A couple of years ago my father in law had a spell in Nottingham City hospital, the result was that he experienced some very good and some frankly dismal nursing, you can read about it here. Luckily since that date as a family we have not had to frequent a hospital – until this last week.
Unfortunately my mother who lived in Wiltshire was taken ill at the end of last week and was taken into the Great Western hospital in Swindon. This is a modern (9 years old) PFI funded hospital which is in very good condition still and would appear to provide excellent facilities. However the nursing again appears to be very varied – not a reflection on the hospital itself but I believe the nursing profession as it exists today.
My mother was admitted to an acute admission unit – as far as I can gather this is so that she could be assessed and then passed on to another more ‘regular’ ward. I would have expected this first ward to be very attentive and caring as it was where the patient has the first contact and their condition is ‘unknown’. But sadly that was not the case – the phrase ‘meat market’ is perhaps a bit strong, but the nursing was at best clinical and at worst uncaring. Luckily my wife was a nurse and once this information was made known the nursing staff became more ‘helpful’ – but this shouldn’t be the case!
Once moved my mother was placed on a medical ward and the difference in care was immediately noticeable – my mother became a person who required care, not a number. I was much happier as she was in good hands and was receiving what I perceived as proper ‘nursing care.’ Sadly she passed away after a week in this ward, but the care she received here was super and I have no complaints.
My concern is that nursing is supposed to be a caring profession and this is perhaps being lost – I came across a survey of nursing care whilst researching this blog. Practising nurses were asked what they thought about nursing standards today (it was carried out in late 2011). Interestingly the nurses who had been nursing for more than 10 years had a far more ‘jaundiced’ view of standards (see the graph above) than their younger colleagues who felt the care they gave was basically ‘ok’.
Obviously there still are great nurses out there – my mother experienced this, for which I am grateful, but there also appear to be some who are perhaps in the wrong job?