One of the nurses at the Royal College of Nursing congress last week shouted at Patricia Hewitt when she was addressing them. Nurses have become unnerving, demonstrating their hostility to a government which was a great ally until a year ago. But the question is why and what are they furious about? There are 70,000 nurses and their number keeps increasing day by day. Their pay has also risen considerably over the past three years. Les Miles worked in the neo-natal department as a practice nurse. She says that there are only few staffs to take care of a number of premature in South Tyneside.
Doughty who is a senior staff nurse in paediatrics at Brighton and Sussex University Hospital Trust, said that they were forced to do other jobs to hit other targets like ticking boxes on their forms, and making these the priority. Apart from her there are many in the health service who feel that the NHS is run purely for them and their continuing professional careers rather than for the patients. Nurses are being pressurized with a lot of administration work and too many patients are rushed through the hospitals without staff having the time to sit with them and explain what is happening.
But Alan Rogers, the medical director of Les Miles's hospital painted a very different picture of the neonatal ward saying that on average they were only five babies in the unit, and that on some days no babies at all. But he also admitted that sometimes the situation becomes difficult to handle. 'But that's how it is on wards and handling pressure is all part of the job. He also said that older nurses say that younger nurses cannot do some of the basic tasks they were trained to do and are not interested to learn. Others see it as their job to challenge the doctors in everything they do. He warned the nurses that if they are going to exhibit such attitudes then they are going to be at the losing end.