Monday, 29 August 2011

TWO SIDES TO A HEADLINE

Nursing is no longer the caring profession - Telegraph
I posted a link to this article on my Twitter account earlier this morning. I have a lot of time for Cristina Odone and often agree with what she writes.  Since posting however, I have been thinking about this disturbing trend and many questions do pop up in one's head.

There is now unquestionable evidence in my mind that the number of episodes associated with uncaring nursing is increasing in the UK. I have read about it. I have witnessed it and friends and family have been affected by it.  It is not just a case of increased awareness. But why is it happening? Is it happening elsewhere in the world? Is it just the fault of the nursing profession? What are the implications ?
I cannot pretend to be in a situation where I can answer all or indeed any of these questions? The nursing profession in the UK should take a pretty large chunk of the blame. Over the past 20 years, they have done alot to reverse the traditional careing, dare I say it feminine view of nursing. It preceded medical educationalists in minimising the apprenticeship aspect of training and making it a compulsory university degree. A horrible thought has just come to me? I really do hope in ten to twenty years we will not be agonizing over uncaring doctors?
The changes we are observing in nursing reflect to a greater and lesser degree, societal changes. Society in the UK has changed and some aspects are now quite ugly (see recent riots in England). However, although cliche-ed, there really are two sides to every coin. The ugly society from which nurses are recruited is also the same society from whom people who abuse nurses and healthcare staff in general come from. Unrealistic demands from the public may have driven some hospitals to try this crude intervention.  
There are implications for this unwanted trend in nursing in mainly NHS hospitals - will private institutions (any willing provider in the eyes of the government) use this as a ploy to attract patients? Will hospitals increasingly turn to non UK citizens to recruit nurses?
I just hope that authorities, whether government or those running nursing in the UK, look at what is happening seriously and come up with solutions.