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Graduates praised for 'human side of nursing'


Two newly-qualifieds from Edinburgh have received a special award in recognition of their outstanding caring skills.

Nursing graduate Julie McLaren and new midwife Lyndsey Anderson both graduated from Edinburgh Napier University earlier this month.

They also received the Simon Pullin Award, an honour established by the university to recognise the human side of nursing.

The award was created in memory of senior nurse Simon Pullin who played a key role in Edinburgh Napier’s Compassionate Care Programme until his death from cancer in July 2011.

The programme encourages students to look beyond the health of the patient to enquire and respond to simple though often fundamental needs not necessarily related to illness.

For example, making sure a patient can reach their own water glass or can have some privacy when feeling upset.

Ms McLaren and Ms Anderson received their awards plus £250 prize money at their graduation ceremony on 23 October.

Ms McLaren, who lives in West Lothian, said: “Compassionate care is my most valued nursing skill and to be recognised for this is amazing.”

Dr Stephen Smith, the university’s lead nurse in compassionate care, said the pair had “displayed all the vital professional and caring skills required of a healthcare professional today”.


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Readers' comments (24)

  • We are giving out awards for being able to carry out basic nursing care!! I despair.

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  • I'm afraid I agree. It is difficult to defend (and I normally do) student nurse training and education when they are handing out an award for fundamental care. Hopefully the rest of their year are able to do the basics.

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  • I agree with the above two posts.

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  • Whilst I agree in part with the above, I am pleased that basic, compassionate care is being recognised as important. However we all know that most basic care is now given by health care assistants. The problem is that since taking over other nursing tasks many view basic care as rather menial work. So what about creating a new role, - lets call it 'basic care practitioner'. It would be a promotion for those HCA's who were selected, with increased banding and pay. Their job description would be 'expert basic care' so just imagine if every ward had two of these 'practitioners on each day to give and oversee other HCA's give care.

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  • Anonymous | 30-Oct-2013 10:36 pm

    And there you have it. Everything that is wrong with the Nursing Profession in a single comment!!!

    Let's not address the issue of teaching basic care to student nurses or fighting for enough qualified nurses being freed up to do the job they were trained to do. Instead, let's just wind the clock back, bring in two tier nursing, funding it with more of the thin air currently available for....well nohing else.

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  • Anonymous | 30-Oct-2013 10:36 pm

    I think it is a brilliant idea - a team of 'Basic Nursing Specialists', although I am not sure a very practical one.

    Every nurse needs to be highly trained and qualified in all aspects of patient care from the very basics on. I think this role must also extend to qualified and experienced senior nurses as well. After all I would not wish to have been deprived in my job from offering basic care on a daily basis first thing every morning and on rounds during the day even after long years of experience and a higher degree in healthcare management. we are all nurses and nursing is first and foremost about observing, identifying and attending to every care need of every patient and without which it is, in my view not nursing care, or most certainly not of optimal quality.

    The old two tier system of SENs and SRNs or later experienced HCAs and RNs seemed to work well provided there were enough staff although perhaps the former system, of which I only had experience of as a student before it was phased out, seems to have provided better care with more nurses qualified to carry more tasks putting less strain on what now seem to be insufficient numbers of RNs in some areas.

    Once again how will these problems be addressed in the most cost-effective manner without detriment to care and to the currently already overworked staff?

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  • Anonymous | 30-Oct-2013 11:00 pm

    Unfortunately, your points seems
    to have been missed or completely ignored. In addition to your points, the old two tier system did not mean that there were more qualified staff in the wards. Have people forgotten the amount of resentment amongst many ENs (totally justified) when they were dumped with jobs and responsibilities beyond their role? In these days of down banding and devaluing of the Nurse's role, it would be playing directly into the hands of the purse-string holders. Anyone thinking that a second tier would enhance the staffing on a ward, think on. They will simply be used to replace RNs. It happened before, but that fact seems to have slipped peoples' minds. The NHS in England is already dismantling the Agenda for Change, its contract with its staff, and diminishing the conditions in which we work. Are we happy to kick open the door to let them walk in and take more from us? Apparently so.
    In regard to handing out awards for basics. It is a new low.

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  • Anonymous | 31-Oct-2013 8:11 am

    the importance is that patients receive quality basic care which fulfils their needs by properly trained staff who show some degree of willingness to give it no matter how it is achieved and which obviously has to be delivered with some degree of feeling, empathy, compassion or whatever else anyone wishes to call it as well as considerable skill in all aspects of care (which is not just mechanical) and without these it cannot be called care and is of no benefit and potentially of detriment to the already fragile condition of the patient!

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  • Anonymous | 31-Oct-2013 10:46 am
    Anonymous | 31-Oct-2013 8:11 am

    I did not say otherwise. So what is the point of addressing your comment to me?

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  • excuse me, but there is nothing to say that one is not permitted to address comments to you!

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