Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Report this comment to a moderator

Please fill in the form below if you think a comment is unsuitable. Your comments will be sent to our moderator for review.
By submitting your information you agree to our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Report comment to moderator

Required fields.


'Clearing up poo will not help me learn' - student nurses reject basic care


Well mummy bear isn't probably going to be the most appreciated description of 'some nurses' but it is far from being entirely inaccurate. And i've only been a patient as a child, but it was hardly a forgotten experience. My patients can actually (for the most) tell what i am interested in and where my priorities lie, if they don't i tell them. This is because i work in acute care. In acute care, me keeping them alive is at the top. What they wear and whether they shave is not. Whether they are dirty of course does matter. The unreliability of the argument that i, or others who think this way would actually avoid or ignore or decline to assist is frivolous at best and unfounded at worst and also quite unsympathetic. Who really finds it enjoyable? Who wouldn't want to not do it if they could? All of us really, but for us, we can't, so we don't. I also have to say that even if previous styles of nurse training did not allow for the most effective role in patient's psychological processes, the result today would be much the same. Nurses were and are held in an ever decreasing amount of societal admiration vis-a-vis stereotypes of police, teachers, doctors, MP's, priests. And even so, what is the reason to 'make windows into the souls' of our patients? And why would they not want to feel better anyway? Is there a genuinely WORKABLE strategy to the idea that if we help the patients to feel better, they will get better? Are we to assume that their need for emotional support is of utmost importance or just important? Are they going to want a nurse who knows what's physically wrong with them or one who knows what's emotionally wrong with them? (in the context of adult nursing) And actually diagnosing stools was not in any of my lectures, nor the physiology of the kidneys, brain, liver, gall bladder, the major arteries and veins of the body. We had no more than a rudimentary approach to pharmacology which at no point covered how any drugs worked, nor was it ever suggested that we learn them ourselves (besides busy with 'so much more thrilling stuff'). Nor did we learn basic concepts like arm-brain time and drug excretion! We didn't learn about various ECG readings or how to doppler pulses or ABG's, INR's, various blood tests and even Basic diagnostic imaging, like perhaps how a drain might be put it, or taken out. Same for CVP lines, same for catheters. Yes we had to have witnessed attempts at these things in practice, but minus the theory it is up to the student to make it happen. Yes you all might say thats not a problem but what it allows for is a massive variability in the knowledge of qualifying nurses. Allowing the focus to drift further and further away from in depth clinical academia means that some nurses won't know basic things about what the role actually entails. A situation where new Staff Nurses will act as a effective professional outwardly but they won't know what's actually wrong in any substantial depth, or what common signs mean during certain and different illnesses. They won't know exactly how durgs work, but will be responsible for administering almost all of them and drug reactions will be a fraught, frightening and unforgettable experience as the nurse won't know what the reaction entails and what to do specifically. So, are we to be the mere observers and referrers of problems like cannulas and catheters and blood cultures or are we to be autonomous clinical practitioners who can solve nursing issues by clinical definition and rationale?

Posted date

6 November, 2009

Posted time

1:14 am