Good idea but not quite the way to do it

In recent years, nursing has become a graduate profession, prompting fears that caring has suffered.

Perhaps the mistake was in making it a graduate profession?

Ministers believe that a return to basic nursing is crucial following the Mid Staffordshire scandal and criticism that some graduate nurses are “too posh to wash”.

In future, trainees will have to pass a year as a health care assistant, looking after patients’ basic needs, rather than medical treatment.

Adding an extra year to the whole shebang probably isn\’t quite the way to do it.

Why not pull a year out of the \”graduate\” bit and make the first year entirely work on the wards? Having actually seen, through my stepdaughter, some of the stuff that the graduate part entails, no one will be missing much and they\’ll be gaining much.

Or, of course, just drop the graduate bit altogether.

9 comments on “Good idea but not quite the way to do it

  1. Tim

    But how will the primarily Labour voting masses of the higher Education World expand their empires without making practically every activity require a University degree?

  2. I shared a house with some student nurses back in my university days. They were all doing the degree thing, and also working part-time in care homes.. so doing the care thing too. That was certainly commonplace at the time (mid 90′s), despite the care home wages being pitiful by any standard.

    Trouble was, for those making policy, it was the demands of the caring thing that seemed to lead to the most drop-outs. Make people do it for a year before a degree, and you might find that a lot less people end up getting to the end. That’s a positive in the sense that it gets rid of some people who don’t actually want to do the caring thing… but, unfortunately, there’s a numbers problem and it feels like the NHS have quietly decided that a nurse who doesn’t fancy a lot of what nursing entails, is better than no nurse at all.

  3. My understanding (from a colleague whose OH is an NHS nurse) is that by accepting financial support from an NHS Bursary one accepts a minimum retention period during which one will work for the NHS after qualification. Leaving before this retention period has expired results in having to repay, pro-rata, one’s Bursary.

    So, my thought is, by giving people a substantial “taster” of nursing *before* they commit to a receiving a substantial bursary, might mean that the ones who do, actually *want* to be there, rather than feeling they must continue working in NHS nursing until their retention period expires.

  4. Personally, I could have done without the faux-sociology nonsense, but I have nothing against classroom time/essay writing – as long as it’s being used to drill students in useful stuff (e.g. learning about blood gases, instead of pseudo-academic debates about ‘reflective practice’). And it’s worth remembering that many student nurses/medics will already have been working as care assistants. But I still think the real problem is staffing numbers, not just passing academic fads. There’s no contradiction between having having a degree and holding somebody’s hand. And to be quite honest, it doesn’t matter how you are trained – if you’ve got what it takes, that particular quality will always shine through, P2000 or not. I’m not disputing actual cases of neglect, but it’s what pisses me off about some of the blanket Daily Wailaccusations levelled at younger RNs. People who bang on about Matrons tend to ignore the fact that nurses’ clinical responsibilities have increased, even as acuity on general wards has shot up – & often there’s simply not enough time to do one’s job properly. And by that, I include everything (including what gets called ‘basic care’, but is really ‘proper care’). There’s no doubt that senior HCAs/APs are now more-or-less the equivalent of the old SENs – and that alone should cause the Nursing establishment considerable pause for thought… but if there ain’t enough boots on the ground, things will go wrong. Simple as that.

    Anyway, good luck to your step-daughter, Tim…. it can be both the best and the worst job in the world. :)

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