Friday 26 October 2007

The Times Dishes Up More Bullshit

Let's take this pile of shit apart piece by piece.

Nurses dish up nil by mouth

NOT ONLY are they too posh to wash, but today’s nurses are too posh for nosh. “I don’t do food,” says one nurse in Nursing Standard (Oct 10).

Even if this quote is true it is likely presented out of context. My years of experience tell me that this kind of attitude is no where near the majority. Most hospital nurses I work with would go medieval on a nurse that stated that she "let's patient starve". Is that even what she really said? Did she mean that she is responsible for the drug round at tea-time (as the only RN) and getting meds out late because she spent 4 hours feeding 20 people would land her a disciplinary? Or did she mean she intentionally lets people starve because she is crap? If that is the case and she is in the minority. I need to hunt up that edition of Nursing Standard and look at it in context. I don't do food either in my double in I DON'T EAT.

Hospital caterers claim that there has been a shift in attitudes since nurse education moved into universities. Nurses now believe that serving meals and helping patients to eat is beneath them.

Oh Pray tell me what a hospital caterer knows about what is happening on our wards? I have never. ever. once.ever seen a caterer spend any amount of time on the wards. Never. What would they know about staffing levels, patient acuity, nurse accountability, the situation with the patients at mealtime? They know fuck all. I'd like to see them manage to give 20 IV meds due in the next 30 minutes (due or else there is hell to pay) and cater at the same time. What the hell kind of a source is a hospital caterer? Unless he sat in at handover and knows the score with patient acuity and staffing he is useless as a source. I love to feed people (it's a chance to sit down for the first time in so many long hours) but if someone is having chest pain I won't leave his nitro,obs,ecg transfer to CCU until 4 hours later when I am done feeding all those that need feeding. How would a caterer even begin to understand this?

“Florence Nightingale was happy to wash and feed patients and make them feel comfortable, but today’s nurses think that because they have a degree they do not have to do the basics,” says one manager in Dorset, who heard a senior nurse say: “I am paid too much to feed patients.”

In Florence's day there was no such thing as IV cardiac meds on titration, insulin drips, chest tubes, vents, cardiac arrests that were actually dealt with, bloods, critical lab results that must be reported, drug rounds, prep for theatre, extensive post op care, bladder irrigation, blood pressures to check regularly to deal with dangerous readings, ECG's to get when someone has an MI, equipment failures, IV pumps beeping that need trouble-shooting or else meds don't get infused, anaphylactic reactions to meds weren't deal with as they weren't understood so those folks just died, no blood transfusions with Frusemide to give whilst monitoring for heart failure etc. etc. etc.

People in her day died horrifically due to the lack of these things. Maybe we should return to that way of delivering care and I can happily and stress free spend my days bathing people. Sounds good to me. There is no love lost between me and florence. She hired convicts and prostitutes as nurses and they didn't want to be there. She had to be medieval to keep them there. This set the stage for people's attitudes towards nurses. Criminals who need to be kept in line.

Oh and you heard a senior nurse say what? What the hell kind of pre-school journalism is this? Someone heard someone say? A manager heard this? Probably the same kind of manager who kills people by short staffing wards and is looking to deflect the blame. What the hell kind of a source is "I Heard". I had a Medill graduate as a teacher of journalism in college and was the editor in chief of my college newspaper. "I heard" as a source would have landed us in hot water. I can see the veins popping out on Mr.Parrone's head as we speak. That was college journalism for christs sake. If she said that than she is a twit but certainly not a spokesperson for nurses.

“Nurses believe serving meals is not part of their job � it is beneath them,” adds a Berkshire-based caterer.

Bullshit. Another caterer who doesn't know shit jumps into the ring. Are these guys for real? I can say with all honesty that this is not the view of the majority of nurses. In would love to have protected meal times so I could feed my patients in peace. Nurses at my hospitals are fighting for protected mealtimes. I cannot stop docs from showing up to do ward rounds at mealtime. I cannot stop people from crashing at mealtime. I cannot stop phone calls from relatives at mealtime. I cannot stop call bells from ringing at mealtime. I can't make the important drugs that are due at mealtime go away. Even if I could, it would be nearly impossible to feed the sheer number of patients who need it, with only 3 of us. I can't make management give us more staff.

Public sector jobs
The attitudes were revealed in a survey carried about by the Hospital Caterers Association. Neil Watson-Jones, chair of the association, says: “I would like to see a return to basics. Care is about more than a clinical intervention. It is also about making the patient journey more comfortable.”

No shit Sherlock. We are very well aware of how the basics and comfort promotes healing. That's why we are fighting this fight Einstein. We want our patients to be comfortable and we want to provide basic care.

Peter Carter, the Royal College of Nursing general secretary, agrees that the switch from on-the-job training to classroom tuition may have gone too far.

“The lurch from the apprenticeship model to the academic model was far too great,” he says. “Nursing is the sort of occupation that primarily you have to learn in the work setting. There is no substitute for experiencing hands-on patient care.”

Oh dear me Peter. You have been missing in action as a bedside nurse for too many years. Research is showing that patients have a higher survival rate in hospitals that have a higher ratio of degree nurses. What everyone knows is that we need is a combination of academic theory and rigorous on the job experience. Student nurses will not survive unless we have both of these elements in nursing education. They need a gruelling mix of both to be top notch. But who wants to go through that just to get abuse? The vast majority of nurses nursing in hospital now are PRE PROJECT 2000.

There is also a concern that a softly-softly culture has developed in the NHS, putting staff before patients. Modern matrons who need to discipline nurses have to talk to them in a nice, soft voice, says Harriet Sergeant, a fellow of the Centre for Policy Studies, they can’t just bawl out sub-standard nurses.

Our matrons won't come anywhere near the liability minefield wards. They run from the ward nurses as they know they are letting us down. They know we are pissed off. One of them put her damn hand on my shoulder the other day and said "we all feel so bad for you guys as we know it is impossible down there" I gave her the look of death. Same matron came onto the ward to work once and left after 2 hours because it was "too much for her". I have seen them bawl people out, usually to save their own butts.

I'd like to see the Times actually interview bedside nurses. I am sure that they would interview over 50,000 of them until they found one stupid young pre-nursing student who says "I don't wanna wash". That is who they would quote whilst the quotes from the other 50,000 go to the shredder. They have to stick with their agenda you know. We can't have the truth get out can we? Too many powerful people would be in deep wouldn't they?


Anonymous said...

Anne, I love to read your blog - thank you for telling us how it really is. I also wonder how such articles end up in "respected" newspapers. Funnily enough, I left some comments on both The Times site and The Telegraph about their fictional articles but they were never put on the website.

The comments left by members of the public are absolutely outrageous, but their opinions are being formed by reading such fiction. I almost wonder if they printed the truth that then the blame would be shifted to society as a whole and not just a few members of it, ie, The Lazy Good For Nothing Nurse.

If society as a whole were accountable for the problem then they'd be made to feel guilty too and we couldn't have that, could we?

Diane, nurse in Colorado.

Nurse Anne said...

You are right. If the public wasn't so stupid in misinformed they would attack Downing street with assault rifles for giving their nurse 30 other patients simultaneously. As it stands now, they don't even understand how deadly that is. So they sit on their asses and try and act like Nursing care is shit because Nurses don't know what their job is.

Thanks for your comments.

Anonymous said...

AT LAST!!!!!halle*feckin*leulla someone telling it EXACTLY like it is.................if I didnt know that i never wrote this blog Id swear it came straight from my keyboard!
Its about bloody time nurses stopped apologizing for existing and stood up and shouted!
I think if you did a straw poll on nurses vs patients missing mealtimes the nurses would win hands down! - I have had 2 days (in the 3 years since I qualified ) where I actually got my meal break (although I did finish late in order to eat!!!).
Yep - us nurses with degrees are selfish uncaring bitches with the competency of a village why isnt everyone taking out private medical insurance and bumbling across to BUPA?
The NHS sucks - but it sucks because of the management (vast useless overpaid tiers of it, the bloated underpaid, underworked totally incompetent government which keeps swapping staff for targets and the dipshits who hide away in offices rather than getting their hands dirty!) - if it wasnt for the overworked, underpaid and FAR TOO UNCOMPLAINING nurses - it truly would be fucked!

Keep up the ranting - im ranting along with ya!!!

Joyce- ex nurse, Scotland said...

God, you are spot on with your article, and I applaud you for being so truthful.
I nursed in the 1960s, and boy how different it was then/ Hospitals were run by Matrons who ruled over their hospital witha rod of iron, making sure everyone, and everything was well run- sympathy, compassion and excellent nursing care was the norm.
I would not like to be a nurse nowadays, thats for sure/

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Anne, I love to read your blog - thank you for telling us how it really is. I also wonder how such articles end up in "respected" newspapers. Funnily enough, I left some comments on both The Times site and The Telegraph about their fictional articles but they were never put on the website.