Monday, 23 November 2009

Minette Marrin revisited: She's still doesn't have a clue.

Minette just wrote an article for The Times. Check it out. I do not believe that she did one iota of research. She doesn't seem interested in getting the facts across. She seems more interested in getting a reaction. Okay I'll feed the troll. I am starting to believe that The Times is a worse example of journalism than the daily mail. Neither the times or the daily fail will acknowledge any letters or offers to write from Nurses who actually understand the situation. If they do, they get a nurse who retired 19 years ago which is pointless really because they don't have a clue. The only one that comes close to trying to present both sides is The Guardian. And believe me, it is tough for me to throw a compliment out towards a liberal anything. I wrote this in 5 minutes as that is all I had to get it in on time and felt I could have done better but I appreciated the fact that they published it.

We first met Minette here. Let's take her latest on nursing apart. It's so vile that I am typing with gloves on. The blue text is mine. The rest is toxic waste.

One of the government’s sillier initiatives was its announcement last week that in future all NHS nurses must have a university degree. From 2013, all would-be nurses will have to have taken a three- or four-year university course to enter the profession. The disastrous consequences of this ought to be obvious to the meanest Whitehall intelligence.

No change there then. You see Minette, for a person to become a legally obtain the title of Nurse and work as a Nurse....they already have to have 3 to 4 years of Uni under their belt either diploma or Degree program. And they have to put in thousands of clinical placement hours doing basic care and much more in order to earn their degree or diploma. Nursing care on the wards has gone south when management decided to replaced real live nurses with health care assistants. Health care assistants have no training, no education. They are not nurses in anyway shape or form. Just because someone works on a ward providing care and wearing a uniform does not mean that they are anything AT ALL like a nurse. Ian Dale and that dude who writes for Devil's Kitchen both say they worked as care assistants. They tell people that they were "nurses" once and are deluded into thinking that they have some kind of insight.

All sorts of people who might make excellent nurses will be put off, and lost to nursing: anyone who is not particularly academic; anyone who — frankly — is not particularly bright; anyone who has a vocation to care for patients without wishing for the most high-tech training; anyone who is unable to take on a mass of student debt on a nurse’s poor pay; any late entrants — and this at a time when the NHS is desperately short of nurses.

Minette. If they are not particularly bright they are not coming anywhere near me as my registered nurse when I am a patient on multiple infusions etc. I have seen too many deaths as a result of stupid mistakes by RN's. Hospitals don't want to hire registered nurses anyway. All they want to do is hire care assistants. Care assistants require no education or training, take no responsibility and are in a position to do more in the way of hands on care. And they get to wear a nurse's uniform. As a matter of fact if you want to care for patients without having to get an education or deal with anything technical then a career as a health care assistant is for you. A health care assistant also has a much better chance of obtaining employment on the wards.

Rare though it is for me to agree with any trade union, I believe the nursing unions Unison and Unite are right when they say that there is no “compelling evidence” that degrees for nurses would improve patient treatment.

Yes there is much compelling evidence. Do your research. Here and scroll down. Since when did Unison or Unite say anything intelligent anyway? Seriously. What the fuck do they know about any of this?

I have come across a great deal of anecdotal evidence quite the other way: that nursing degrees on a university campus with too little practical hospital experience have recently been producing graduates who are all too often, in the words of one consultant, “a liability on the wards” — not necessarily “too posh to wash” but often not much good at it, or at the important clinical observations that go with it.

Degree nursing programs are 50% practical hands on experience on the wards and 50% theory. They have to do thousands and thousands of hours of hands on practicals to earn their degrees. Otherwise they fail and do not graduate. Remember that nursing students at university spend much more time in class and on coursework than their non nursing fellow students. This is the case whether you are a diploma student or a degree student...the only two ways to actually become a Nurse.

And on top of that they have to do something like nearly 3000 hours of clinical placements. Any nurse taking 10, 15,20 patients is going to fail miserably. She can't read the charts, she is being constantly interrupted, she has to accomplish any task that comes her way in the 30 seconds she has between interruptions. Your dumbass consultant friend doesn't have a clue either. He is thinking back to the good old days where ever shift had a nurse in charge with a team of staff nurses providing care and he is comparing today's nurses (who are working alone often in horrid conditions, and sicker patients in a more chaotic environment )with his memories.

To say this is not to dismiss the value of demanding degree courses for any would-be nurse who is suited to intense academic and technical study. Such nurses should be able to take degrees and already can, though one might argue about the nature of the present courses: more than 25% of nurses already hold a degree.

Minette. Anyone who obtains the legal title of Nurse is going to be left alone with too many patients making critical life and death decisions. He is going to have to think fast, and think on his feet. He is going to have to have a hell of a lot more knowledge to do his job than a teacher, PC etc. That is why nurses in other first world countries are paid much more than teachers, policemen and social workers. Oh yes they are. A real nurse working in acute care will have to multi task and prioritise in a way that you are incapable of understanding. You do not fuck around with people's lives.

You seem to think that every person working on the wards providing care is actually a nurse. I think that you are assuming that all the health care assistants are some kind of junior nursing division. You are wrong wrong wrong. Anyone who earns the legal title of nurse will find themselves virtually alone on a large ward with only untrained care assistants who cannot do much. This is what you have to remember.

If I am a nurse on a 36 bed ward with 5 other nurses on duty then I have 6 patients to assess, medicate, take off orders, and care for myself. If I am a nurse on a 36 ward and my 5 colleagues are care assistants rather than nurses, then I have 36 patients to assess, medicate, take off orders, and care for myself. Have you ever tried to even keep the names of 36 people, their medical history, their diagnosis, lab tests due, and drugs straight for 36 people? Impossible. But this is the staffing matrix that management insists on. This is the current situation. This is the shit storm any newly qualified nurse is walking into.

I don't see you or the public up in arms about this. If you want nurses to provide care then why aren't you demanding that your hospitals staff the wards with nurses? You are the service users. So am I. That is why I am fighting.

However, not all would-be nurses are suited to a university degree; just as people vary hugely, so do nurses, so do the nursing roles they are fitted for and so does the training that suits them best. Plenty of the best bedside nurses are not academic, and much essential nursing work does not depend on the dizziest heights of training. There is more than one way to be a “supernurse”, and a degree is not enough.

Are you talking about health care assistants again? No, they don't need a degree and never will. They are the only people that the hospital wards will hire thanks to tight managers. But they cannot do the job of a nurse, so the few nurses left are just covering a larger number of patients who are sicker than ever. A caring, empathetic but thick person would be a disaster as a bedside nurse, but okay as a health care assistant. Remember that anyone who earns the title nurse will be left on their own making critical decisions that require a high level of knowledge. That is what being a bedside nurse is all about these days thanks to disgustingly poor understaffing and increasingly acute patients.

As the nursing unions said last week, “The emphasis should be on competence, not on unfounded notions about academic ability.”

The person who said that is brain dead. He/she does not understand what bedside nursing actually is, and probably confuses bedside nurses with health care assistants. Again.

The health minister, Ann Keen, has been making predictable noises about providing higher-quality healthcare, but the real motivation beneath all this, quite explicitly, is the desire of the Royal College of Nursing and the nursing establishment to raise the status of nursing, and to end the stigma of the “doctor’s handmaiden”.

No what we want is safe nurse patient ratios. I want a small enough number of patients to each Nurse. That will allow her to get the difficult stuff out of the way and do basic care herself rather than have to delegate to health care assistants because she has over 50 IV drugs and to give, a bleeder, and no one to help. The health care assistants cannot help me with drugs, bleed outs etc. I am managing that on my own for 36 people and the doctor on call is ignoring my bleeps. Guess who takes the fall when it all goes wrong. Me.

Nurses — or rather those who claim to represent them — want to have the status of professionals, on a level with doctors, and part of being a professional is having a degree. So nurses must have degrees. All of them.

All real Nurses needed to go through a hellish training at university already and it is very academic. Nurses are going to be working in chaotic situation that teachers and social workers cannot even begin to fathom. People die if nurse screws up. To call themselves nurses they must be registered with a professional body, the NMC, act like professionals and follow professional guidelines. They are accountable to society, their patients, their colleagues, and their professional body. They will be prosecuted in a court of law for a math error that harms a patient. And you don't want to call these people professionals?

So nurses must have degrees. All of them.

All of them indeed. For god's sake love. Your average 35 bed ward is only be staffed with one or two nurses anyway. The other 3 or 4 staff will be health care assistants. That means that even if all nurses have degrees most ward staff providing care will NOT have degrees. Let's see..what do we often have on the ward per shift as far as staffing... one nurse (either degree or diploma) on the ward and 3 care assistants....that would mean that only 1 out of four members of staff are actually trained and educated, even if all nurses have degrees.

They are saying that all nurses will have degrees, not all ward staff caring for patients. The term nurse is not a word that you hand out to anyone who takes care of people, unless you think it is still the year 1846. Nurse is a legally earned title. You are giving people the idea that all ward staff providing care are called nurses and will be degree educated. Not by a long shot love. A few weeks ago a patient of mine asked the health care assistant a question. She did not know the answer. "Damn nurses with their damn university training don't know a damn thing" said the patient. I jumped right in there and pointed out that the young lady was not at all a nurse and has had no training. Then I answered his question. Management brought the health care assistants in. Management did it. The nurses fought this tooth and nail. We lost the fight.

What’s particularly depressing is that this obsession with status is not unique to the nursing establishment; it has become a national obsession, of which this is just one expression.

It’s what explains the feeling that everyone must go to university now and the government’s determination to turn 50% of all school-leavers into undergraduates, regardless of the consequences. (There have been some suggestions that the government welcomes the idea of sending all nurses to university because it will effortlessly bump up the student numbers closer to the promised 50%.) When I was a child only very few people, and only those of supposedly high learning and intelligence, called themselves professionals and had concomitantly high social standing. Now, increasingly, everyone is described as a professional, even journalists occasionally.

No journalists are not professionals. You have to have some kind of moral code and be held accountable for unethical conduct to be considered a professional in my book.

If you want to read any more of Minette's rubbish
here you go. Don't forget to check out the comments section. We are going to have a militant medical nurse competition. Post the dumbest comment that you can find from Time's readers and will can post them here and vote.


Zarathustra said...

Okay, I'll start the ball rolling.

This one isn't so much dumb as stultifyingly uninformed.

Some people, myself included, do not wish to go to university. I for one do not want to go away for 3 years and come back up to my eyeballs in debt. How on earth could a nurse afford degree training on their salary?

Erm, because student nurses get a bursary instead of a student loan?

If the commenter was a bit more informed, they would have an actual point, in that there is a problem in England that diploma nursing students get a non-means tested bursary whereas degree students have their bursaries means tested. For most students I know who are doing the diploma, their main obstacle to doing a degree is financial, not intellectual.

That said, I note that in Scotland and Wales, where they've already gone all-degree, everybody gets a non-means tested bursary. Hopefully when England follows suit on degrees, they'll also do so on the bursary.

Nurse Anne said...

Here's a good one:

"I suspect this is about extending the 'assistant' concept. Once nurses all have degrees, they will be too grand to do the hard, manual part of their job. They will need assistants, in the same way as teachers and police. Assistants are a cheaper form of labour so probably there will be no need for as many 'real' nurses. Perhaps we will call the 'real' nurses 'matron'."

No if the wards are staffed properly we don't need assistants. We never wanted assistants and we fought against the reduction of trained nurses on the wards in favour of assistants. There is no such thing as a nurse who thinks she is too grand to do the work because she has a degree anyway. I can't do my job properly when I can't do basic care. If I am delegating the bedpans to the assistants it is probably because my pnuemonia patient has gone into septic shock and the medica has thrown a hundred orders my way to save this patients life. Getting all his drugs and equipment etc needs to happen quickly, it often needs to be ordered via the computer and via phone calls and paperwork.

What a tit.

Anonymous said...

This woman is not a journalist. She's a fiction writer. Are the journalists in the UK not bound by some code of ethics? Seems they can just pull something out of their arses over there and call it "journalism". Is there no such thing as a fact check in the UK? Over here, we could probably get her for libel. Never in all my born days have I seen such a vicious backlash against a helping profession. At least in the USA, people want their nurses to be educated - even if the public is clueless about what we do. Maybe nurses should start pursuing libel charges when such filth is put out for public consumption. After all, this nonsense is damaging nurses' professional reputation. You need a journalist from inside the nursing profession who can present true facts and back those facts up. You might want to think about being that journalist, Anne....Fight fire with fire.
Casey in the USA

Nurse Anne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nurse Anne said...

God I'd love to sue her. These journos are such liars.

Anonymous said...

The stupidest comments i read...

"No disrespect to nurses but even though equipment gets more technical doesn't mean people have to be cleverer to operate it.
We have a problem with kids who know how to use a calculator but cannot do simple maths."

"Whilst there is room for many different skills in nursing, and doubtless keeping the filing up to date, working on a computer at the "base station", and all the other technical stuff (but it's not technical really), is doubtless important ... of more importance I suggest is ensuring that the patient is clean, fed properly, as comfortable as possible, etc."

These people have clearly never visited an ITU or A&E Resus room.

Nurse Anne said...

I know. God if I took time out to make sure that everyone I was responsible for was clean and fed and comfortable I would get someone killed and get fired or at the very least get fired for multiple med errors and missed assessments. That is how these wards are set up.

murse said...

I particularly loved the comparison of nurses gaining degrees with retards being 'given' NVQ qualifications...

Maybe she is getting confused with some HCAs again.

Nurse Anne said...

It appears some of them are so dumb they don't even realise that they are NOT nurses.

Now now. Many of my colleague HCA's are pretty bright and are working as HCA's to get through school. Many are training as teachers, social workers, aiming for med school etc. Most of them have realised that going onto become nurses is a very very bad idea.

That actually makes them smarter than the nurses.

Anonymous said...

Minette Marrin = Ignorant C**t.

After her piece a couple of years ago I actually emailed and asked why she didn't bother to interview any nurses, or do any investigation whatsoever. It's like listening to a London Cabbie or a drunk at closing time reading her crap.

What really makes my blood boil about this is that NHS policy and staffing will never change unless someone in the British press has the balls to write about what is actually going on. Indirectly this journalist is killing people by telling lies.

Doesn't matter what paper you read, they're all on the same Bring Back Matron, Nurses are lazy and ought to know their place, they only make beds, hold hands and empty bedpans - who needs a degree. The stupid readers comments just mirror what they read.

Those on the left are trying to cover up atrocious NuLabour policies, those on the right are giving the NHS such a bad press so as to giddy up privatization.

It fucking stinks to high heaven. At least in the USA there is some honest reporting going on and the journalists have at least stepped inside a hospital.

Nurse Anne said...

Did you hear back from Minette?

Of course you didn't. She is a LYING GOVERNMENT SHILL.

Anonymous said...

Nope, never heard back from her. She knows damned well she's printing lies.

Still, when I lived in the UK the press were doing a similar hatchett job on teachers and social workers. Really I don't even bother to read much of them anymore as I can't believe anything they print on any subject.

Nurse Anne said...

They really rag on GP's as well. I freaking love my GP. He is nice, knowledgable, professional and so are all the docs in his surgery. I never bitch if I have to wait to see him. I am glad that I can see them and grateful for the great care I get from them.

Teachers, social workers, GP's and Nurses. Our jobs are tough enough. We don't need abuse from a public that is brain washed into thinking that we are responsible for all the government fuck ups.

It's a tribute to the nurses and doctors in this country that the care is as good as it is. The government makes our jobs impossible and intolerable.

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Sanchezvtsq said...

This woman is not a journalist. She's a fiction writer. Are the journalists in the UK not bound by some code of ethics? Seems they can just pull something out of their arses over there and call it "journalism". Is there no such thing as a fact check in the UK? Over here, we could probably get her for libel. Never in all my born days have I seen such a vicious backlash against a helping profession. At least in the USA, people want their nurses to be educated - even if the public is clueless about what we do. Maybe nurses should start pursuing libel charges when such filth is put out for public consumption. After all, this nonsense is damaging nurses' professional reputation. You need a journalist from inside the nursing profession who can present true facts and back those facts up. You might want to think about being that journalist, Anne....Fight fire with fire. Casey in the USA

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Catty said...

I'm ashamed to say that Minette is my aunt (my dad's sister). I'm starting a child nursing degree in September, which adds to the irony. A while ago she wrote a piece about her father's suicide when they were kids- ie, my father's father too. He had always kept this private, and she wrote it in a national newspaper despite being asked not too by my dad and their other brother. She's a knob. She's now been sacked btw. But is apparently writing a book about the suicide? Why is she trying to hurt her brothers? So angry and hurt, for my dad.

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