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'Nurses must become the change they want to see'

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As a nurse I believe in the importance of delivering high-quality nursing care in a safe, effective and prompt manner. 

Nt editorial donato tallo

Nt editorial donato tallo

The new Nursing and Midwifery Council code published in 2015 identifies clearly that nurses must prioritise people, practice effectively, preserve safety and promote professionalism and trust in our practice and these really should be considered as the core values of nursing by especially by those of us within the nursing profession

The nursing profession needs to regain a sense of pride in what it does and we as nurses should be proud we are working in a profession that helps others, especially at times of pain and distress, sadness and uncertainty – and times of joy and happiness.

Nurses should be proud to say that we are nurses and we should feel a sense of gratification in the work that we do. Many nurses work in challenging environments and under a great deal of pressure; we should be pleased to be part of a profession where we can make a difference to peoples lives.

However, with the many challenges being faced within the National Health Service, as well as nursing practice as a whole, it can be easy for nurses to become disillusioned in their practice. All to often the nursing media and studies report that nurses are stressed, burnt out, angry, upset and frustrated and when I hear this I am saddened.

Surely the main question the Department of Health and the Health Secretary need to be asking is: why do some nurses feeling like this?

There may be many reasons why nurses are feeling disillusioned and we all know that the challenges and issues in the NHS cannot change overnight. However, if nurses are becoming disillusioned because of issues that are negatively affecting their nursing practice and these issues are not their fault then nurses should not need to feel upset, angry or frustrated.

We as nurses must do our best, but this is all we can do. Issues such as staffing levels and availability of resources may not be able to be able to be influenced by individual nurses, but they will undoubtably have an impact on the care that individual nurses deliver and on how they feel.

Nurses working at all levels and in all different areas should be striving for excellence in all that we do and if we are ever prevented from achieving excellence in our practice we must professionally escalate concerns in our workplaces.

Mahatma Gandhi once said, “We must become the change we want to see.” If we choose to be true to this powerful and inspirational quote then we must seek to have high standards in our nursing practice – standards that are based on honesty, integrity, trust, professionalism, dignity, competence, compassion and effective communication.

As nurses we are let into people’s lives to help and support them, our profession is facing many challenges and we as nurses must support each other and work hard to emphasise the importance of our profession both in the NHS and society as a whole.  

I am proud to be a nurse and I am sure many other nurses feel the same. However, to prevent more nurses from becoming disillusioned and burnt out the problems making some nurses feeling like this need to be effectively addressed on a strategic level as well as on local levels.

Nursing is a wonderful profession but in many cases we need more respect for ourselves and others. The Department of Health needs to urgently address the issues making some nurses disillusioned and al nurses should feel proud to be nurses and not fed up or upset.

Donato Tallo is a registered nurse working in the acute hospital sector

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