With the kind of trained nurse to patient ratios that British nurses are working with I am not surprised. I wouldn't expect a nurse with superpowers to do any better. I have worked in 3 countries as a nurse over a period of 13 years. Let me remind you of something. Nurses in the UK are working with trained nurse to patient ratios that wouldn't be legal in a 3rd world hellhole like Haiti. Not only that, but they have a lot less back up than say a nurse in Canada or Australia would have.
I once asked asked a super american nurse friend of mine if she would take on 15 acute patients. She is a bedside nurse, very well respected and has won multiple awards. She would tell you no way would she take on more than 6 acute patients with no back up because it would be nothing but a total fail, no matter how hard she worked. She would refuse to work in a hospital like mine that can assign a nurse anywhere from 10 to 30 and upwards patients. This statement came from a nurse friend of mine in the North East USA who won an award for most compassionate nurse at her Magnet Hospital. Google Magnet.
No one in their right mind would expect a nurse to be able to function in the conditions that NHS nurses are working in right now. Whether they are angels or devils, they are going to fall flat on their faces and fail. Therefore we can conclude, once again, that most commentators on the daily mail are lunatics.
I'll let my readers take this apart in the comments section. I don't have the energy right now.
What have I learned from this article? Journalists still don't understand that most of these "nurses" are not actually nurses.
12-14 hours without a break or a drink, on your feet while the support assistants stop for tea. It's not like they can help you keep up with the nurse stuff anyway. Remember that most of the readers commenting on this daily fail article probably work 8-9 hour days and get an hour lunch break. Now that is lazy.
Dear Daily Fail,
Interesting piece. I will never so much as have a minute free in shift to screw around with mattresses. If the hospital will provide more staff nurses on shift with me to handle all the drugs, treatments, assessments, orders and accountability then I will happily clean the mattresses. Happily. God I would love a shift spent cleaning and I am very much a degree nurse.
There is a massive difference between a nurse not cleaning a mattress because she is alone and cannot drop the ball on the drugs and the treatments for 30 seconds and a nurse that just doesn't want to do it. The former is a lot more likely and the latter is rare. Cleaning mattresses rather than being the only RN for multiple acutely ill patients sounds rather pleasant to 99.9% of us. You see, we would consider an 8 hour workday without life and death responsibility a vacation day with a paycheck. Especially if it was an 8 hour workday without life and death responsibility and a lunch break. Even if it was only a 10 minute lunch break.
This is what we think of people who work outside of health care and un-registered people who work in health care. You are all having permanent vacation days with paychecks. A nurse I used to work with who left health care to work as a teaching assistant explained it to me that way and so have many others.
An RN can be working at a pace you cannot begin to imagine sometimes for 14 hours straight with no break and still only get through the top 1% of what needs to be done that shift. That means that even if he is working at that kind of pace most of his patients will languish and not get fed or basic care simply down to the fact that the nurse is so outnumbered by people who need help.
I am starting to realise that it won't actually matter if I stop for 5 minutes to get a drink during my 12 hour shift. It won't change a goddamn thing.
Patients are going to suffer whether I do or don't.
PS- no one believes that you care about patients. A sustained media campaign to expose the reality of the situation and staff our hospitals with trained nurses would result in a level of care that would have made the idea of starving neglected patients on filthy wards a distant memory. It would also be cost effective to increase your ratios of trained nurses. But that wouldn't give you sensationalist yellow journalism headlines now would it?
By the way does anyone know of a casualty unit anywhere in the NHS where the actual nurses could afford to be lazy for even 10 seconds and then get out of there without being blamed for someone's death?