Sunday, 18 April 2010

Thank You Dr. Pena

The Nursing Times as recently published an article highlighting the issue of the UK's obscene Nurse to Patient ratios on general wards.  It is decidedly helpful when the Medics go to bat for their Nursing colleagues.

As is often the case, the comments posted by Nurses under the article are much more revealing than the article itself.


Dino-nurse said...

Not that anyone will take any notice of course. The NHS is on its knees in terms of nursing care. Wild horses would not drag me back to a general ward- unfortunately I am often called on to sort out staffing problems on MAU and the other admissions wards. No one wants to stay and i cannot blame them. The only way the NHS is heading is for disaster. Roll on twenty years and general wards will have no trained RNs- we will all be in ICU hubs caring for those who can pay and the rest of the population will be on general wards staffed by HCAs only.

Nursing Student said...

Much like Dino-nurse, wild horses will not drag me back into a medical ward or, infact, a ward in general anytime soon either. Sad that isn't it? I'm a first year Nursing Student and a Medical ward was my first placement. I was wise enough to know better, the other Nursing students thought it was great we were knee-deep in shit and possible death every shift for about 14 acute patients. Never again, why should I? My next placement is outpatients. The hours are nice and I get to meet loads and loads of people (which I love) and learning another side of Nursing. De-skilled you say? Sobeit. My placement after that is then community and then a High Dependent placement (usually ICU or A&E) I can handle this placement, since I've worked in those environments before. Then I have a choice of med/surg or community (I will pick community again) and then elective, I'm looking into a Prison or GP elective. ANYTHING SO I NEVER STEP FOOT ON A GENERAL WARD AGAIN!

Funny this article, the comments do reveal alot more, I agree, but to divulge deeper would really be revealing. Can we find out how Nursing/Patient Ratios really compare to say, 10-15 years ago. And acuratley? THAT would be interesting. And then we can perhaps, for the benefit of "cost cutting" see the ratio between meddling managers and underpaid, overworked nurses.

Nurse Anne said...

I take notice Dino Nurse. They are shooting themselves in the foot and are ruining the hospitals.

As the shit hits the fan and things get even worse everyone will say "oh those nurses couldn't be bothered to do any nursing". People are so dumb.

Nursing Student, I said the same thing when I was in school. I am sorry your placement was crap. Was it the hellishness of a general ward or the staff? I think you read that you had problems with your mentor. One thing I am lucky with on my ward is that we are a great team.

Eileen said...

This morning I heard dear Mandy tell us on a live statement on TV that "we must listen to the experts on this matter". Funny that - what about the nurses, the drugs committee, the studies they've found on the shelf about the proliferation of management in the NHS being detrimental to actual care? Please remind him - loudly.

Nursing Student said...

Anne, it was a mix of both. I didn't have huge problems with my mentor, personally we got on like a house on fire but professionally I wanted to bite a chunk out of her face and her the same. She got frustrated alot for various reasons (and the fact that I was her first student and still in the middle of her mentor training) and I got frustrated because she got frustrated. Our assesor (hers for mentoring, mine to double-check everything me mentor does) was the ward sister so by the end of the placement things were strained because I didn't particually get along with that evil with either. I think they expected alot out of me, perhaps the same level of umph the other students seemed to radiate, but I wasn't willing to take alot of risk on placement like the other students were. Some staff were tremendous, others were tremendously hideous both inside and out and should not be within 50 feet of the patients they so-call "Nurse". As for the ward in general? Old, understaffed, tremedously hot and not ideal for 20 acute patients. It was like ICU some days, really really SICK patients but these fucking patients walked and had dementia, thats the core difference. So where was the ICU nursing ratio? I don't think the same number of nurses on ICU in a day could make up for the number of nurses on my ward during an entire week. NHS failing at it's best, and here the government are saying that elderly care in hospitals is getting better. Please.

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Dino-nurse said...

Yet another shift where I have had to sort out staffing problems on acute medical wards. An agency ban means having to send staff from ICU and recovery (on the understanding that we may have to take them back at a moments notice). Hate doing this as in general the staff from specialist areas are of little use on a busy acute ward...they cannot do much more outside of their unit than the HCAs are already basic patient care/ vital obs. Usually the RNs on such acute wards are expected to do venepuncture and drug rounds...most ICU/recovery patients have arterial lines/central lines to take bloods from so the nurses do not need to do venepuncture or cannulation. As for drug rounds...recovery staff do not do drug rounds and neither do ICU nurses...not for 14 patients who are confused etc...this in itself is a specialist skill that nurses working on acute wards have. Just as I would not expect a non-ICU trained nurse to take care of a sedated, ventilated patient also attached to renal dialysis and a doppler. This is the point that day in, day out I try to get across to the f**kwit managers when they say to move RNs around...nursing is a complex job and you cannot expect RNs to be able to hit the ground running in an area that they may not have had contact with since they qualified. Do they listen? Of course not...targets are all that matters...pointless targets about handwashing audits and bactereamias...God forbid that the link between lack of RNs and bactereamias could be made. I have seen HCAs slapping on dressings over elective hip replacement wounds that have "fallen off" in a manner that would make an RN weep.

Anonymous said...

And its just gonna get worse.....

Nurse Anne said...

I was just working on on a blog about all that and how it is going to escalate the hostility and abuse the visitors direct at the nursing staff.

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