Thursday, 25 October 2007
British Press: It's Nurse Bashing Month
Oh my god! The Times has sent my BS meter into the red!! Oh wait I'm not surprised.
If I don't vent out my true feelings on here and act all petulant my head will explode. So I decided to write this post out. The incident in Maidstone has unleashed a tirade of misinformed and unethical editorials in the papers. Ladies and Gentlemen it is Nurse Bashing month. I am starting to wonder if some of these so called journalists are paid to try and shift the blame away from the powers that be.
British Journalists seem to greatly enjoy writing abusive editorials regarding nurses without doing a lick of research first. The maidstone incident (which is only the tip of the iceberg in my opinion) seems to have kicked off Nurse Bashing Month in the British Papers. These journalists do not speak to nurses who are currently working at the bedside. If they talk to a nurse at all they will stick to speaking to nurses who retired 30 years ago and don't know what is currently going on. These journalists do not know what a nurse is, how much accountability and life and death responsibility nurses have or how overwhelmed they are with acutely ill patients.
They understand NOTHING about what is happening in our hospitals, and they can't be bothered to do any research and find out. I bet they don't even know how much liability nurses have and the consequences that exist for not prioritizing properly.
It's not like journalists have a job that involves massive amounts of chaos and responsibility and can empathise with us in any way. Let's throw a few nasty childish generalizations their way shall we?
As a matter of fact they probably don't speak to anyone or do any kind of research before they write these worst examples of journalism I ever saw editorials. At the very most their research probably consisted of talking to a friend of a friend who once saw an secretary gossiping at the nurses station with the occupational therapist and decided to run around saying that nurses spend their days sat at the nurses station. Remember that these people cannot tell who is a nurse and who isn't.
Things are so bad at the minute that if I took any kind of time out during my 8 or 12 or 15 hour shift to clean loos and wash windows my patients could be hurt so badly that I could be looking at the loss of my registration. It shouldn't be that way and did not used to be that way. It certainly wasn't like that for ward nurses of yesteryear. It is not that way everywhere yet but it is getting pretty damn close thanks to shithead managers, incompetent journalists and a misinformed public.
Yes the hospitals are filthy.
Mentally disabled journalists see this as "nurses don't feel like cleaning up and don't care about hygiene". Oh yes we fucking do. The ward is minging and it grosses me out to even work there. I would much rather spend the day cleaning, but someone else is going to have to take on responsibility and accountability for my patients first because otherwise I could end up hurting someone either by something simple like a missed med or something major like not noticing a change in condition. This is the position many of us are in every minute of our shifts.
Does it sound like I am exaggerating? Anyone reading this is welcome to spend a day shadowing a registered nurse on a short staffed acute medical surgical ward. Just say that you are thinking about nursing school and they'll let you follow a nurse for a day. Do it and make sure you follow him/her and learn as much as you can.
This is what I am upset about:
I agree with other nurses who have commented on this piece on allnurses that the author has obviously been out of the workplace for way too long and while she has a valid point re: the lack of cleanliness in UK hospitals, she is totally unaware of the pressures on the nurse working on the wards today. These twits have a lot of nerve writing about things they know nothing about. This one is from August.
The Sunday Times. Their view of nurses:
1. We look like slags. You work for 12 hours nonstop and see how you look fucko.
2. We all earn over £30,000 a year. Um. Sure we do. If I got paid for all of the hours I work I might come close to that.
3. We don't actually do any nursing (especially cleaning), we just run around pretending to be junior doctors. I have enough life and death responsibility and problems without taking on theirs thank you very much.
4. We don't wash our hands. Yeah sure. Take me up on my offer to shadow a nurse for a day. Stick to her like glue and get into her shoes. See how impossible it becomes to wash your hands properly with all that is going on and the layout of the ward etc etc. We wash our hands as much as possible...which is not nearly enough and we couldn't do any better if you had a gun to our heads. Give me a smaller number of patients and a handwashing station nearby and you might see some results. I can't pee sometimes for 12 hours on some shifts.
5. We do not care what happens to our patients. We leave them to rot. Total fucking bullshit.
6. We don't care about cleanliness. Total fucking bullshit.
I had expected to read a well researched article. But as usual the fiction author who wrote it didn't bother to do any research at all. Do these assholes know that nulabour targets have led to managers freezing recruitment, that our nurse patient ratios on the wards are deadly, and that 80% of our new grad nurses cannot find jobs? Do they know that dead patients,infections, and bad outcomes increase for each additional patient a nurse has? Do.They.Shit.
This is completely unacceptable. These are just two examples of what I have seen too much of lately. These poorly written and researched articles misinform the public and shift the blame for what is happening onto the wrong people. This kind of journalism is what allows nhs managers and their henchmen to dangerously staff the wards and continue harming and killing patients with no comeback. I understand that most journalists probably have no understanding of responsibility or how to be truthful and do research.
They have no understanding of what it is like to have a job where you actually have to have knowledge and serious accountability. This lack of understanding is probably a requirement to do their jobs. They don't don't know what it is like to work in a chaotic environment being terrified that you'll make an error and kill someone. How could these underachieving fucktards write any kind of a decent factual article about nurses?
I am starting to think that they are all nothing but paid government shills, out to misrepresent nurses (doctors too) and shift the blame for all of the killing. That's right. I said killing. Maidstone is only the tip of the iceberg. Maybe I sound like a paranoid conspiracy theorist but my theory that they are all paid government shills makes more sense than the two editorials I posted.
Not all nurses are wonderful but the vast majority of bedside nurses are working hard and doing their best. If that wasn't the case this blog would be about how awful nurses are and how it affects patients rather than being centered around how short staffing kills people and affects the care nurses can provide.
I have seen a lot in my 12-13 years as a hospital nurse and have worked with many different nurses across the country, the world, and in all different kinds of specialties. I know what I am talking about. Remember this: Nurses today have twice the responsibility due to the momentous changes in health care that have occurred over the last 2 decades. Look at how the number of people on IV's has increased compared to the 1950's just as one tiny example. Nurses today choose to go into nursing despite the fact that they have other career choices. Nurses became nurses years ago because they had a choice between that and teaching. Many of them did NOT want to be nurses. See what I am getting at? The bottom line is that it doesn't matter how hardworking and caring a nurse is...if she has too many patients she is fucked and so are her patients.
Hygiene, nursing care, and patient safety have been destroyed by target and money obsessed managers who lack any kind of clinical knowledge. They are guilty of no less than murder. Journalists are their helpmates and accomplices by distorting information, misinforming the public and shifting the blame.
I want to see them all hang.