Thursday, 9 April 2009

More on Traditional Trained Nurses

The majority of nurses working in today's NHS are traditionally trained.

The majority of nurses working on my ward are older women or are traditionally trained. They are excellent. Caring, hardworking, clever and excellent doesn't even come close to describing these people.

We have traditionally trained nurses on my ward pushing 60 years of age. God knows how they do it. They work 14 hour days without stopping and then they go home and beat themselves up over all the things that they didn't get accomplished for their patients. They beat themselves up over all the care they never have time to give. They miss the good old days when the matrons are managers weren't totally fucking retarded and the relatives were not so selfish,demanding and unrealistic. Not all relatives/visitors are like that. Just some.

Sometimes these visitors (not all, MANY OF THEM ARE SAINTS)want you to neglect all your other patients so that their loved one can get one to one care and they can get free parking. This is how they behave anyway. They don't care that there is one nurse running between 15 patients who are sicker than mum or dad. They just want mum or dad to have one to one care and damn the consequences to the nurse or the other patients. These kinds relatives are more of a danger to your loved ones than a nurse in my humble opinion. Management will not get the situation under control or back up the nurses. They are more interested in customer service and illusions of care.

You only ever get one RN for a large group of patients. This RN may either be traditionally trained or newly trained. Most likely they are traditionally trained as these older nurses make up most of the RN workforce.

These older and more traditionally trained nurses are no more successful during the course of their shift than the younger nurses who did more recent training. We are all struggling. The care on my ward would be much worse if we weren't ALL busting our asses into an early grave. I think we do okay with what resources we have. But still the care leaves a lot to be desired.

Both the traditional trained and the newly trained have something in common other than the initials RN. They go home after a 8, 10, 12, or 14 hour day where they have worked unpaid time and they curse themselves for not being able to be 100 places at once.

The matrons and specialists who never come near the ward EVER or see patients EVER are all women over the age of 50 who are traditionally trained originally. That is a fact. Their main function in life seems to be to do as the managers and governments want them to do. Their second function in life to increase the paperwork to dramatic levels and hang the nurses when it doesn't get completed. This is what they live for. Again, these are older women who trained before I was out of nappies.

Student nurses are still spending at least 50% of their learning time on the wards. When they qualify they will have a lot more responsibility than the nurses who trained years ago ever did. This is down to changes and advances in healthcare. It is down to the lawyers as well. As Shakespeare said "kill all the lawyers". I am with Billy on that one. It's not like a newly qualifed RN nowadays will have many other nurses working with her EVER or a decent matron to provide leadership by example. I don't think that the newly qualified nurse today will ever have the same kind of support or structure that newly qualified nurses had yesterday.

Simply blaming the appalling situation on the wards on modern nurse training is a mistake. It's mostly about the staffing and management failures. Nurses aren't perfect and their training is by no means perfect. But most of them are people who are doing their best and working harder with more responsibility and longer hours than most other professions.

And as of right now, most of these wonderful people did indeed qualify in the good old days.

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