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Practice team blog

Your practice editors Kathryn, Ann, Eileen and Fran talk about nursing in practice

'Does the government response support frontline nursing?'

Posted by Kathryn GodfreyTue, 26 Mar 2013

The Francis report was clear that nursing was not working and made a series of recommendations broadly welcomed by the profession. Although it was damming about some nurses and the care they did not give it gave hope for the future. But this response to the detail and consideration in the Francis report feels a bit too much of a sideways swerve, a dodge even.

'Can you manage nurses if you don't actually nurse?'

Posted by Eileen ShepherdMon, 25 Mar 2013

Years ago I worked with a nurse manager who was happy to tell her staff that their standards were too high. She rarely ventured onto the wards where standards of care were a problem. Wearing a suit and managing with extremely long arms from an office several floors away from her wards meant she rarely saw a patient let alone what was happening behind the curtains.

'We want to make it safe for health professionals to speak up about patient care and safety issues'

Posted by Ann ShuttleworthMon, 18 Mar 2013

We often receive calls from people with random queries or requests that we simply can’t help with.

‘Babies have fluid levels?’

Posted by Fran EntwistleMon, 11 Mar 2013

Six months ago I received my second favourite text to date. A picture of an eight week ultrasound and the words “You’re going to be an aunty!”

What will Francis do to address lack of resources?

Posted by Kathryn GodfreyMon, 4 Mar 2013

Many nurses feel like they are working in a war zone even though they are actually working in a NHS district general hospital in a town or in the outskirts of a city. They don’t have enough staff, enough equipment and feel stretched to their limits. They feel concerned they are failing their patients and not supporting families.

‘Two in a bed’

Posted by Fran EntwistleTue, 26 Feb 2013

As a mental health nurse working on an acute ward, I found that all too frequently the handover I was given contained the dreaded words “two in a bed”. We didn’t physically have two patients sharing a bed, although a glance at the list of patients might make you think we were. This phrase referred to one patient being on leave and another patient being admitted in their absence. So a 20-bedded ward could technically be accommodating 21, 22 or more patients. Often, this meant the leave ...

'Sorry, not my patient'

Posted by Eileen ShepherdMon, 18 Feb 2013

No patient’s care should ever be reduced to a job list. Yet nurses have resorted to task-based care in NHS organisations that have failed to put patients first.

'It is hard to hear criticism of the nursing profession'

Posted by Kathryn GodfreyWed, 6 Feb 2013

For those of you out there who are striving every day to deliver compassionate and high-quality care to your patients within the current resource and staffing constraints of the current NHS, this is an even more difficult day than usual. It is hard to hear criticism of the profession.

'She was terrified of the very people who should have been there to care for her'

Posted by Eileen ShepherdTue, 5 Feb 2013

Isabella Bailey was admitted to mid Stafford hospital with a hiatus hernia. During her hospital stay her family became so concerned about standards of care on ward 11 they decided to keep watch over her 24 hours a day.

'Punitive financial penalties won't produce the results that patients deserve'

Posted by Eileen ShepherdMon, 28 Jan 2013

Pressure ulcer reduction is one of the latest targets directed at nurses, as reported by Nursing Times last week. New rules linking them to trust funding mean you will face increased pressure to hit targets on reducing pressure ulcers this year.

Do you remember your first week in nursing?

Posted by Kathryn GodfreyMon, 21 Jan 2013

It’s freshers’ week and all over the country student nurses will be starting out on a training  that will contain experiences and challenges that will be with them for the rest of their life. Nurse training changes your life – not just in career terms but also personally.

Nursing must not carry the can for Mid Staffs

Posted by Ann ShuttleworthMon, 14 Jan 2013

While there can be few groups within the NHS looking forward to the Francis report into Mid Staffordshire Trust, the nursing profession appears to have most to fear. Large swathes of the general media already seem to assume that the largest proportion of blame rests with nurses.

Are nurses born or made?

Posted by Eileen ShepherdMon, 7 Jan 2013

Everyone has an opinion on what makes a good nurse. Words such as kind, caring, empathetic, patient, efficient, compassionate, organised, giving and thoughtful trip off the tongue – and then there are the thorny question of cleverness and vocation.

What are your New Year resolutions at work?  

Posted by Kathryn GodfreyMon, 31 Dec 2012

It seems that my resolutions have a five to one hit rate – that is of five resolutions only one will come good. But nevertheless I am thinking now about my list of do more/do less and hoping that some of them will stick.

Why should you buy your manager a Christmas present?

Posted by Eileen ShepherdTue, 18 Dec 2012

I was idling my time away on twitter a few weeks ago and came across a blog by Dean Royles, the director of the NHS Employers.

The care gap that cheats nurses and patients alike

Posted by Eileen ShepherdMon, 10 Dec 2012

As the news focuses again on the dangers of going into hospital and the pressure I wonder if we are missing something fundamental.

Six-step dementia care approach must be given a chance

Posted by Ann ShuttleworthMon, 3 Dec 2012

Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia are devastating both for those unlucky enough to develop them, but also their families.

Is interdisciplinary the new multidisciplinary?

Posted by Kathryn GodfreyThu, 29 Nov 2012

It was when I was editing one of this week’s articles on stroke that I was struck by the reference to interdisciplinary working and how it was benefiting patients.   

Why people living with bipolar deserve better

Posted by Eileen ShepherdMon, 19 Nov 2012

For 35 years my mother lived with bipolar disorder. It is difficult to imagine what it must have been like for her not to sleep for days on end and at other times just sit and cry and cry and cry. It was hard enough watching it.