Published Oct 16, 2003
Why are nurses working conditions bad?
Why is nurses pay so low?especially when comparing it to other professions e.g police force ,teachers.
Boy you asked some really tough questions...
Before i get flames. please remember this is only my opinion.. :-)
I think there a lots of reasons for the state of nursing today..
I think that the whole idea of NHS was fantastic when it started but i think the whole system needs a complete overhaul.Not that i have the answers on what exactly needs overhauling but i think the whole system needs to be looked at.. From the highly paid administrators to us poorly paid nurses.
I think some of it comes from the fact as nurses we don't like to make waves (in general) and that because we continue to accept and work with what we are given for our patients sakes it continues the vicious circle.
Our pay is also much lower compared to our counterparts in other countries as well.. US nurses get paid substantially more for the same experience levels. Even they think they are underpaid and i'd agree which makes us UK nurses horribly paid.
When working conditions are bad.. staffing levels are low and we are all working under a great deal of stress.. without any compensation..it makes us all a bit more grumpy which again makes our general unhappiness a vicious circle ..
I'm really not sure what the answer is to make it better.. but this is some of my thoughts on the subject..
Sits back with fire retardant jacket on and waits .. :-)
you make some good points kaylesh.Sometimes i think the Government ,who decide on most things, know nurses wont go on strike (not saying you should) like other frims and protest against pay and conditions. We carry on and put up with it because we care for our patients because at the end of the day it is them who suffer. I wish there was some way we nurses were heard!
I tried to explain my personal point of view in a former post, some months ago, but I didn't find much "Quórum", specially between American nurses forums. Our history plays against us. For the "collective imaginary" we continue being a sort of nuns, slaves and prostitutes trying to redeem ourselves through sacrifice and abnegation.
"We don't need to be paid because we are paying".
We created a vicious circle stepping back from Florence Nightingale to Middle Ages through the massive production of N Practitioners or N assistances of any kind after a few months of training and for many countries, without the obligation of having to have a High School diploma to get in.
With that mostly lower class workers were recruited and once an standard is established, specially in huge economic organizations as the Public Health, it is practically impossible to rise that standard.
In South America this Phenomena began on 1965 with urgency of fulfilling Hospitals and Community Health settlements with cheap manpower (womanpower).
Professional nurses (RNs in USA) lost syndicate weight and little by little salaries went down getting on what we have nowadays.
Although we have to applause American Nurses for what they have gain to rise the concept of Nursing, the war against CASTE didn't finish, and for the "collective imaginary" (please correct me if I'm using the wrong word for this psychology concept) we still remain "Low caste".
The solution (again this only my opinion) must be targeted to the collective imaginary. Public in general has to understand that in order to become a nurse one must have special talents and capacities to be able to penetrate collective suffering. And not every one has those capacities. People must understand and believe that We Are Special, because that is a Reality, and then things for us will change by themselves.
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