Wednesday, 21 August 2013

NHS in crisis, a very sad piece from a newly qualified nurse. My thoughts.

Below is a piece written by a newly qualified nurse, I would urge everybody to read it, consume it, and appreciate just how bad things are in certain areas of the NHS.

To clarify this nurses diary IS NOT MY OWN WORK but a diary-piece I saw, that I simply had to share with the world.

The NHS is our nations greatest and proudest asset, and we are seeing a Tory Government intent on selling-off huge swathes of it to capitalist vultures, and systematically compromising peoples health, endangering lives, and causing the inevitable loss of highly experienced and caring professionals due to their utter mismanagement, even saboutage of the service.

"Start the 12 hour day feeling positive, happy, ready to take on the world. Arrive at work. 1 if your trained nurses has been sent to another 'heavier' ward. ...You are the only trained for 12 patients, 7 are post major surgery. 5 are medical outliers. Elderly frail patients that need all care, a lady with dementia who is terrified and keeps wandering trying to work out where on earth she is. A patient suddenly crashes....vasovagal. My heart rate soars. Anxiety. Such overwhelming responsibility. All I want to do even as a trained nurse is go and wash my patients. Chat happily to the lovely man in bed 3 whilst I help him shave. Who is he, who was he, what was his job? How is he feeling? He must be scared, lonely, miss his family. But here's the bed manager....Any beds? Why have you not started your discharges yet? Inform me immediately when you have a bed. Oh god, the catheter bag in bay 1 looks quite claret........ Yes, one of my post op patients is bleeding! Bleep a doctor, quick. Got a feeling this isn't going to be such a good day. People need toileting, turns are needed. I want to wash my patients and brush hair and help put hand cream on and I can't, prepare the patient for theatre again he needs diathermy.....
The medical team are here and they want a nurse for ward round. "Sorry I'm busy with my patients"
"Then I'll report you!"
Fine. Report me. I'll just have to read the notes later.
A post op patient wants a cigarette. Despite my advise and a slight row off he goes. And promptly passes out outside the doors of the hospital, escorted back in. "Nurse why on earth is your patient smoking outside?!"

My lovely lady with dementia has messed herself. She needs cleaning up. She's confused and frightened and consequently aggressive. She won't allow me to clean her. I try everything I know. She becomes hysterical.....what do I do?! The doctor suggests a sedative. She hasn't consented! We have to call her family. I feel such a failure.

Drugs round is late. iv antibiotics are due. Obs need doing. A cannula needs replacing. Finally get to start washing my patients. giving this care is my favourite part of the day. Because I care and I know everyone here is soneone's mum, dad, husband, wife. Everyone means something to someone and so they mean something to me.

Elderly frail patient in bed 3 is not well at all. His breathing is shallow and laboured. He looks gaunt and drawn. He was expected to have a hospice bed but it hasn't become available. I think he may pass away on the ward. I need to call the family ASAP. I sponge his mouth with some water, stroke his forehead and whisper that everything is going to be alright. My heart feels so heavy and full of sadness for him. He passes away at 12.10 peacefully. I want to wash him and brush his hair, carry out last offices as a sign of respect for this man I never got to know who has departed us.
But my post op man is back from his theatre slot. He's not bleeding any more. But he needs regular obs and recovery nurse needs to hand over to me. Plus I feel a bit thirsty and could do with a wee. Can't quite think straight.

Bed manager is back. She scares me. "Why have you not informed us that there's a bed free?"
"Because its not a free bed. A patient has just passed away and I haven't even done last offices yet."
"We need that bed ASAP, there's trolleys queuing up on a&e".

Not her fault. She has a job to do. But she seems to have built up a harsh defence against the pressures of her job. She seems not to care. She must care in some way, surely or why would she be here? Maybe this is her defence mechanism. Her way of coping with the sadness of the job....

Visiting time. A stream of anxious, sad, worried, concerned and some even very angry relatives. I'd be angry too I suppose. A mans son swears at me.....he wants to talk to the doctor straight away about why his dad bled and went back to theatre. Obs due. Drugs due. Handover due. I'm so tired. I feel beaten. Defeated. I have nothing left inside me to give. I'm spent. Nothing for my poor family bit leftover scraps of me. I go into the sluice room and have a little cry. This is tough. This is not what I imagined being a nurse to be. You are expected to be so sensitive and caring but yet without developing the thickest of skins you'll survive not one month in charge of a ward. I'm newly qualified. I'm 21 years old............I'm not cut out for this!!"

133 comments:

  1. That makes me feel very sad. It is, however, not unusual. I experienced similar situations when I last worked in a hospital 10yrs ago. When will things change?

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  2. Very sad. I may have nursed many years ago but we do/did for patients. One staff nurse clearly not enough...should be titled how to lose a nurse!! Managers should be forced to read this..not the only one...shame!!

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  3. I'd be very grateful to have a nurse that cared so much. Now I realise why the nurses in a&e appeared to be uncaring when I had to unfortunately take a trip there (3 Times: dislocated shoulder all 3!) they're all way too worn out and understaffed

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  4. Sadly this sounds like a normal day for a nurse and nothing out of the ordinary :( x

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  5. Thank you for the comments, and thanks to all those who have taken the time to read what is a harrowing soundbite of life as a nurse in the NHS today.

    The NHS is our most sacred asset, envied worldwide and truly admired. The NHS saved the life of my wife, and I owe it so very much, so when I see David Cameron systematically saboutaging it, it makes me sick.

    Cameron said that the NHS was "safe in his hands" yet personally, I think he would be absolutely delighted to see it crumble to the point where he could then justify total privatisation as the only way to save it.

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    1. As below it has happened for years in fact their were more bed managers and bed manager managers under labour. I tried many times on the ward to get the unions (unison) to do something because it was unsafe we were working 14 hrs and not getting breaks and still leaving an hour late because of their relationship to labour they did nothing! All of the parties are the same it wont improve until they acknowledge its staff numbers that are the issue which in some areas I believe they are doing now its not rocket science one person cannot do the job of three great piece by the way

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    2. I agree with most of what you say, except to add that, under Thatcher the policies were put in place in 1981 following her speech to conference that "the NHS should not be excluded from 'market forces'!" I, along with many others, argued that 'market forces' were a fantasy when dealing with a service that, essentially, was a monopoly. (And so it should be - as ALL vital services should be!) You are right to point out that Labour carried the Thatcher flag forward but I would hasten to add that it was "NEW" Labour! Tory Blair was a red-tie wearing Blue! Nye Bevan would be turning in his grave if he could see what neoliberalism has done to our Labour politicians today! Milliband is leaning slightly more to the left, still not far enough, but he's much further left than our current bunch of organised gansters! Whatever happens, we must rid ourselves of these right-wing thieves and give ourselves an opening to move the party closer to the Bevan spirit. Then, hopefully we can rescue the NHS.

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  6. This happens all to often and its sad to say that if this was put under the nose of a manager they would just turn around and say its the staff nurses fault for not managing and patronise you with questions on how you can improve your own time management and if you threaten to leave they don't care they will just replace you with another newly qualified that had no idea the emotional beating they will receive. Your reported for not washing, your reported for not doing ward round ect no matter what choice you make for the better your gonna get reported. I really hope things will change luckily i have to confidence to tell people to just report me n if the Drs have time to report me they have time to do that canular themselves and if care support worked have time to report me then they aren't really seeing to all the support needs of the patients. Oh and if you don't have enough on your plate, by 9am the matron is checking paper work asking why you haven't updated care plans/risk assessments and updated the daily rounding needs. I hate nursing and have since i got my pin :'(

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    1. I agree with you when you say if u dont have time to do all your work in time, the ward manager will give u a look to say its your fault and u get an improntu lesson on prioritising care.. The problem with nursing is NURSES themselves, they dont support each other and if someone else can cope its like "why cant you". Doctors always support each and its always nurses fault if things r not done. Oh god..I could go on all day about shortage of staff, I think
      Cameron needs to spend a 12hr shift working beside nurses before they start criticising nurses. Nurses needs to appreciate each other first before other professions can appreciate us. Xx

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    2. yes I agree with you Judith, nurses should show care and compassion to their colleagues first, then it will escalate out to the care shown to patients. simple as!

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  7. i agree in everything u said. in addition, when u finally had the chance to go for ur break..the dr would follow u in the staff room asking u to join them in the rounds or there's a phone call that needs to be answered, pronto! there are also lots of "know-it-all" and overly sensitive relatives who will be always in ur face. i do understand their anxiety but asking u things like talking to the matron/doctor or changing the medicine prescription or increasing the O2 level of the patient in the middle of the night when they've been by the patient's bedside all day (and has spoken to the ward manager and day doctors) is beyond ridiculous.
    while safeguarding and vulnerable adult is a hot topic in the nhs, i think nurses are the most vulnerable people in the nhs and often abused. i'm wondering what security are we receiving from our governing body after increasing our fee again.

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    1. Quite agree with the last point. I think the only way forward is for the nursing profession to show compassion towards its fellow colleagues, united we stand divided we fall. If nursing staff put as much emphasis into helping one another with each others workload instead of finding increasing ways to report one another and cut back on the blame culture, we would have a very different health service.

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  8. My heart goes out to you and the patients, i am training as a paediatric nurse in the third year. I offered to do volunteer work at my local hospital hoping i could carry out these basic things like talking to elderly patients and doing the simple jobs that count like putting on hand cream. However the hospital said they weren't akin on volunteers as they have enough. I am pretty sure there is always something to do so i was pretty annoyed with the hospital. Keep up the good work you sound like a fantastic nurse and i would be very happy if you was looking after any of my family members. xx

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  9. This is very sad to read, very harrowing. I agree with your concerns about Cameron. He's a monster in my eyes, attacking students, the elderly, so many others and now the nhs possibly England's saving grace when you look past the unemployment rate, the benefit culture, and such. I want Labour back!

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    1. This has been happening for years since I qualified in 2002 at least! It happened under labour too they are all as bad as each other

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  10. Sounds absolutely awful! You poor thing. My mum and dad are a nurse and doctor respectively so I can almost understand the pressures that you face on a daily basis. As an Newly Qualified Teacher I'm under a similar sort of stress working in a school frightened by unrealistic targets set by Gove and Wilshaw's Ofsted. All the staff are devalued, stressed and there is minimal morale or enjoyment at work. Hopefully it'll get better for both of us.

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  11. So well said. Thought I was the only nurse who felt like this. After 30 years of nursing I am giving up, not because I don't love caring for people but I can no longer take the target lead culture, lead by managers who are only managers because they were no good on the shop floor.............Thanks for writing this.

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    1. But who introduced the target-led culture, Messrs Milburn and Burnham I believe and this encouraged the attitudes prevalent at Stafford Hospiral.

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    2. Ha ha ha love this..what is it they say..those who can't..Teach :-))

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    3. Not sure where that teaching comment comes from. All public sector workers are feeling the same pressure. As a secondary school teacher I do 60 to 70 hours a week. I spend very little time with my own children and all the work I do is essential to survive the basic demands of my job. All teacher's are regularly performance managed and inspected within their schools and also by the inspectorate. Nurses are not the only hard working public servants and neither are teachers. We must stand together to protest about the staffing cut backs and the slashed budgets. The impact of a depleted NHS may well have a more immediate negative impact but education cuts backs also have catastrophic consequence for society.

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  12. I qualified many many years ago and I'm glad I left. The hospitals need to go back to being run by Matrons not adminstrators.

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    1. Oh yes I do agree with you!! There are far too many chiefs and not enough nurses on the wards, I am so glad I no longer work for the NHS

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  13. Sounds oh so familiar. I used to get home from a 13hr shift and cry. The government is systematically destroying the nhs. Too many caring nurses leaving the profession due to the pressures. When will they wake up?

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  14. This is sad to read, but no doubt there are many who can empathise with this nurse. The NHS is still amazing, because of these such dedicated staff and despite near 20 years of constant politicsl mismanagement and backdoor privatisation. All the big parties share the blame. If they really wanted to improve things then they should put down their expenses claims books, invest in healthcare, and let us get on with caring. So much time seems to be spent recording what we do, how and when we do it, without letting us have time to actually do the caring!

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  15. Bring in a SAFE NURSE:PATIENT RATIO! Britains public NEED to push for this! Otherwise you can all expect the likes of Mid Staffordshire!
    I feel so sorry for this lovely young girl, my heart goes out to you! I will be in your shoes this time next year!

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    1. So true shirryan thats all thats needed

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  16. Unfortunately the Ambulance service is pretty much in the same state. Meaningless targets and stats, poor management, a total blame culture, pay freezes, privatisation through the back door, rock bottom morale but still some of the most amazing and dedicated staff to work with. Road staff are only interested in patient care on the whole, senior management have a totally different agenda. Each year you hope things will improve but of course they never do. Shame on politicians poor slowly killing a great national treasure!!

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  17. I'm a doctor in my 4th year post-qualification. This is such a sad post; I agree with the other commentators that it seems an entirely "normal" day for so many nurses. One thing that always makes me feel sorry for my nursing friends is the total lack of empathy and perspective from their superiors. Minor mishaps at work are treated in a totally over the top manner and the culture is of labeling blame rather than support. I hope things get better for you.

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  18. Long gone are the days of patient care being the priority, whatever the claims of wannabe Foundation trusts. I mostly fill in forms and do data entry rather than client centred care. I worry for my daughter as a second year nursing student.

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  19. Terrible. I work in IT in the NHS and have seen that - while the new systems can an do have a beneficial effect - they can also cause the "ground zero" staff problems without the proper training, and that can be hard to get when wards are understaffed.

    I think that the emphasis is wrong; it seems that IT is seen as the savior, making patients safer and nurses lives easier while cutting costs, so everything should be concentrated there. Rubbish. Make the nurses lives easier first (this may include IT), this will make the patients safer THEN try to help them with easier, quicker, possibly better ways of making the patient's stay better.

    And %&^£$^ the money; we'll all be there at some point - its worth it.

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  20. I left the NHS 6 years ago, for Australia. When I left, there were 2 others leaving too and to this day we were never replaced. I left for the same reasons as the author. I left for Australia not only for the lifestyle and weather, but for better staffing, replacing staff when there is sickness and leave, on a daily basis, and a strong Union. I have had 2 pay rises, I have had opportunities in management and teaching and Australia has restored my love of nursing. Australia has its own changes going on, but I still turn up for a fully staffed shift, and a safe working environment. Watch out NHS, Australia still needs nurses, be careful not to loose too many nurses, to a better health service.

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  21. The thing is the nurse is "Newly qualified" she shouldn't be left in that position. However once she has got experience she will be able to do all these things! It's also a hot worrying that after years at uni all she wants to do is to chat and wash patients. This is an important part of the job indeed but not all of it. She shouldnt blame her lack of experience and understanding of her job on the NHS. Yes we need more staff but we also need more proficient individuals. Ones who can combine efficiency with compassion and multi tasking. It's not supposed to be easy and it really winds me up when these girls who have been at it 5 minutes give the bleeding heart stories. Has she considered that she just isn't up to the job??

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    1. Please see my post Mr Sutherland

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    2. Have you ever worked on a ward? A 12 to 1 staff ratio is unworkable, you can't provide the time and care people are due, other countries have sensible 4 to 1 ratios as the max

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    3. Bang out of order. Doesnt matter how experienced you are this is an unsafe workload and I have expereinced it first hand on a daily basis on a surgical ward. When I was newly qualified 6 months in I was considered the senior nurse on duty. Now I reflect on those days and see how little knowledge I had and how unsafe that was. Chat and washing patients is a fundamental nursing duty and this person sees it for such and it is nurses like this that are so important to the nhs. What you have said sums up all that is wrong with the NHS and I would guess you (if you are a nurse) are management of some description and not ward based. I left the wards and wouldnt return for anything. Its unsafe, stressful and not patient focused at all. The only thing missed from this diary entry is time for paper work, toilet break and time to eat (which we know many eat on the go as there is no time to stop on top of which you get bollocked for having food on the ward). If you disagree then maybe you should be considering if YOU are right for the job. At least this person has their priorities right! Cant believe you posted this. I know its not supposed to be easy but if you bullet point all the tasks this person says and then look at the time frame its too much for one individual to manage no matter how efficient they are. One time mentioned was midday. Most shifts start at 7am so all of this is in a 5 hr period. If you honestly looked at yourself, your work and asked your patients I would be amazed if you managed this level of workload successfully every shift. Wheres your support too!

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    4. You clearly haven't been in hospital or had relatives in hospital and felt like they are not being cared for properly. If you have 12 patients one dying, one who can't breathe, and one who is bleeding who do you prioritise and treat first? ? A nurse shouldn't never be put in that position! !!!

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    5. I have worked in the NHS for over 30 years and sadly seen it deteriorate over that time. It has been over the last few years that I have felt like leaving all together due to working conditions and attitudes of managers. Working a 12 hour shift without food or being able to to the toilet is no joke. Lost count the number of times I have gone home totally demoralised that the people in my care have not been able to have the care they so rightly deserve due to having staff taken off the ward to work in "heavier" areas. Would not recommend it as a first career choice for school leavers now.

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    6. Are you saying that you think 12 patients (or more on some wards) to one nurse is safe? You obviously haven't got a clue Ben, as I have seen with my own eyes that his type of workload stresses out even the most experienced nurses.

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    7. Which is exactly why the nurse in this story should highlight the issue through the correct channels. Be part of the solution rather than just highlighting the problem and feeling sorry for yourself! I may not have a clue in your opinion which is fine. But I still maintain the story of one new nurse complaining about why is rightly or wrongly part of our daily working lives is unhelpful at best!

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    8. Ben I am a nurse - not newly qualified but 25 years down the line of experience . . This nurses recollection of her day is no different from my own recent shifts and so many that I have lost count of - its just a normal day! Keeping a patient clean helps prevent infection, suffering and longer stays - creaming skin helps the integrity and prevent breakdown pressure sores, suffering and longer stays. BASIC nursing care improving the health of our patients, sadly over looked with time constraints. One of the reasons I left is because no matter how many times I approached through the right channels - IT didn't change a thing!! Except my realisation that NHS is suffering and before my family and I suffer beyond the point of no return I had to leave. Back injury through wear and tear of the job - not corrective, a long term with potential to deteriorate. Long term effect to the neck - spinal surgery gives me 70% back. I developed Diabetes type 1 - no familiar connection - just unlucky, research shows the effect sleep deprivation due to rotational shifts work has a detramental effect on blood sugars, oh yes and stress can effect the immune sytem too! This written piece is not the voice of one newly qualified nurse but the voice of hundreds - thousands of nurses through our country who smile and provide a professional service though we may be dropping on our feet of hunger or our bladder is so uncomfortable we could urinate through our tears - but we shall smile and remain professional because our patients/familes need us! And I have just read you are in a management postion - go figure :-(

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    9. Well said ^^ I am the original author of this post and have also responded to some of Ben's comments below. I quite agree that this is the voice of hundreds and thousands of nurses and when I originally posted this on Facebook back in february i had no idea it would go viral but over 1200 nurses commented on the post and said much the same as you. it felt like a mini revolution and in addition the public being made aware that we are compassionate and really want to do our best is not unhelpful at all!!

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    10. I don't feel that nurses are being trained well enough ready for qualifying IMO. I feel sorry for alot of staff not just nurses health care assistance too who mainly take the brunt. The main issue for me though is no one is organising a revolution to make big changes we just continue to post into the ether and hope things will change.

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  22. This is why I found that I am so much better as a carer/support worker than I ever was as a Nurse.

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  23. Are you a nurse Mr Sutherland? If so you are typical of the nursing tradition of non support for colleagues - most of us went into nursing to nurse! What we've ended up doing is taking on everyone else's roles that they couldn't manage - medics, administrators etc what do most of us want for our families? I want knowledgable kind caring and compassionate nurses who give holistic NURSING care!! This is no once governments fault it has crept further and further on us over the years and the nursing hierarchy see it as us becoming more 'professional' because we have degrees and masters and can prescribe etc - problem is we have no time to NURSE!

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    1. I am a senior nurse and have worked in many settings. I agree with your point about the time to nurse. The profession is changing and there is nothing we can do. It is more technical, theoretical and advanced now and is not just about basic nursing care. I agree that good care and compassion is at the root of all nursing but the challenge for the 21st century is to combine it with advancement. I just feel that the poor me attitude of some of these new staff is unhelpful when the fact is often that the reality of the job is not the picture of hand holding and brow mopping they thought it would be. As for not supporting I feel quite the opposite. The girl in this story should be supported through incident reporting and management intervention to speak out. I just don't think a poor me story like this does anything for out profession. I would support any of my staff if they had a similar problem and just because I want the profession to move forward doesn't mean I am a heartless individual that is unsupportive and non compassionate.

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    2. Sorry Ben but as a Senior Nurse as you put it, you have no idea and no compassion it seems.
      I am also a Senior Nurse with over 25 years experience. What this describes is not advancement but skipping the essential.
      Core foundation skills that allow a nurse to be a nurse cannot be skimmed over no matter what century we are in. The patient has needs that cannot be addressed without these skills and correct staffing ratios.
      I note you never mention the "patient" but enjoy using "management speak", since when did incident reporting actually work, and how exactly is that supporting?
      It is clear you prefer to push a pen than hold a hand, yours is the attitude that splits teams and lowers moral, but I'm not sure you would know what those are!!!

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    3. How else can I put that I am a senior nurse? I am by no means suggesting that the essentials are skipped but noting the fact they have to be combined with the more modern aspects that are equally important. Of course the patient has needs that we have to address and youre quite right that the correct skills are needed. This nurse clearly didn't have them owing to being newly qualified.

      I am sure incident reporting does not always work but if we don't at least try then how will things change? I don't think this is management speak as such just common sense. This should support staff by having their managers investigate each report and then give feedback to the individual. This is common practice in my area and is proving effective.

      As for your judgements of my level of compassion and divicive nature I find them utterly offensive at best. I am not sure what makes you qualified to analyse me and my ethics and how you can make such a judgement. My team regularly give feedback on management styles through 360 appraisals and it is their opinions I value. I respect your right to disagree with me but I don't think I am quite the pen pusher you think. I am a clinical leader and am in uniform working clinically every day, believe it or not I also find the time to hold patients hands when required. I also have the skill to be able to step back from my emotions and make detached decisions. All of the above are for the good of the patient and the team and service as a whole. I too could join in feeling sorry for this girl but what would that achieve?

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    4. You could try and achieve something you learned in Nursing School - Empathy.
      Instead you are a team leader, wow, been there done that -with added empathy.
      I sorry that for someone who demonstrates so much ignorance I was able to offend you.
      Your use of 360 appraisals is admirable considering the faults that lie with them; when are patients going to be able to get a look at let alone fill in one of these. 360's highlight what is already known and not been actioned.
      Yes there are correct channels to report various occurrences, reports, incident books etc but another lesson you may have failed to pick up on was communication, yes we humans, and other animals, developed the power of speech long before the pushed aside paperwork was developed, some of us can even do that thing called non-verbal communication and show feeling.
      You go on about the individual who wrote this article and their lack of experience, well I'll be honest, your lacking is very blatant to see.
      I'd love to see you work, and you're welcome to join me. I work within the so-called Technological Advancement you go on about, we all do! But I still know, acknowledge and care for the individuals behind the Beeps and Pretty lights, they are the patient, and their friends and families!
      You must have paperwork piling up as you have been on here sometime, if I were you take some honest advice.
      Don't spout on about being a uniform wearer, put it to use. Get back to the shop floor where you started, and get involved. Unless of course you have another "correct channel" for that kind of thing.
      Please remember the levels of greater experience than yours you are challenging on here, and Don't forget, It's nice to be important but far more important to be nice.

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    5. Ben,I am also in management and unfortunately u appear to be showing a great deal of arrogance surrounding this poor girls' diary' .I think I am right in saying that this account is an extract from her diary and not her actually complaining to her peers or friends!!
      I have been nursing many plus years and hope to think that I do a job that gives me a lot of personal satisfaction from a 'personal' selfish point of view and I am very aware of all the changes within the NHS and the changing role of the nurse to a professional role on par with Degree level. I would like to think that I was always professional even without the Degree etc.I have over the years filled many Incident forms in during my Career and as a junior Nurse it can appear quite Scary!! and make you very unpopular! Newly qualified Nurses need support from Management not CRITISISING and encouragement to do the right thing regarding Incident forms AND given time to fill them in. I really do hope that because you are a Manager you have become so far removed from the truth just because your Department appears on paper to be efficient. Please remember this Nurses words came from a personal diary

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    6. I think the point here is missed. Our opinions are our own. This is the opinion of a newly qualified nurse, who is working hard to be compassionate in a profession that has been criticised for not being caring and compassionate.

      This is how she felt at the time she wrote her diary. Our status, qualifications, roles and ranks do not matter. We must understand that this is how some staff feel, not dependant on level of experience.

      We must understand that we are human beings, and need help and support at times. This should be offered no matter what our own opinions are.

      I am a nurse, and have been for 22 years. My role is unimportant. I listen to colleagues of all different backgrounds, and help them find a way through the mire of their chosen profession, and the stresses that go with it.

      Please, be nice, understand the other peoples points of view, and stop criticising others practice, unless you work with them, you do not know their practice / skills.

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  24. As a first year student nurse, this scares me. It makes me wonder why I wanted to go into this profession, but I know however hard it is, it will be worth it.

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  25. We were very over stretched when I worked on a rehab ward - sometimes just two student nurses for all the beds and they needed a lot of care. And it's the patients that lose out but we were exhausted.

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  26. My heart goes out to the nurse who wrote this as obviously she actually wants to nurse her patients not do endless admin tasks. I have cared for my disabled mum at home for 9 years and her condition has got worse as she has got older and in that 9 years I have witnessed the destruction if the NHS. The last time my mum was in hospital 10 months ago there were 30 patients on the ward 2 nurses and 2 healthcare assistants. None of the care I give my mum at home like turning her to prevent bedsores was done because the staff simply didnt have time. I would bring her food in because she has problems eating snd staff didnt have an hour to spend feeding her. When I saw a doctor she was young arrogant and didnt listen to a word I said just told me my mum shouldnt be looked after at home she needed 24 hour care! Mum gets more care with me than she did in hospital. She got MRSA while on the ward and was very close to death. When I finally got her home she had bedsores. The district nurse was appalled. She told me she would never go back to the wards because you just couldnt care properly for patients. How can this be right in 21st century developed country? I dont blame the nurses most of whom I have seen to want to care but just have not enough time because of the system. My daughter is studying for A levels and is applying for nursing courses, my neice in her 2nd year of training all I can say is God help them.

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  27. I have to agree with all of the above and yes we are exhausted mentally and physically. We train to provide high standards of hands on care and some of us are lucky if we actually get hands on time within a 24 hour period. I trained many years ago when funding was still poor but morals and ethics were first and foremost and we spent quality time with patients. Cleanliness and infection control standards were second to none and the matrons and ward sisters were feared but everyone got the best and respect was part and parcel of all of our roles. This government have run us all into the ground. Some managers are protected by their paperwork and probably couldnt tell you about the issues nurses at ward level are having to endure. Maybe if the h8gher powers had to spend regular time in our shoes they would experience first hand the simple requests we are making for improved care standards.

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  28. So so true and such a common occurrence in my 14 years as a qualified nurse plus the 3 as a student. Most of us have the same feelings but are too exhausted and disheartened to put it into words. It is sad and shameful that this is allowed to happen day after day and those that need to know do know and that is the saddest reflection upon the NHS

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  29. People can berate me all they like because I won't jump on the bandwagon of feeling sorry for this nurse. Yes I am a nurse manager albeit a low level one and yes I have been in this position myself. My point really is that a story such as this is an easy cheap shot. Had the nurse reported to the hospital manager and asked for help, did she complete an incident form? Bleating and looking for sympathy will change nothing. It sounds as though this girl wants to be a Carer which is a worthy and important job. However I was merely pointing out that modern nursing is becoming more advanced and technical with a greater level of responsibility. This does not suit everyone especially if they came into the profession when we did just provide basic care! I may seem heartless but the fact is we Are being challenged to be compassionate and scientific at the same time and it is possible. It does not take years at university to chat and wash people. I am not saying we are above that, far from it but I think a little bit more is expected of us these days. It seems I am in a minority here but I stand by what I said. As much as you hate me without people like me in management the profession would remain low tech and left far behind the rest of the Nhs disciplines. Things need to change so that stories like this are not commonplace and it is everyone's responsibility. Emotional statements will change nothing at all. Highlighting issues through tube correct channels will.

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    1. I think that in a hospital full of managers, some of whom obviously had direct contact with the nurse , it is appalling that this wasn't sorted out so that the nurse felt supported! Ben, your comments astound me, I am a nursing sister, a band 7 so relatively senior and I would be devastated if a member of my team felt like this nurse did. It is simply not acceptable to say that she is complaining, she should never have been in this situation in the first place and your opinion only perpetuates the cycle! We are talking about the care of PEOPLE! Have you forgotten that the patient and their safety is paramount? The fact that she is newly qualified is irrelevant as many senior nurses also feel overwhelmed by their workload. I would be interested to know how many incident forms were filled in at mid staffs and how they were acted on. The bottom line is that nursing colleagues should support each other, we are humans not robots and obviously have emotional responses to such situations! It is clear to everyone here, with you as an obvious exception, that reporting through correct channels has changed nothing certainly in my experience. Things are going to get worse, and in the opinion of the majority of my nursing colleagues everyone is over stretched and the people who will ultimately suffer are the patients. We are their advocates, unless you think this is also too old school thinking?
      This account will hopefully help the general public to see how poor staffing and a glaring lack of support makes nurses feel. I only hope it makes you think a little more about the staff who work under your supervision otherwise they may feel compelled to write a similar piece!

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  30. Thank all for reading, sharing and for taking the time to post your comments.

    What is clear, is that just how important the NHS is to people, how poor things are getting under Tory rule and that people are prepared to get out there and fight for our NHS.

    The original author was sadly anonymous to me, I would love the chance to know a bit more about her, and how she is getting on now.

    So many people who have read this blog have told me how surprised they are and how bad they now feel for giving nurses a bit of a hard-time, they simply just did not realise how hard they work and under what conditions.

    Thanks Again
    Jonathan

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    1. It's lucky that he/she's anonymous. If his/her trust read this, rather than changing conditions on the ward, they'd probably discipline, sack, and report him/her to the NMC, when really he/she should be praised by the trust for highlighting these issues, and held up as an example of how nurses on the wards have the power to make positive change. That's what's wrong with the NHS today.

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  31. Its not until you become a qualified nurse you get a real taste of what its all about and sadly not everyone is cut out for it. My most memorable shift was 2 RN's 18 patients to myself, 9 of which post op and 2 HCA's. This became standard. Time management is of the essense. If you have that you can do it. I had no break along with the rest of the staff. Hard times and it didn't happen just once it happened repeatedly. However the one thing I take from the experience is the fact that those hard times made me and all those other nurses what we are today.

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  32. This is so well written to put the reader in your shoes. I can wholeheartedly empathise and it is exactly this kind of workload and demands on your time, which leads to poor standards of care despite the desire to give the highest standard of care. This is why the NHS is deteriorating day by day as dedicated staff leave in droves because they just can't face it anymore. We are only human after all, not robots, and our own health suffers too.
    Written as an ex-midwife who left the profession due to all of the above.
    I miss midwifery dearly.

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  33. Well after 32yrs nursing ive finally thrown in the towell...after having a breakdown. .im now under care for mental health and feel a failure...always remember to take of you too x

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  34. This is why I have never furthered my care-career. I am NVQ level 3, with lots of other bits of paper, Have been doing it 12 years in various sectors; last 4 years in hospice care. I have been asked many times why I don't go into nursing. This says it all.

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  35. Whilst I can appreciate the anger directed at the government, it seems a lot of the pressure and anxiety is due to assholes, individuals who think that the world is there to service their needs. The bed manager sounds like he/she couldn't manage a smile let alone anything else useful.

    By all means challenge the government but don't let idiots and assholes get away with ill treating their colleagues.

    It might be worth some people watching the BBC(?) Documentary on surgery safety. People were dying in surgery because 'lower' ranked staff didn't feel able to suggest alternatives, challenge or correct those who had a higher status. Get some humanity and humility in the upper echelons and then things will improve with or without more money or staff.

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  36. I have just read my life story and that of hundreds of other nurses except I work on a childrens ward. I even wrote to David Cameron twice raising my concerns. Patients are not being purposely neglected, its just that we don't have the time and resources and we complain but no-one listens. they have brought us to our knees. I have been nursing 30 years and if I could find another job that's not nursing that if I make a mistake because i'm tired it's not life threatening.

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  37. Safe minimum staffing requirements. The government need to set them. Only then will people have time

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  38. I'm not a nurse.
    My wife is, though. She was a teacher before, but constant pressure and late nights made her reconsider. She went back to uni and did her course - qualified a couple of months ago. She's lucky - only 10 hour shifts and working in cath lab (her 'dream' position) - but she still needs an understanding husband when she gets home, knackered again and in need of a cup of tea and sympathy because something went wrong and she can't tell me exactly what. But she tells me that she still feels that she can make a positive difference in her job, where she lost that feeling in her teaching - more about league tables than helping those who need it.
    I sympathise with all the nurses here, and elsewhere, and with their families who have to help with their individual burdens.

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  39. So sad to read this, what pressure to put a young caring nurse under, I have been in hospital recently to have both hips replaced and the care I got from the staff was second to none they were brilliant. We must fight for these people that give so much and get so little in return, I can only offer my gratitude to all nurses and carers a massive thank you from me.

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  40. Yes, it is sad, though I have my doubts about its authenticity. Read as an indictment of the health system it is very powerful, which is obviously what was intended, and as I have several family members working in the NHS I can verify that many of the situations are as 'reported'.
    Except. Except that no nurse would say, "Even when qualified all I want to do is wash my patients." Of course they wish they had time to do those things as well, but a nurse studies for years because she wants to do more that wash and comfort the sick - she wants to treat their illnesses too.

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    1. Treating illness is the job of the doctor. Nightingale would have a fit if she were alive today. Feeding, cleaning and personal contact is often the best medicine.

      If people want to treat illnesses then become a doctor. If cleaning were a higher priority then MRSA wouldn't have gripped our wards like they have for the previous several years.

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    2. Lizy-expat-writer:

      Completely authentic, as i am the original author. It was written in hindsight on my time ten years ago as a newly-qualified nurse. Why would no nurse say that? I was making the point that the reputation we had (thanks to the media) as not caring about our patients and about basic care couldn't be further from the truth and that actually i longed to carry out a wash or a shave as sometimes a whole shift could pass before i so much as got to say hello to a patient! This felkt wrong to me and not at ALL what I went into nursing for. That doesn't mean as Ben and perhaps yourself suggest that I am in the wrong job. It is the system thats wrong.

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  41. One of two postings:

    Ben Sutherland, I think perhaps you need to step down from your management pedestal, one which seems higher than perhaps it should be, and do some hand holding on the wards. This is not a 'poor me' story, as you so insultingly put it. As you can see, this tale is a reflection of a typical day for many nurses. Your suggestions about him/her speaking to managers, and filling out incident forms (when would he/she have the time to do that!), are patronising and thoughtless at best. Also your comments suggesting that he/she just wants to be a carer are also way off the mark, and equally offensive.

    I've seen many excellent nurses climb the ranks into nursing management. Sadly, many of these nurses have not only lost their care and compassion, replacing this with corporate responsibilities, but also become nurse managers that create the culture of care (or lack of) that we see so eloquently described above. We all know as nurses that we can file incident reports, whistle blow, speak to our managers, talk with our unions, report poor care to the CQC, NMC etc. All the nurses at Mid-Staffs had the same knowledge about escalating and reporting concerns, and look what happened there! Nurses like the one in the story here, despite what policies and procedures exist to help him/her maintain an acceptable level of care, feel vulnerable, and powerless to effect any change. Spending some time on different wards, you see how each has it's own culture of care, and this to some extent is down to whoever is the ward manager. I hope I never have to work on your ward. Also working in different trusts, you see a big difference in the culture and philosophy that drives the organisation. Every trust in the land will publicly state that it's achieving the highest quality of care that is paramount to them, but we know that with some trusts, they pay lip service to that, and what matters most to them is achieving their targets, getting the relevant financial rewards, and not being financially penalised when they don't hit the spot. We all know these trusts. They get word of an inspection from an external agency. The cleaners are told to clean better, the walls are repainted, damage to the fabric of the building is repaired, nurses are given their scripts and encouraged to portray a 'Disneyland NHS' rather than the actual realities of the environment they work in. These trusts are held aloft as centres of excellence, as it's the public image, and their target results that stand them out from the crowd. We ALL know that achieving targets does not mean that care is of the highest standard. Many trusts find clever ways to 'manipulate' the system so that targets are achieved on paper, but sometimes this isn't reflected in the real world. Cover-ups are commonplace in the NHS, with full knowledge from managers, some like yourself.

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    1. Second of two:

      I'm not being unrealistic here. I know that the NHS has finite resources, and we can only do the best with what we have. With that in mind, we need to change the focus, and put patients back where they should be, and that's at the centre of our attention. What's important for patients, their families and carers, should be what's important for us! In this case, as should be universal, what this ward needs are nurses that have the time to hold hands, wash patients, feed patients, and get ALL the basics right. We also need to be highly skilled in many other areas too, as you point out. I think it's the only comment you make that others here agree with. This nurse wants to be that multi-skilled and talented professional, but isn't given that opportunity to flourish in that environment. He/she is 21. I'll be surprised if he/she stays nursing in the UK for long. Like so many young nurses, we lose them to Australia, and elsewhere overseas. A nurse here describes how wonderful it is to work on a ward that's always well-staffed. Australia seem to be getting it right. I think we need to look closely at their healthcare system, and learn some very valuable lessons. The minimum nurse-patient ratio is one very big step that should help improve patient care. You seem to expect that that one nurse, once he/she's more experienced, should be able to manage the workload competently. What he/she needs is several more nursing colleagues on that shift to share the workload out with. The change needs to be from the top down, and not the bottom up. You state that this nurse needs to speak to his/her manager. I can assure you that his/her manager is likely to know all too well about the working conditions on that ward. If that manager's not doing anything about it, then how will that nurse feel about shouting out with the hope of changing the status quo. The government needs to get it right (they're not), and trusts need to get it right (many aren't), before that solitary nurse can do his/her job well. I hope that he/she grows to love the job they're in, rather than getting burnt out and hating it, which will be the case for all of us if things don't change drastically in the NHS for the better.

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    2. An interesting assumption you make that I am on a management pedestal. I am a clinical leader and as such are in uniform working on the floor each and every day. I cannot see how suggesting that staff follow the procedure for reporting unsafe practice is insulting and or patronising. If things are not highlighted then how can anything ever change? Staff often feel when they report that it is in vain which is a great shame and a reflection on their managers. This would not be my style I would work with whoever reports something and support them to seek a resolution or if not possible refer on to a higher level. I equally share some of the nurse in the articles frustrations on a daily basis. The difference is that I put my time and effort into trying to change it rather than feeling sorry for myself. Furthermore I cannot see how suggesting this girl wants to be a carer is offensive. She herself says that she is not cut out for this and wants to spend her time "just washing and chatting to her patients" in the modern era of nursing is that the job of a registered nurse? Yes they are an important aspect but only one of a multi faceted complex role. Carers provide an excellent service and do an amazingly good job. Why would being a carer be an insult?? As for the coverup culture I especially resent the notion that I would be involved in any such activity. You are making an assumption of me and my work ethic based upon absolutely no information. As you may have gathered I have no problem speaking my mind and far from covering up I am more often in hot water for speaking out against the management grain.

      The main point I was trying to make is that this article is emotionally written in such a way that it is easy to feel sorry for the writer. It undervalues the complex role that nurses play. It may be typical of many shifts and I don't know what the whole answer is. All I do know is that complaining and gaining public sympathy is even less likely to instigate change than an incident report. Yes these take time to fill in but as far as the big bad managers such as myself are concerned if it isn't documented then how can we know it happened?? Some managers I am sure are unsupportive and unapproachable but I am certainly not in this bracket.

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  42. OMG Ben i cannot believe you are a nurse, You questioned had the nurse reported to the manager or done an incident form, the answer is probably no, this is likely to be because 1) she didnt have the time and 2) Noone takes any notice when you do. I started nursing in 1976 when nurses cared for patients and paperwork was minimal. While i fully appreciate nursing has moved on and is now a profession not a vocation you do not appear to have any idea as to what is happening on wards. There are far too many managers and NOT enough nurses on the wards. i have worked through all these changes in both managerial roles and on the wards, Nurses are expected to do more and more with less and less staff. My last night shift i worked i was the only trained nurse on a 29 bed acute medicine and cardiac ward with 4 bays full of MRSA patients, i rang the manager and said it would be impossible to manage the ward safely and was told to get on with it. Later that night i suffered a catastrophic back injury and ended up in an ambulance myself followed by neurosurgery, my career of 35 years is now over and i suffer pain every day due to me trying to turn a poorly patient with only 1 member of staff when 4 were needed. I could go on and on about this topic but what i suggest you do is for a week take your managers hat off, put an apron on and spend your days and nights working WITH these nurses and then see if you still think the story is a "cheap shot "

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  43. Firstly I am sorry to hear about your injuries as that is very unfortunate indeed. I agree that often it appears that nothing results from incident reporting but what other mechanism is there? I think the point has been missed slightly. I am not saying what was happening to this girl is ok I was more annoyed by the emotional way in which it was put. It was very much an oh poor me statement. I feel that if she had time enough to write all this then she could have reported it. At least call the on call managers. Maybe I am fortunate enough to work in an area where we all support each other at all levels and I accept this may not be the same everywhere. For your further information I am a clinical leader and as such spend every working day with an apron on as you put it. I share the frustrations of my staff and am even more frustrated that I do not have all the answers. I stand by the statement that his nurse is taking a cheap shot. Of course everyone will be horrified by the nature of what she says. I would however question the accuracy of her diary entry. If any of my staff were ever put in this position I would whole heartedly support them in taking it to the highest level. I guess you are going to say this will do no good so I suppose we just give up and write emotional diary entries rather than actively trying to change anything.

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  44. I qualified as a nurse in 2010 aged 31 and with distinction. I took a job on a neurology ward and 9 months later a stroke ward. I was told by all that I was a great nurse, I was told (being a male nurse) that I'd climb the ranks and be a manager before I knew it. I often stayed on shift for upwards of 3 hours unpaid EVERY DAY to make sure others had an easier shift than I'd had and when one day I said I had to leave on time I was called selfish and unprofessional. I answered call bells and was told by my manager that I was doing "the carers' job" and that I cared too much. I argued the patient's corner at every opportunity much to the annoyance of ward and directorate management and was told that I'd make a great nurse if only I stopped caring so much. That's when I handed my notice in. A mere 18 months after qualifying. I took a job at a nursing home feeling incredibly defeated and 2 years later I am matron at the same home, mid way through a management course and actually feel that I make a difference to people's lives every single day. Friends I trained and worked with say I am "not a real nurse" but the residents and staff I spend most of my days working with strongly disagree.

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  45. You sound very lucky to be working in such a supportive environment, I really dont think this is the norm. I have actively tried changing things both as a manager and a nurse, neither worked you just end up with a reputation as a trouble maker. I was reprimanded because i wouldnt leave a dying patient alone and sat holding her hand until her relatives arrived. this is when i realised that REAL nursing had died. P.S my injuries were not unfortunate they were due to negligence by the NHS.

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  46. Ben, I agree with nik47's comments, and haven't replied to your response to my post point by point, as I feel it would be a waste of my time, and yours reading it. If you work in such a well-supported environment, then you are in a rare minority, and I'm happy for you. I'm not sure if your responses are born out of naivety, ignorance or stupidity, and we'll never know. It seems that nothing we say will change your way of thinking, so there's no point us explaining how we see things, and what we think about your misaligned viewpoint.

    Let's have a straw poll with our contributors here:

    All those who agree with and support what Ben has to say, raise your hands and say "Aye!"

    I'll check back later to see how much support you have. Perhaps when your blindfold comes off, you'll join our ranks. If you're such an agent of change for the better, then we hope you put your money where your mouth is, and that you achieve success in improving patient care where you are, and continue to fight against all odds for the greater good.

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  47. I can relate to the trouble maker as you can see that is something I do well. Believe me I am the first to speak up if something is wrong or if I don't agree. Whatever the mechanism of your injuries I am sorry you have to suffer this. Nursing as it was has died maybe but you cannot say all REAL nursing has gone. in many areas it thrives and has evolved. It is a shame we only ever hear about the problem areas.

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    1. I personally agree with Ben Sutherland. I don't see anything out of order in what he said. He is looking at the problem in a practical way and he hasn't been judgemental not patronizing in any way. Please could people comment on opinions and refrain from focusing on what Ben Sutherland does, how often he wears an apron and how many hands he has held. We are all mature professional adults here and everyone should be free to express their oponions and agree or disagree with the author of the post without being called insensitive incompassionate or patronizing. Thank you.

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  48. I have been a nurse for many years and sen many changes most of them bad I can only say that I am glad I am coming to the end of my career and not just starting my heart goes out to the younger nurses today

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  49. After 33 years working for the NHS I finally had enough of the lack of patient care due to paper care been more important. FIGURES STATICS NUMBERS BLAH BLAH.............what has got lost over the years is the ability to sit and chat to a scared upset patient. what has got lost over the years is the way wards are ran. Its a business. I loved bath time, that's when most patients tell you their most inner secrets. They are so vulnerable, yet they KNOW and SENSE you truly care. It has been an honour over many many years to sit and chat with dying cancer patients.................all the want is time to be listened too. Im so sad. They governments all call each other. Margaret Thatcher was demise of domestic services.....................she is the reason standards went down and MRSA began. Once domestic services were cut and privatised the rest began to follow. RIP NHS dearly loved by so many.

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    2. You're right. Those times are long gone. I remember as a student nurse many years ago, that bathing patients was a regular occurrence. The qualified staff would also do this. In the last year, I've showered 3 patients, and bathed none. We are in an immensely privileged position as nurses, and some forget that. Those that do, have an agenda that's about what they can get from the profession (promotion, management, higher salaries, qudos etc), rather than what they can give to it and it's patients. I know many out there climb the ladder to do everything within their power to improve things for patients and staff alike, but others climb, and forget what they've left behind at the bottom, and reap the rewards it gives to them. It's not about us guys. If you think it is, you're in the wrong job. Every nurse reading this, and the rest of them out there, need to look long and hard in the mirror and ask themselves throughout their career, "What am I doing this for?" If at any point the answer isn't the patients, then please leave. The NHS ship is sinking already, and we don't need you dragging us down.

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  51. the 'buck' always ends with the nurses, which is why, despite their best efforts at prioritising and time management, they are totally demorilised and frustrated! this government is responsible for the failings in the NHS and decline in patient care..................NOT THE NURSES!

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  52. Demi Bauros im also a second year nursing student and yes i agree some shifts can be soul destroying and i feel like i could give up at times too. But im currently working with a team with such high demands and time limits but who are soooo supportive and truly lovely people that no matter how stressful my days are i feel part of a team who share the stress and im so proud what we can actually achieve. The odd moment of recognition for your hard work and efforts from a patient whose really happy to see you or family who are so grateful that you've helped their relative through their journey makes me so happy that i embrace the challenges now and accept i cant do i all and if your honest with people and say your struggling and doing your best but need help many of them will be supportive. Don't give up! We are all this together. You can do it.

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  53. I worked in the NHS for 32 yrs recently took VER. When I started nurses looked out for each other.We would always support each other. We cared for the patients but also for each other. Then the blame culture started. If it wasnt written it didnt happen. HR used policies to threaten and discipline nurses when, perhaps they had made a genuine mistake. investigating officers made a case for management. Then defensive practice became the norm.Ithink when personel changed to human resources they lost the human bit.They have protracted investigations that stress staff so much. When will the government understand the HR role is no longer supportive of staff.

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  54. Wow. A friend linked this on facebook. Thank you for sharing - I work in a hospital as well and know some of the nurses here find it very difficult as well. Some wards seem much better than others; perhaps it depends on who is in charge and how much pressure they put on those working the wards.

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  55. Hi there,

    I'd like to join this conversation as I am the original author of this post!! Thank you Jonathan for taking the time to read and share my post. To give you some background and ensure that it is taken in context as some (especially Ben sutherland!) seem to be lacking the insight into what the intention of the post was:

    I wrote this back in February this year, following the broadcast of The One Show's extremely damaging and irresponsible 'report' into nurses lacking compassion. I hope we can all agree here that no-one chooses nursing as a soft option at university! Nursing is a vocation and most if not all of the nurses I know, albeit somewhat jaded (especially from the recent criticism we have received in the press) are kind and compassionate human beings who want to do their best. The problem is in the NHS culture we now work in is that our best is never good enough. My anger was really directed at the media for fuelling the problem, which I think partly is that nursing no longer commands respect. Once upon a time, sister or matron was as feared by patients and doctors as the nurses she was in charge of. What we have now is a complete lack of faith, respect and appreciation for what nursing actually is and it has lost its identity with the shift towards advanced practice.

    I never wrote this post as a 'poor me' cheap shot sympathy vote, and actually I find this accusation extremely unhelpful and was quite shocked to read some of Ben's comments, which i shall address in a moment.It was written at a time when thousands upon thousands of nurses were feeling undervalued, under the media spotlight as a result of the Francis report and the media were fuelling that fire. this was my way of trying to demonstrate that we ARE compassionate! we ARE! its just that the simple fact is, that there are NOT enough staff on the wards. Actually, it is interesting to note that I actually was newly qualified ten years ago, under a labour government! Yet in 10 years, little has changed. In fact I'm sure it is just the same out there on the wards as it was 10 years ago. i am in the fortunate position of being a specialist nurse now, having lasted just 18 months on a ward. I went out to the community for 4 years and had my son then moved county, studied for my degree and work as a Band 7 in a very close knit team which I love. There is still pressure, but different sorts of pressure. I take my hat off to any nurse who can cope with the realities of working on a ward. That leads me to Ben's comments......

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    1. It's not just nursing staff affected by these issues: I am a physiotherapist, and feel equally disheartened and undermined by the current climate, where the emphasis is on delivering value for money and efficiency, often at the expense of standards of care. None of us working in the NHS go into our professions for the money, we simply wish to care, and make a difference. Sadly, our efforts will always be hampered by the ever-increasing pressure to justify and quantify what we do best: you cannot necessarily express the value of giving a patient time and attention, which are the cornerstones of so-called patient-centred care. This relentless drive to deliver value for money can only lead to rushed treatment, patient dissatisfaction, and a downwards spiral of less effective care. I don't pretend to have the solution in these times of financial austerity, but I do identify with the previously expressed frustration, and lowered morale.

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  56. Ben I don't really have much to say to you as I simply agree with everyone else who has put it better already but i think your attitude is unhelpful, not at all constructive and as for "Worrying that i spent so much time at uni when all I want to do is JUST wash and chat to the patients?!" JUST wash them and chat to them. JUST. This is the FUNDAMENTALS of nursing. Are you aware of how much information you can glean from a patient by JUST chatting to them while washing them? Noting bruises on their skin, reddened pressure areas, cracked heels, dry lips. The fact that they have lost weight as they look and feel thinner. The fact that because you have taken the time to develop a relationship with them and build up their trust and then they mention to you because they've been too embarrassed to tell anyone else, or everyone else is too busy but they've been passing blood in their stools for a couple of days. I could go on and on about the things I have picked up JUST washing and chatting to my patients and yes this patient contact was and stillIS my favourite aspect of the job. I'm proud of that. Quite frankly you can train anyone to shove in a cannula or check the expiry date on the IV antibiotics you push into them before you rush off to fill in another one of your forms but nursing, proper nursing is about so much more.
    I think you should stay away from clinical work and stick to management as its quite clear that you are judgemental, patronising, extremely lacking in empathy, very short-sighted and indeed as someone else has said, everything that's wrong with the modern day NHS.

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  57. I do agree that it takes a lot of time and experience to gain the self-assuredness that you seem to have in abundance! I also agree that as a 21-year old newly qualified nurse I was "not up to the job!" as you so charmingly put it. Of course I wasn't up to the job! There are nurses out there (many of them amongst the 14,000 likes and 1200 comments I originally got, ALL of which were supportive and positive!) who have been qualified for 20 years who told me they stuggled too! How on earth was an inexperienced young nurse fresh out of university going to cope with it?? But I learned and I grew and here I am. You're quite right also in that I am quite sure that as the person AND the professional i am today I would probably find the ward a less challenging environment in which to work as I have developed my clinical skills along with my management skills and retained my compassion. But my point is that this is happening every day! newly qualified nurses who haven't been taught to be assertive, they aren't sure of themselves, they are vulnerable and have huge amounts of responsibility on their shoulders and perhaps they didn't think it would be quite as bad as it is in the NHS today, they are out there on the wards. Hundreds and thousands of them all over the country. I tell you what, why don't you tell them all to go and fill in a form and it will all be fine.

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  58. I would lay good money on the fact that you're not on the wards Ben? I'd be interested to hear where you do work and when the last time was that you worked on a ward. Also, if you don't do ward work why did you not choose that as it sounds like you'd find it a breeze, perhaps you're just what the wards need now Oh and as for nursing being more advanced and technical these days...well I am now aware of the cytochrome P450 cascade. I know how to write a business case. I know how to carry out an audit and do a governance presentation. I know how to apply for funding for a research project. I know all of the clinical
    Guidelines I should be working from. I can auscultate and percuss and prescribe. I may even just about remember how to set up a syringe driver and keep someone comfortable. However, I still get just as much if not more job satisfaction from spending 45 minutes of my time JUST chatting and washing someone and seeing that grateful look in their eye when they say thank you, I feel better. That still makes it all worth it.

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  59. feel sad after reading this article, cos this is exactly the same and happened everyday in Taiwan. very short of nurses in my country at moment. 8 hours in each shift, but it always over time without any overtime pay. only one nurse to care 12 patients in day shift , 16 in evening shift and 22 in night shift. everyone need to do 176 hours per month, if less than that we have to pay hospital money. plus our government made the law for all of the registered nurses in taiwan. all the nurses need to be done 150 credits for further professional class within 5 years. how many off days i have to sacrifice the family time and go to the class. i couldnt bear the workload anymore so l left the hospital. im teaching in a nurses school as a clinical instructor, good thing is that i still could work at hospital and less stress. Nurses heavy workload seems happened in every country. our government understand the problem is getting worse , but no one can fix it. the quality of nursing is getting poor as well. l love and proud to be a nurse like every nurses. hope one day the government could do some change not only for nurses most important is for patients.

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  60. I personally agree with Ben Sutherland. I don't see anything out of order in what he said. He is looking at the problem in a practical way and he hasn't been judgemental not patronizing in any way. Please could people comment on opinions and refrain from focusing on what Ben Sutherland does, how often he wears an apron and how many hands he has held. We are all mature professional adults here and everyone should be free to express their oponions and agree or disagree with the author of the post without being called insensitive incompassionate or patronizing. Thank you.

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    1. Unless I'm missing something here and you didn't read all of his comments thoroughly, as the author of this post and this being taken from a very real day in my life 10 years ago, I found it EXTREMELY offensive, patronising and judgemental to be told that I was taking a "cheap shot", bleating on and moaning, going for the sympathy vote, not up to the job, been at it for 5 minutes and going for bleeding heart and didn't have the necessary skills for the job. The fact is the ward was dangerously understaffed and that shouldn't have been acceptable but is no different to what happens up and down the country on a daily basis. The post was written to demonstarte that nurses do have compassion at the core of everything they do but simply don't get the time to show it. practical approaches are all well and good and I fully support that but being so cruel and judgemental about someone who wrote this post of whom he has absolutely no knowledge and furthermore no idea of the context in which it was written is a perfect example of why we end up turning on each other instead of supporting each other. The fact is that ben doesn't know me and I don't know him. He read some words I wrote and thought he had me all figured out then took some "cheap shots" at me actually. he could have expressed his views in a much less offensive and aggressive manner and if that really is his attitude to newly qualified staff who lack the skills and experience to survive the ward environment then no wonder we're in such a state. My personal opinion is that he very much comes across as lacking empathy or insight into life on the wards today and that he isn't being constructive to say such demeaning things as "she just wants to walk around chatting and washing patients".
      It does take all sorts but if someone who has no idea about who I am and what I stand for is going to start criticising and taking cheap shots at me I am entitled to reply. please try to remember that this piece was fired off my keyboard in response to the one show about nurses who lack compassion and I was cross about the media misrepresentation of us. I never expected in a million years it would get as many views as it has and my very personal and quite traumatic experiences are now available for thousands of people to see. That was never my intention and it certainly wasn't written 'for effect'.

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    2. If I had written it intending for thousands of people to see it of course I would be prepared for criticism from my own colleagues but that wasn't why it was written at all. It was written as a kind of catharsis and yes it is emotional but that is because I am emotional and I get very emotional about a career I love being slated in the media on a daily basis. this was to try and show "the other side". I would also be grateful if we could alll move on from mud-slinging now we've all had our say and perhaps stick together for the greater good too.

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    3. Putting this piece into context makes a big difference. I didn't know that this was written in response to an article about nurses lack of compassion. This explains your emphasis on this aspect of the job in your piece. You were right I didnt reaf all of Ben's comments above. I still do agree with him about following the right channels even if most of the time nothing happens accordingly. I agree with what he said about nursing and how it had become more technical and scientific. I disagree witj pretty much everything else he said especially about u, ur abilities, ur skills and most of all ur intentions behind what u wrote. No one should dare talk about these things. As for nurses and their compassion with patients, as an locum A&E doctor who has worked in over 20 different hospitals so far, I have to be fair and honest, I have never seen once a nurse treating a patient with anything less than compassion, sympathy, love and care. We may have our moments of frustration and tension we doctors and nurses and it is only human, nurses being showered with requests from doctors AND patients constantly and doctors feeling angry that a cannula has not yet been put on this patient who needs IV fluids and God knows I always cannulate my patients myself, take bloods, dip the urine erc as it is practically impossible to deal with this amount of load that nurses are under. Anyway, what I am trying to say is even though sometimes nurses can be a bit firm and dismissive with me when I ask them to do something while they have 10 other things pending I have never seen a nurse being rude with a patient. Never. Quite the opposite. Patients and relatives can be very hard to deal with and I personally am impressed with the patience and civility nurses show in these circumstances.

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    4. Thank you that means a lot to read! It's quite daunting having the public scrutinise your opinions but yes it is important to know that the piece does read emotionally because I was trying to show exactly that. That we ARE emotional, thinking, feeling beings with compassion and we aren't robots or these nurses that couldn't care less as the media would like the public to believe. The amount of tears I've shed over my patients is unbelievable! None of this is as a 'sympathy vote' or a bleeding heart story. it is simply to say I'm a human being with a heart and I do care very much and I think there are thousands that feel the same but frustrated with a system that doesn't work and blames their staff instead of admitting the truth. Money is finite and corners are cut. It may be with any luck that out of the tragedy at mid-Staffs comes the ever-anticipated legal minimum nursing staff to patient ratio like Australia.
      Where is the money going to come from for these extra hours though?! It will be cut from somewhere and it won't be managers pay or jobs that are at risk....
      I think as colleagues if we can support each other, stick together and speak out that would do some good. I don't disagree with filling in incident forms and escalating issues to management and using the correct channels, but actually if you think about it, apparently 250k have seen this blog. I bet that is a huge amount more people than those who have read any incident form I've ever filled in!

      I would also like to say I have enormous respect for you in your field as an A&E doctor which must be stressful beyond belief. I take my hat off to you!

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    5. Thank you Natalie, to be fair, again, nurses deserve this "hat off" before any doctor ESPECIALLY in A&E. They have first exposure with patients and this includes drunks, junkies, psychotics, gang members, aggressive elderly patients with dementia or simply quiet patients with aggressive relatives .. and some patients i honestly myself feel scared of approaching them let alone receive all the aggression (as nurses do since they are the first people they see) then assess them, take history, clean them up, prepare them, calm them or their relatives down .. I actually feel bad most of the time as by the time I go and see the patients they would have taken all their anger and aggression on the nurses and have nothing left for me! But like you said, it's all about sticking together as a team, helping each other out, supporting each other .. feeling each others' frustrations. Managers can be rude, and ruthless as they want but in my opinion they can do nothing to a member of staff who is backed up and supported by his/her team. I try my best to keep these basic principles in mind while i work and focus on having a good relationship with my fellow nurses and doctors. Natalie, I am the one who have enormous respect for you .. regardless of your intentions behind your written piece (which concerns nobody and is irrelevant really) do you realize it reached 250K persons?!! And counting! And it is important that the public knows what kind of environment healthcare professionals live in on a daily basis so that the they direct their blame to the right people .. ie those who are hidden behind desks giving orders and having no idea what happens on the shop floor rather than blame those who they can "see" in the hospital who face the storm and do everything in their hands to help them .. but let's face it, we can only do so much!

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  61. Natalie F

    Thanks for commenting on this and Im so glad you found this blog!

    In the last 48hrs 250,000 have read your diary on here, an incredible number which goes to show just how much people care about the NHS and its staff.

    When I first read your diary it broke my heart, when I have been in hospitals I have witnessed peopke shouting at and criticising nurses so often, but these people genuinely do not realise the timescale and pressures that these nurses are forced to work under.

    Our NHS is in crisis, and if things continue as they are we will lose excellent clinical staff, meaning the NHS will have to rely on the private sector, which is sadly what I think this current government wants, wholesale privatistation of the NHS.

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    1. Wow, 250,000 people that's quite scary considering it was never intended for that many people's eyes! I wrote it on Facebook originally on the One Show's wall. I looked at my phone one minute and all was quiet. the next minute I had notification after notification and supportive comment after supportive comment flooding in from nurse and it felt completely surreal! I felt it was important to share the context in which the post was written.
      We are so lucky to have the NHS, free at the point of need and I am still very proud to be a part of it and it is heartbreaking to see it being systematically destroyed. However my honest opinion is that all governments promise that they will protect frontline staff and the cuts will not be at that level but they always are. Labour were actually in governement when i worked as a community nurse. All our senior nurses had to reapply for their jobs, 2 nurses per one job, then take a demotion if they didn't get the post. All but mandatory training was frozen so there was no career progression. We had no money in the trust where I worked at all so all retirement posts or resignations were frozen and no new staff were recruited. My caseload when from 8-10 patients per day up to 25.
      The conservative government are doing the same thing and it is frontline staff that are always cut, despite all the false promises. In addition we have seen a £24 increase in our yearly registration fees, a 3 year pay freeze and a 3% pension increase in the last 3 years. Plus the media onslaught of telling us we don't care.
      But the NHS is still wonderful and something our nation should be very proud of...(a point made at the olympic ceremony!) and it is a great shame if the public are lked to believe that nurses don't care so that back-door privatisation goes ahead.

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  62. As a foreign nurse that worked in NHS for 12 years. I am very shocked about the big change within it in just 2 years. Used to love it cause everybody supports each other but because of all the pressure from the manager up to the patient it seems the essence of nursing is gone. I myself works in A&E in we are badly hit by this politics. Winter pressure budgets are specifically for doctors and not for us poor nurses. I was aiming for a good career for nursing in this country but I think it is time to change that goal. THERE IS NO MORE CAREER FOR NURSES IN UK, as we are not really heard and that is the real fact.

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  63. Very sad.... very well written.... and if a 21 year old finds this all too much, what chance have I at the other end of the scale.. 57 years old and this government want me to continue working until I’m 66 years old... Which clearly demonstrates to me... they don’t give a toss... Nurses MUST become more militant, Must be more proactive... even if it’s not in our nature, as this really is the only way we will make things better for us and for our patients..... EVEN if this means we go out on strike, we have been held to emotional ransom for too long and OUR patients DO suffer and ARE suffering Now !!! Lets make their suffering mean something, change something... We need to take back our power and protect our NHS before it’s too late .... The powers that be would have you believe Nurses / Doctors and all other people who work in our hospitals have lost any compassion there was.... This is So NOT True.... but if we are made to believe it is... who will care when they dismantle our NHS for their own gains??

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    2. Yes yes YES Susie!! Exactly!!!! Couldn't have said it better and that's EXACTLY my reasons behind writing the post. Because it absolutely devastated me that nursing was getting such a bad name and that the public were being led to believe that we had no compassion thanks to irresponsible, sensationalist and factually inaccurate journalism. I wanted to show what some of our thought processes are through the average shift actually are compassionate but we lack the time. We all beat ourselves up because we haven't done things and never congratulate ourselves on what we HAVE achieved. That culture is fed by the media. We MUST stick together and tell our story and show the public that we DO care or the NHS will cease to exist.

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  64. What is so encouraging about this comment thread is the amount of us that feel exactly the same. What is sad is that we are all so tired and jaded by the system we work in, that we don't have the energy to club together and try to fix the situation. I'm so disheartened after a mere 2 and a half years of nursing that I already don't see myself in this profession in ten years time. It seems like there is someone who knows nothing about this job at every turn, criticising us for not ticking this box or not completing this risk assessment when actually, I'd spent the last 5 hours squeezing volume into my patient. Or queuing up the next few bags of inotropes they need because they are so sick. Which would they rather I do??

    Perhaps all these politicians who've done so much to ruin our service will understand a little better when they end up in an NHS ITU because their private procedure ended up with complications the private service can't support.

    At least we can say that we clearly have some great colleagues around who would support us!

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    1. Agree with every word Lozzleberry!

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  65. This sounds similar to the HSE in Ireland. Its terrible that everywhere is so understaffed. Sometimes I feel like a bed manager rather than a nurse. I dont feel like a nurse. We dont get time to CARE for patients. I feel like I need a career break and im only qualified 3 months. Moving to the UK in January to work for the NHS. This is very disheartening.

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  67. Ok there is a lot emotion being thrown around here rather than looking at the issues. I have been in healthcare for years, and am a final year student nurse. I firstly agree that the above kind of day is a regular occurrence. There are times when staffing is reduced due to sickness, and there is no replacement provided. There are also times where dependencies change and the usual staffing is not enough for the patient load. This can also change dynamically throughout the day. If everyone is stable staffing may even be more than adequate, but suddenly several patients become acutely unwell....then staffing becomes inadequate. I also agree that incident reports should be filled in when staffing is inadequate, and this does not get done nearly enough. It is also time consuming to make the incident report if you are surrounded by declining patients; however, if it means you will get more staff then time must be found to complete one. The issue here is that nurses are often scared to do this. This all depends on the attitude of those you escalate to, and some may try to claim you are incompetent and unable to do your job because others have "managed". This kind of attitude really makes for an unsafe and unpleasant ward, filled with staff who are unsupported and must fight tooth and nail to practice with safe staffing. This is not always the case, but is the case in most wards I have worked on. Similar issues with whistle blowers being given nothing but problems after blowing the whistle. Whistle blowing is supposed to be encouraged and there is supposed to be a supportive no blame culture....but this is not the case in many many wards. Something needs to be done to highlight these issues, and a system should be put in place to have staff reallocated quickly to another ward if safety issues arise. I am not saying such a system is simple either, it would have to be very well thought out and with minimal red tape.

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  68. I could write for hours on this topic, but as a final quick comment.....soo much time is wasted due to poor organisation and thoughtlessness on a lot of wards. For example, bedside folders with no dividers......taking valuable time just to find the documentation you need. Then the folder is not there where it should be because a doctor or pharmacist has taken it to write their notes and not returned it. Then there is the obs monitors never being put back in the correct places, and always missing equipment etc etc. I honestly can't wait to manage a ward to eliminate such stupid time wasting issues. And yes some wards are well managed and the above are not a problem, but in many places issues like that exist and nobody does a thing to change anything.

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  69. When I read this article, I just felt so much sadness and it broke my heart, because it's so true. I am fairly newly qualified myself, well I've been qualified nearly 18 months and work on a very busy, very hectic and very heavy care of the elderly ward and have done since I qualified. I was also 21 myself when I qualified. I was one of the lucky ones who got a job on an extremely supportive and well run ward where no HCA, RN or sister sees themselves as more important than anyone else and ALL levels have to do personal care. Our senior sister or sisters on ward management will help us out when we are drowning and even though sometimes you just want to cry, it's a lovely ward to work on. But others aren't so lucky. There are people who I qualified with who work in the same hospital who were expected to run a team by themselves after their 2 week supernumery finished with some of them looking after 14 patients. I could not imagine how hard it must have been for them to feel so unsupported and so lost. I didn't have to run my own team until about 2-3 months after starting and I only had to look after 6 patients. Some wards just see newly qualifieds as making up the staffing numbers and don't support them adequately or stick to the NQ nurse preceptorship. It's unrealistic to expect a NQ nurse to look after 14 patients alone having to do all the drugs, IVs, care plans, ward rounds, dressings, admissions, discharges, dealing with relatives and God forbid something unexpected happens such as a fall, patient suddenly becomes acutely unwell, arrests, dementia patients wandering or becoming confused and aggressive. I can't believe some of the comments about this being a "poor me" article and to continuously incident report until something gets done. I'm glad this works in their area, but for the vast majority of us, especially in ward areas nothing EVER gets done even if you somehow miraculously find the time to sit down and complete a long winded datix, or if you stay on to complete one doing this unpaid.

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    1. Many of us stay behind at the end of our shifts or work through our breaks, all unpaid, we don't get paid breaks anymore to ensure we have completed everything and then have sleepless nights because you are worried you have missed something or worried about a patient and no matter how hard you try you just can't shut off. To expect any nurse, experienced or NQ to work in some of the conditions that ward staff are forced to work in is ridiculous and unsafe. I think some of these people making these naive comments need to get themselves on a heavy medical ward and see how nurses are drowning in their jobs. And also, what's all this nonsense about JUST washing and talking to a patient? Washing a patient is the BEST time to asseas them. You need to check pressure areas, mouth, feet, skin integrity, general condition ( you ain't gonna get them out of bed if they are pale and feeling weak), cognitive state, assess catheters, give enemas if needed and assess mobility amongst other things. To make a daft statement such as JUST washing is ridiculous and has obviously never washed a patient or not done much personal care in their entire career. At the end of the day when you sign your care plans and repositioning charts you are signing to say you have done that and that it's been done on a LEGAL document. RNs HAVE to wash on my ward but on many wards this is left to the HCAs and students because nurses just simply don't have the time because there is not enough of them.

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    2. You sound like a fantastic nurse and what an articulate and intelligent comment!
      I'm so glad you found a supportive ward to work on and if I were unwell this is exactly the sort of ward where I would be glad to be. I would feel safe and secure in the knowledge that there are nurses like you out there! Keep up the fantastic work. Xx

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  70. I have to agree with Ben. I find it sad that people always focus on the negatives. I am a nurse of 21 years, and recently become a ward manager of a acute surgical ward, I feel maybe our nursing students are not prepared well enough for the reality of nursing. My team are challenged on a daily basis but their attitudes are remarkable, always looking for solutions to increase nursing productivity, and maintain patient safety. I completely understand that the pressures are immense on some days, but what a privileged vocation we are a part of. We need to speak up if things are not up to standard and escalate in the correct way, we all have to power to change things! The Francis report has highlighted so many issues, lets all learn from this and be proud of being a nurse.

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  71. Getting really tired if seeing my words taken so out of context yet again!!! Crimson and clover this article was written in response to a piece of journalism (if you can call it that) by the one show that portrayed nurses as lacking compassion and ignoring the basics. This was me ten years ago and I actually did ask for help that day, there just wasn't any as when you're fully staffed you lose your staff to wards that aren't anyway!
    I am certainly in the right job and have enjoyed 10 years in nursing now, and it is far more complex than washing and Brow mopping, a fact that I'm all too aware of, however some nurses get qualified-nursitis and think they are suddenly above that. I was trying to demonstrate that there are compassionate nurses out there who would love nothing more than time to deliver the basics and not as you seem to imply, that it's because that's ALL I wanted to do.

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  72. Go Natalie F!! Look at what you have started! Fantastic. I have thoroughly enjoyed my afternoon reading this thread. Was just about losing the plot reading all those foolish comments by health care workers who have not taken the time to get their facts straight, read the posts properly, or think through their responses. I hope to God those people never treat me. The epitome of dangerous nursing!

    OneNineEightZero redeemed himself by the skin of his teeth! Congratulations to you for finally reading Natalie’s full story - and getting the point.

    Ben Sutherland.....I won’t waste too much of my precious time. All I will say is there is a possible "Aspergers Spectrum" issue going on there. Quite frankly, thank Goodness he is probably not working on an acute surgical ward, but rather more likely in a clinical educators role on a day care unit.

    Well done again Natalie, on having the guts to publish your personal diary thoughts in response to the One Show's attack on nurses. And well done on sticking with nursing, developing professionally - but still keeping your passion for your patients. I am happy to hear that you have found a great role with a wonderful team.

    I left the NHS for Australia 8 yrs ago and I am now a Clinical Nurse Consultant. I have had the privilege of changing & improving practice here, benefiting the patients directly. It hasn't been easy; I have had to whistle blow, be unpopular, put up with management smiling sweetly at me and reassuring me everything was being done. Whereas in fact, they were sweeping incompetence under the carpet and covering their backs. I have had to deal with many “Bens”, those “jobs-worths” who rarely see the coal-face struggles and lack any sense of compassion/empathy. Despite this, I persisted, putting patient outcomes first and never losing my passion for being their advocate. I succeeded and have since published nationally and internationally. Those who didn't stand with me, now hang their heads in shame.
    Despite the initial challenges, I have had opportunities here that I never would have had in the NHS - as well as having a much improved quality of life, of course. I have no regrets and empathize greatly with those of you who are still working in the NHS, with damaged backs, ill health, frustration and exhaustion. It's no way to live....and it's no way to nurse.

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    1. Absolutely fantastic Sarah you made me grin from ear to ear, what a pleasure to read your story and if only there were more like you, I have no doubt you're fantastic at your Job and thank you for the support. As for me having guts :-/ hmmm may have thought twice about it if I'd any idea how many were ultimately going to read it, and some of the criticism (which was quite upsetting) I would be exposing myself to but it's really really really important to me that before anyone commented they should know about THE CONTEXT IN WHICH I ORIGINALLY WROTE THE PIECE!! You seem to be the only person that has taken the time to do that so thank you Sarah so much for your support as I was about to decide not to come back onto this page. :-) x

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    2. Not come back onto this page Natalie? And miss all these entertaining comments?!! Never!
      So glad I made you smile. I will always support patient advocates and 'proper' nurses.....If you're ever in the land down under, would love to share a glass of wine and some great stories with you :) Keep up your great work x

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  74. I've been nursing for 14 yrs and I'm a sister. This story makes me sick to the stomach for this poor girl. How dare she be thrown to the lions and expected to survive. We wonder why nurses are suffering from depression, anxiety and stress more and more THIS IS WHY!! It's hard enough for any nurse to run a unit and take care of patients let alone a newly qualified nurse. We should be nurturing and teaching and boosting there confidence and competence, that's our job as those senior. Personally I would have gone in to support her because there would be no way I could sit at home knowing that was happening to her. If there is not enough staff for that ward then it needs to close before something very severe happens. My advice for anyone in that situation is complete incident reports for everything. Complete statements for the day. Email your manager with your concerns. That way at least you are showing responsibility in a terrible situation.
    To BEN SOUTHEND it's time you got out of nursing love. Caring, compassion, empathy is what makes a great nurse! It's our foundations and everything is built on top of that! How dare you criticise her for that you should be supporting these new guys not condemning them. You know university does not teach you everything. It certainly doesn't teach you how to run a unit, that is something learnt and passed on and is a very fine art to managing a ward. Plus you really learn when you qualify everyone knows that, how is this poor girl to learn if no one is teaching her!! Plus the hospital bleep manager should have been finding this girl someone to help her!

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  75. i feel like this too. i am a nurse and all i want to do is spend time with my patients wash them take interest in their lives hold there hand when they are scared sit with them when they have no relatives and are dying but it is so hard to do when you have everything to contend with. i too have cried so many times in the sliuce. i too come home thinking that i am not cut out for this. i care so much for my patients but i feel as though i cannot give the full care i want to for my patients. i just want the NHS to change so badly and stop putting all nurses down and tell us that we need too be taught compassion you cannot teach compassion. give us the staff we need so we can give compassion and the proper care patients deserve.

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  76. Prof

    http://nursing-skills.blogspot.com/2012_10_01_archive.html

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  77. its a nice post thanks for sharing.

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  78. This comprehensive article takes an in depth look at female urinary incontinence. The goal is to enhance the knowledge and skills of nurses in care of patients with female urinary incontinence. Expires 9/30/20014. After reviewing the article you can take the test online and receive your certificate.
    http://www.myvalleyhc.com/freece/

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