This has been a terrible week for nursing across the UK. First an MP broadcasts the awful care her husband receives while dying in a hospital bed then a busy, stressed and probably very tired nurse makes a common mistake and trusts the other people on the end of a phone. The tragic result was that she could not live with the consequences of her mistrust and could see no way of repairing the damage.
The media (and politicians) have suddenly stooped bashing nurses as uncaring professionals and I hope have taken a moment to think about the effect of all this negative publicity on the profession and the people who are just trying to get on with their job, in often very difficult circumstances.
This is no excuse for poor practice but poor practice does not lie with individuals as I have said in the previous post. We are all responsible, the profession, the managers, the politicians, the public and yes the media for making sure nursing care in the UK is the best in the world. To do this we need to think more carefully about how we portray nurses, not as doctors handmaidens but as people who are knowledgeable, caring and often frustrated because other people will not listen to them. The mid Staffordshire tragedy is a good example of nurses and families not being listened to and politicians being dogmatic about the NHS.
Compassion starts when the ignorance stops and nurses in the UK now more than ever need support not criticism, understanding not ridicule and kindness not cruelty.