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'Nurses around me are giving up; how can I take action?'


Can you advise this student nurse?

“I am on my first ever placement and everything was going so well to start with.

“I was excited to nurse and learn everything I could from the quaified staff around me. I have so much respect for them all and initially I had to stop myself from asking them every question under the sun about what they know, what they could share with me and the advice they can offer.

“However, this has gradually changed over the course of the last few weeks. My mentor seems to have lost interest and I am worried he won’t even sign me off at the end. However, he may just be really busyas there seems to be a shortage of staff.

“The nurses around me seem so tightly wound and this seems to have sapped some of their zest and enthusiasm for nursing. I still see it from them, don’t get me wrong, but I just want to hug them at times and march down to Westminster and shout and shriek at what the government is doing to our healthcare system in this country.

“I know I should just hold on and wait for my second placement to come along but I a worried I am now gradaully been worn down too by a situation that will likely only get worse. I want to be inspired and enthused every day. Is that too much to ask from those around me? Am I being naive?

“I love the profession already and want to know what on earth I can do to take action and make change myself? Are there any groups, meetings or movements I can get involved with and encourage others to do so too? We have to do something to protect our NHS. I just don’t know if I can bear this resignation any longer. I want to do something!”

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Readers' comments (5)

  • I'm sorry that you're having a negative experience on your first placement. It would be lovely if we could be positive all the time, and I try to be encouraging when chatting with student nurses. However it is difficult to be an RN at the moment, the responsibility is ever growing and the pay and conditions are always decreasing.

    I don't know what you can do about it, maybe try writing to your MP and put your feelings and experiences into a letter.

    Keep going, nursing is a rewarding career but it is a profession that is being hounded by the Government and the media.

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  • Bottom up leadership is an interesting and important concept you might like explore. Chris Ham of the Kings Fund has written about it and you could find more sites from Google.

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  • I like the fact that you want to do something about this still & sinking atmosphere around in nursing at the moment. I wish you well.

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  • I am sorry about all that you are going through and I do feel for you. Just by reading what you have to say demonstrates compassion and thoughtfulness, two really great qualities for nursing.

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  • When I started my nursing degree a couple of years ago, I experienced exactly the same thing! Burnt out nurses would turn around and say to us students that it we shouldn't bother. But you will get better placements and you will meet mentors who love their job. Personally, what has got me through the last couple of years are the patients- a nice remark, a smile and thank you can make you realise that no matter how messed up the NHS gets, no matter how unmotivated your colleagues are, providing good care is basically all that matters.

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