Requiring student nurses to complete a year’s caring experience before they are accepted onto a degree course is a really bad idea, says Elaine Maxwell
1. Where is the evidence that the problem is with newly qualified nurses not caring?
Julie Bailey tweeted this morning that student nurses were the most compassionate on ward 11 at Mid Staffs.
2. There is no evidence this will improve compassionate care.
It fact there is strong evidence suggesting the opposite. Staff are socialised to their experience and if the student nurse works with an HCA who displays poor behaviour the student nurse will learn these and need to unlearn them as an HCA.
3. Devalues the theory on compassion and caring
This suggests care is an unskilled job, Florence would turn in her grave.
4. Gov have rejected calls to regulate/register HCAs despite Francis concerns.
Why do RNs need more regulation and HCAs none?
5. There is a crisis in RN workforce with age skewed to older nurses
We need more school leavers but if they have to do one year as an HCA before to university this will deter them. There will be a crisis with even less RNs in 8- 10 years, making care even worse.
6. This reinforces focus on nursing as a hospital based role
What about all the other areas than we need to expand into in order to redesign services?
7. In the current times of austerity, HCA roles may not be available for potential recruits
Universities cannot provide this experience as they don’t run the service. Will hospitals have to fund the experience? Will they be able to hold posts for potential recruits? What will this do to the stability of the service workforce or will potential students have to do this on a bursary?
8. This does not recognise the issue of staffing numbers.
The nicest nurse in the world cannot give bedpans to five people simultaneously.
9. This doesn’t recognise that the culture in which care is provided is multi professional
Will medical students have to do this too?
10. The argument against minimum staffing is that standards are strongly related to ward leadership
But ward leadership is not considered here.
Having trained as an SRN in the 1970s, I would say changes changed not when P2K came in but when the role and authority of the Ward Sister were undermined in 1990s