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'No other profession has faced the implication that it has been accepting the wrong people'

  • Comments (8)

Over the years I have seen the nursing profession deal with some enormous challenges, including seismic changes in nurse education, the eradication of an entire level of the profession and countless media storms – both justified and not.

For the most part, when the chips are down, nurses roll up their sleeves and get to work. Their morale may suffer, stress levels may rise and they may have a moan among themselves, but they generally handle whatever is thrown at them without kicking up too much of a fuss – at least not publicly.

However, the mood of the profession seems different as it absorbs the implications of Patients First and Foremost, the government response to the Francis report. I’ve seen far more openly expressed anger – from nurses at every level of the profession. And little wonder.

No other profession has faced the implication that it has been accepting the wrong people, with aspiring nurses facing a year’s work on the lowest salary rung as HCAs before three years of study. And exactly who did the government consult about this proposal? The entire nursing community appeared to be in the dark until the response was published.

Nursing competes to attract the brightest and the best – it wants people who have other options rather than those with nowhere else to go. While income is unlikely to be the primary motivator for most, the prospect of an additional year of financial hardship is likely to deter many excellent candidates from a nursing career. For people contemplating a career change or a return to work after having a family, that extra year could be simply unaffordable. And don’t get me started on how this flood of one-year-only HCAs will affect the wider nursing and HCA workforce – it’s too horrific.

I believe the profession has been insulted and shouldn’t simply accept its lot with weary resignation. Can you imagine doctors taking this on the chin? I can’t. So go on - get angry. Let the government know what you think of this insulting proposal.

  • Comments (8)

Readers' comments (8)

  • Anonymous

    Yeah right, I agree with you completely but good luck getting the nursing 'profession' to do anything about it!

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  • " So go on - get angry. Let the government what you think of this insulting proposal."

    Anne, I would be interested to hear what form you think that anger should take?



    I know what I think nurses should do about it. Work your hours, take your breaks and go home on time. Don't prop up the low staffing culture by filling the gaps for free. Submit your complaints and concerns to your manager on every occasion, including copies to the Chief Executive and your union. Refuse to implement the silly tick-box exercises that interfere with patient care and refuse to participate in time-consuming, pointless audits and reports for the bean counters to ignore. Stop doing everyone elses jobs. Most importantly, support each other. Back each other up and stand together. We are supposed to be autonomous practitioners, so why are we allowing a bunch of non-nursing, unelected wide-boys impose their dangerous, public-pandering initiatives and silly ideas? All the while, we allow them to swerve the real problems and solutions.

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  • Anonymous

    mags

    interesting to see how the authorities would react and how quickly to these proposals if the whole country implemented them. maybe it would be an idea to lay them down all in one place quite clearly first and inform the appropriate bodies and trouble makers (presumably the PM and those in the DH) that if your demands are not met this is what is going to happen, or has this all ready been done? It might just work before further action is needed without causing further harm to patients.

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  • Firstly, nobody knows what you actually do!
    The press and the government can get away with saying and doing anything they like as no one outside nursing knows what a complicated, diverse and important profession nursing is.

    There's no one speaking up for nursing here telling the public what is going on in their hospitals and no one knows what the Francis report is either. Most people know it was something in the news and about Mid Staffs and nursing and that's all.

    Nursing must start telling the public what they do.
    Hold public demonstrations in Hyde Park, create a public hospital to demonstrate what goes on behind the scenes. Nursing is vast and complex, challenging, a science, an art and nobody knows anything about it.

    The only nurse recently in a main stream TV programme is Rory Pond, a male nurse in Doctor Who outside of a medical drama.

    I am writing a play about nursing which is my way of telling people about nurses. Its all about politics, speaking out and a failing trust.

    Nursing needs publicity. Nurses need to tell the public what is going on. I only know as I have been here for the past 6 months reading all this.

    LOVE
    PDaveANGEL

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  • Firstly, nobody knows what you actually do!
    The press and the government can get away with saying and doing anything they like as no one outside nursing knows what a complicated, diverse and important profession nursing is.

    There's no one speaking up for nursing here telling the public what is going on in their hospitals and no one knows what the Francis report is either. Most people know it was something in the news and about Mid Staffs and nursing and that's all.

    Nursing must start telling the public what they do.
    Hold public demonstrations in Hyde Park, create a public hospital to demonstrate what goes on behind the scenes. Nursing is vast and complex, challenging, a science, an art and nobody knows anything about it.

    The only nurse recently in a main stream TV programme is Rory Pond, a male nurse in Doctor Who outside of a medical drama.

    I am writing a play about nursing which is my way of telling people about nurses. Its all about politics, speaking out and a failing trust.

    Nursing needs publicity. Nurses need to tell the public what is going on. I only know as I have been here for the past 6 months reading all this.

    LOVE
    PDaveANGEL

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  • michael stone

    For the most part, when the chips are down, nurses roll up their sleeves and get to work. Their morale may suffer, stress levels may rise and they may have a moan among themselves, but they generally handle whatever is thrown at them without kicking up too much of a fuss – at least not publicly.

    __________________________

    Moaning among yourselves, then moaning that nobody is listening to you - when you are not actually moaning at them anyway - isn't the best way to fight your corner, so far as I can see.

    As for the suggestion that HCPs 'should put patients first' - that is something HCPs usually claim is a core principle of their behaviour, so it is weird that attempts to 'formalise that requirement' meet with objections !

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  • Putting patients first?
    Are you sure?

    I thought putting patients first means stopping the targets.

    Can you have both?

    I have been here for the past 6 months and its only nurses and doctors and HCAs who seem to care about patients.

    The next thing people will be asking is "How can we measure proper patient care?"

    The targets tell the Government how successful a hospital is. Will the HCAs be allowed to care for their patients properly when the hospital fails its targets?

    How about the 4 hour A&E target? How about when they are rushed off their feet when they have too many patients to cope with?

    Who will train the HCAs?

    And they have 4 years to become a nurse. How many will see the state of the wards and the hospitals and leave?







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  • This is a situation for which nurses and their trade unions are equally to blame !

    Who opposes the reduction of RGN posts -----answer nobody !

    Who opposes the dilution of skill mix ! ......... answer nobody !

    Who can deny that many patients have suffered appalling standards of care ----- those who are in denial need to open their eyes to reality.

    How many individual nurses have reported to the CQC the risks patients are exposed to ?---- answer very few

    How many of you work with "colleagues" who have a less than adequate command of the English language ? Go on tell the truth !

    The Daily Mail and the Telegraph have no problems with publishing the stories of hundreds of patients/relatives who believe they have suffered poor standards of care.

    Something is wrong !

    Whilst most if not all that is wrong is the responsibility of "management " by failing to take action , up to and including a removal of labour (ie A STRIKE) the nursing profession share the responsibility for failure.

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