If the Olympic committee is looking for new sports that Britain could excel at in London 2012, they’d do well to consider nurse bashing.
I reckon it’s something that many Britons could get a podium place for.
Last week’s Daily Mail “exposé” of the do not disturb tabards at East Kent Hospitals University Foundation Trust unleashed the latest round of sound and fury
Many things bother me about this story -. first, it’s not news but something that many hospitals have been trying out for a while. In addition, it’s intended to improve patient safety. Imagine the headlines if a nurse made a drug error - if you’re a nurse, it seems you can’t win.
The issue of the tabards is a thorny one - there are arguments for and against them. But one thing we are all united on is that the perception of nurses is generally poor - and unjustly so.
Why, as a nation, must we concentrate on the bad apples, always looking for horror stories about nursing?
It’s not as if there is any shortage of good nursing stories - such as the heroic nurses in Libya, or, 10 years after September 11, the nurses who saved hundreds of lives in New York on that awful day. Closer to home, this year’s Nursing Times Awards show there are hundreds of outstanding nursing doing exceptional work.
I’ve interviewed two nurses who helped those injured in the World Trade Center attacks. Both maintain that, while the experience changed them, it confirmed exactly why they became nurses. What they saw was horrific and, despite facing danger, they carried on.
These are not the “stupid” or “uncaring” nurses we are led to believe populate the profession. And, if compassion became an Olympic sport, I’m pretty sure nurses could take on all comers and clinch gold, despite what the media would have us believe.