it and I find it doesn’t help me to live my life.
I ’m not sure it has ever been harder to be a nurse. I may get a letter from someone reminding me how difficult those first few weeks of the Crimean War were, and there may even be a few romantics from the 1950s anxious to remind us that in the old days student nurses had to hand wash and iron the whole of Wolverhampton before they were allowed to speak. But let’s face it – it is harder today than ever and it’s probably worth wondering why we are letting that be the case.
Call me unpatriotic but I have always been confused by the word “Great” in Great Britain. Ironically it may be that I am just very British in my coyness when it comes to self-praise? Or it may be that it never really felt earned? I don’t think all the other countries got together and said, “you know who’s Great? Britain, that’s who. With it’s quaint red pillar-boxes and its willingness to tolerate Richard Branson. Let’s call her Great Britain from now on”. And even though Australia, ...
I’m having coffee with a nurse friend. She has been doing what she does for 15 years and can’t remember the last time her feet didn’t hurt. She is on her fourth espresso and has the wide-eyed stare of a kitten that has just seen wool for the first time. She leans across the table and says; “I’m thinking of making a break for it.”
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If I have a responsibility to this page, it involves some sensitivity to the experiences of the people who may read it.
Call me crass and irresponsible but I hope you find a way to treat yourself at Christmas
Some of you will be familiar with the slightly scary social psychology research known as the ‘Stanford Prison Experiment’. It investigated the psychological effects of perceived power and took place in 1971.
I spent today with a clutch of matrons, is “clutch” right? Better than “gaggle”? I don’t think “herd” works.
I am sitting outside a cafe in Brighton with a friend talking about life and watching the clouds.