More pointless frivolity as Beyond the Bedpan goes where proper journalists fear to tread. This week, why old folk are right to be suspicious of nursing homes, and how the RCN pooped the student nurse party
The decision to put one’s beloved parents/grandparents in a nursing home is never easy. But for many, it’s the inevitable solution as ageing relatives require ever-increasing levels of care.
Picture the scene: you’re showing your frail and nervous mother around her prospective new home, admiring the facilities and trying to convince her and yourself that everything is going to be just fine. The garden looks beautiful, the food nutritious and the other residents friendly and cheerful. Her room is cosy and tasteful, and her roommate is… Myra Hindley.
That’s the (grossly exaggerated) scenario facing nursing home residents in Illinois, US, where the authorities have resorted to housing mentally ill patients - including those recently released from jail - with its senior citizens. The state currently has over 3,000 convicted felons residing in its nursing homes, including 82 murderers, 179 sex offenders and 185 armed robbers. So much for growing old peacefully.
Students, those precocious scamps that represent the future of this great nation, are often up to no good. Heady with the thrill of being away from home for the first time, and young enough to think they can change the world, isn’t it fair that they be allowed to engage in the traditional high jinx of freshers week?
The RCN, who are always good for a laugh, think not. Their guidance for student nurses is unequivocal in it’s warning against the perils of sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll, although they don’t specifically use those terms. A RCN spokesperson went further: “We want student nurses and midwives to enjoy themselves but they need to remember that they do have a lot more responsibility than many other people heading off to university… they need to uphold the reputation of the profession in their personal lives as well.”
One can only assume that this rules out traditional freshers week activities like riding through town in a supermarket trolley while wearing a traffic cone ‘hat’ and drinking from a three-litre bottle of Scrumpy Jack. How are the poor young things supposed to relax?