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  • Nurses to retire later and pay more into pensions

    Paul Barker's comment 21 October, 2010 7:41 pm

    This whole debate has made me reassess my sense of the value public puts on its own service.Up until about 4 weeks ago i felt,as a band 6 of 24 years service in the nhs,relatively well paid, worth more, but at least making the average wage.However, the figure of 44k is being bandied about as the average income.By rough reckoning,this means that a support worker who does the high end compassion work, is three times less valuable than an estate agent, four times less than an advertising executive,or one match day of apremiership footballer.In retirement they can expect to live for a week on the price of a decent lunch for an investment banker.What a screwed up "big society" we inhabit,although entertainingly,the woman who told us 30 years ago that there was "no such thing as society", is now being cared for by compassionate nurses and supporting staff.I hope she can sleep and recover in comfort,because when its the turn of her ideological offspring, there won't be any goodwill and compassion left.

  • Lord Hutton calls for end to final salary pensions

    Paul Barker's comment 7 October, 2010 8:40 pm

    On the "today" interview this morning, as i travelled in for another day with no break for meals, an hours unpaid overtime (an everyday occurrence),and the usual rewards and stresses of serving the community,and having worked my way from part time floor scrubber to senior community mental health nurse,the government spokesman was saying how unfair it would be for me to retire at 60 (despite my employment including MHO status entitling me to leave at 55), and my child have to work to 65.
    After considering this statement i am now finally convinced that out of parental love i shall do everything in my power to dissuade both my kids from entering into nursing.
    The job has on three occasions damaged my health, almost wrecked my marriae, and frequently robs me of both time and energy for my kids,and now the message seems to be i have not paid enough, not worked long enough, and don't deserve my final salary pay off. Never ,never trust this govenrment to have any care for the goodwill and dedication of its most loyal workers

  • Nurses lack skills to treat self-harm

    Paul Barker's comment 5 October, 2010 8:59 pm

    At risk of joining in with a round of let's kick the ignorant, the ego driven,adversarial commenter above should consider whether his attitude in these comments is something he manages to prevent from leaking out in his day to day practice.
    All behaviour serves a purpose for the individual, and nurses treat individuals as a whole, which means access to health care in distress.
    Many injuries and illnesses are acquired through choice, bad choices like heroin or cider, but also healthy choices like climbing or rugby, or principled choices like serving your country. We cannot be the arbiters of which of these are valuable uses of our time.
    Please just think about how reactionary these attitudes sound, and that as a nurse you represent the face of nursing to all in your care

  • Managing violence and aggression - a student perspective

    Paul Barker's comment 25 September, 2010 10:39 am

    In my career i have witnessed numerous aggressive incidents.I have also witnessed hundreds more potential incidents defused by the use of skilled communication (skills equally valid in compassionate care).I feel that two issues make the difference to effective violence prevention
    1 The ridiculous "hyping" by staff which lead to anxiety in themselves which leaks out in interaction,promoting mistrust and raising the potential for violence
    2 The failure by Trusts to act consistently by pursuing charges against individuals who act aggressively. Although "zero tolerance" signage is widely displayed,Trusts universally fail to act in congruence with this policy by pressing charges.
    I attended the latest version of my own Trust's conflict resolution training last year,and found it depressingly pointless , as it failed to address the behaviour and attitudes of staff and organisations which actively promote mistrust and division.
    I have also witnessed frequently witnessed the use of two phrases which are gauranteed to inflame any person who is already frustrated ."Calm Down""You are being aggressive" are both commonly used and provoke people.Whereas "could we discuss this problem in a less public place" and similar attitudes at least acknowledge that people have a legitimate right to strong emotion,to express it ,and have their dignity respected.

  • Dizziness 'usually benign' in A&E patients

    Paul Barker's comment 7 August, 2010 10:12 am

    or ,as is more frequently,given the prevalence in the general population, related to anxiety or hyperventilation panic,leading to peope feeling frightened,uncertain andmore likely to reattend in future,where they will once again be told"theres nothing wrong with you", andstart a cycle of misery ,which at worst ends with the diagnosis of "Persistent delusional disorder", and costs thousnds, whereas encouragenent to seek help through mental health services and teaching contro breathing could stop it in its tracks.

  • 'Nurses must meet their own spiritual needs, not just those of their patients'

    Paul Barker's comment 26 July, 2010 12:04 pm

    keeping ones views to oneself is a safe option, but this does not absolve us from our duty to address the needs of our service users,as they are a fundamental part of their identity.however in being aware of ones own values,and the respect we would wish them shown, we can understand their personal importance,and afford the same respect to others.
    if the person in the recent case had asked to be prayed for, how would a nurse respond?
    No one should beusing their status to advance their own agenda, but when a person expresses a clearly felt need, we have a duty to respond.We more importantly,have a duty to ask

  • 'Nurses must meet their own spiritual needs, not just those of their patients'

    Paul Barker's comment 25 July, 2010 11:16 am

    At a time when numerous reports slate nurses in all disciplines for failure to demonstrate compassion andnurse with dignity, i find some of these "science based " criticisms disturbing.This subject is based in care deliverers recognising and respecting individuals values,not in tokenistic nods to formal religious practice.
    It is this tokenism that leads to ineffective care.Nursing depends upon three pillars, knowledge, skills, and attitude,and no amount of increased knowledge of anatomy and physiology will equip staff with the ability to engage with the distressed person if they cannot read and respect the values of the person they are with.
    As for scientific arguments against spirituality, i suggest that a reading of Dawkins "the selfish gene" would shed light on scientific, atheistic views on "spirit" that might surprise.
    the arguments against stated here are either emotive descriptions of individual poor practice,which should be tackled at source, as expected under the code of conduct,or cite spirituality as not evidenced or recovery related.The Recovery agenda in mental health is based entirely in issues of identity ,values,meaning and hope, all of which fall way outside the bio mechanistic attitude displayed by the contributors above.