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The big question: do you think the media is right to suggest there is a crisis in nursing?


The topical issue of the moment: do you think the media is right to suggest there is a crisis in nursing? Add your comments and they could be published in the magazine

This week, the Independent newspaper is running a series on “the crisis in nursing” with commentary from a columnist who has had dreadful experiences of being in hospital.

While we know these instances of poor care and bad attitude are always inexcusable, are they rare or are they becoming more common?

Do you think the media is right to suggest there is a crisis in nursing – or are these cases still isolated.


Readers' comments (25)

  • Poor care is inexcusable - but I'd like to see the areas where this is happening. I highly doubt they're well staffed, quiet wards. I'm not saying that makes up for neglect and abuse, but the fact is the media is all too happy to complain about nurses without looking at deeper issues because it's topical to. We're long past the days where you had two nurses to make a bed, now you're lucky to have 2 nurses when you really ought to.

    As a student nurse, I'm frequently warned off the profession by nurses, new and old, trained through all systems. I don't believe nurses have stopped caring or lost their compassion, I think they're just losing the time to show it and stress is eroding their ability to. The job as a whole has become harder simply because there isn't enough of us.

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  • George Kuchanny

    The crisis is in management not nursing. I really wish the Press would get this right.

    Just like the reporting of the charge of the Light Brigade as a daring British Empire military endeavour (it was in fact a horrifying and almighty foul up by the 'management' ) so is the reporting on nursing.

    Get under the story - investigate and report properly for heavens sake!

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  • Personally I would argue that the management are to blame, however, I personally believe that there are many trained nurses who deliver high quality care to their patients, I believe that one of the main problems is the untrained staff, they dont have the knowledge and education that RNs have and therefore are usually the ones seen putting a bowl in front of a patient and walking off. This isnt there fault, HCAs, APs and other non trained staff should have the support from the RGNs and ward managers. I also remember an incident a couple of months after I started working as a HCA and being called in to the sisters office, and was asked why I had washed all the patients hair in the morning! This was seen as unacceptable, and there I was thinking that I was a patients advocate, how wrong was I! On the other note wards are busy and under staffed and people dont realise how hard nurses work. I often find myself wondering why am I entering this profession? But as always I find myself thinking its because I care! Maybe thats part of the problem, maybe patients are seen as a 'task' that must be completed rather than the help they deserve when at their most vulnrable.

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  • George Kuchanny | 10-Apr-2012 5:55 pm

    how can journalists who have to produce articles rapidly 'get under the story' with cutting and pasting?

    wish they would though instead of all this sloppy and misleading reporting.

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  • The media lumps us all together. When our glorious leaders screw up, we all get it in the neck. This will continue until we disassociate ourselves from them. It must be obvious to all; that shop floor priorities differ considerably from that of managers. It's time to articulate our own ideas/views etc. we don't have to accept the status quo. I would also like to say, I don't blame government/media. They only do what they feel they can get away with. Simply, our leaders are rubbish. We have had our collective reputation assassinated, in public. I think a vote of no confidence in our 'Leaders' is required.

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  • It's open season on nurses! And will remain so whilst massive cuts to the public sector are taking place. It's not such a bad thing cutting thousands of nursing posts when the nurses are such an uncaring, unprofessional bunch. There are undoubtedly uncaring nurses. But they are in an absolute minority. There are also uncaring managers and politicians..and they are in an absolute majority.

    Chap at the top (Grant) is bang on in his view.

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  • It may be time to start our own committees/councils. Let's organise a guerilla type resistance before its too late.

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  • tinkerbell

    George Kuchanny | 10-Apr-2012 5:55 pm

    Here here George, my sentiments entirely.

    We all know there are some bad uns out there in nursing, but they are the minority and should be booted out asap and never allowed near a breathing person or animal again. They are a liability to the nursing profession and i wouldn't want them within an inch of me as a patient. There are some bad uns in every so called profession.They do a disservice to us all.

    But let's face it, management sucks, i say that as a ex manager who went back to the shop floor cos' i just didn't get it and couldn't stand it. Nothing made any sense to me. If it doesn't make any sense then it's probably not true. I don't even know how i got offered the post, well i do, they were a bit desparate at the time and rearranging the deck chairs on the titanic and i was better than nothing.When they finally got someone to replace me they asked if i would like to remain in post to which i answered 'no way Jose, how much longer will i have to be doing this until they arrive?'

    When my new manager asked how i felt about her taking over from me i had to reassure her 'i really don't want it, it's fine by me, you are doing me a favour'.

    When my new manager told me yesterday how fed up she is with it all i said 'i'm am so, so glad i never took it'. Afterwards i felt a bit mean as it didn't sound very supportive, but it was meant to be.

    Give the wards back to the hands on ward sisters who aren't too posh to wash.We can manage just fine without all the song and dance. This patient needs this, get it sorted, find me the best price, not the one manipulated by some government quango or dodgey deal, otherwise i will go on line and get my own quote from Argos. Right now i'm busy with the patients.

    Don't know if my spellings OK today, don't care much care either, it's the meaning behind the text/words that matters.

    Say what you mean, mean what you say and let their be no room for ambuguity which is what managers appear to thrive on, not making any sense.

    Now that we're all 'lucky' to still have jobs they can go ***k emselves.

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  • tinkerbell

    James Merrell | 10-Apr-2012 6:38 pm

    I was told once that i 'care too much' about the patients, I reflected on this and came to the conclusion 'bollocks'. You either care or you don't care and there ain't no neutral ground. You keep on keeping on and always let your conscience be your guide inthe words of Jiminy Circket (however that's spelt).

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  • Yes I think we are in a crisis. The nurses role is too complex now. We are taken away from the patients side so much now we are multi-tasking to the extreme and to the detriment of our patients.
    I also think nurses are not distributed on hospital wards were they are needed, by this I mean visiting other wards there are quiet areas with lots of trained staff and then elderly/acute medicine were we are seriously lacking in staff. These are the wards that get all the complaints. I cannot understand why this is not addressed.

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