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BRITISH R.N.'s Latest Activity

  1. How strange the perceptions of a nurses job and a doctors job are in different countries. UK nurses would be appalled at the thought of doctors removing just about any drain, chest drains included. We also do all dressings, suture removal etc. British nurses are far more knowledgeable about how to dress wounds than most doctors. Indeed in Britain research into techniques, materials and equipment for dressings is nurse led.

    RN student email buddies

    I'm probably too old to be any new nurses buddy, being qualified 22 years but I just want to say how refreshing it is to hear some young, enthusiastic soon-to-be nurses on the net. It's lovely to hear because it's what nursing needs, new recruits who aren't jaded and care-worn. If any of you would like to hear from an experienced British nurse, perhaps about a different nursing culture feel free to e-mail me. Keep up the good work girls and boys, nursing can really be the greatest career. [This message has been edited by BRITISH R.N. (edited May 20, 1999).]

    Teach Doctors About Nursing

    I would remind doctors that nurses communicate with patients on an entirely different level to them and can act as both an intermediary, and as an advocate for the patient. This is beneficial for both physician and patient. Sometimes I feel as if I'm actually an interpreter. Doctors need to be taught the level of education that nurses have and that when we are carrying out what may appear to them to be mundane tasks, eg bed baths, we are using that time to make physical,psychological and social assessments which benefit patient, nurses and doctors alike. The other thing I'd try to get across is that nurses have always treated their patients holistically not just as the breast cancer case or the asthmatic etc. This is an area where so many clever doctors fail their patients, they forget to treat them as people as well as disease processes [This message has been edited by BRITISH R.N. (edited May 19, 1999).] [This message has been edited by BRITISH R.N. (edited May 19, 1999).]

    International Nurses Day

    May 12th (F. Nightingales birthday) was International Nurses Day. Did you notice? How did your hospital or workplace recognise this occasion? The hospital where I work generously gave each nurse who went to the canteen, an apple! Anybody who was off duty etc. got zilch. Do you think nurses or nursing needs a special day? Personally I don't, in fact I think it's insulting, as if we need to draw attention to ourselves in order to be recognised. As far as I am aware no other profession has an International Day (although you may be able to tell me otherwise) I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on this.

    older Nurses and the web

    I'm not quite geriatric yet but not in the first flush of youth, I trained in the 1970's. I think the Net is a wonderful medium to get all nurses whatever their age in communication with one another. I've only been connected to the Web for six weeks and I'm hooked. I'm spreading the word amongst my British colleaques about this site as fast as I can. We don't seem to have a British equivalent yet. The more we can discuss our mutual problems and solutions the better it will be for us and our patients.

    Abbreviations confuse foreigners!

    I'm a British nurse new to the world of the Internet and have only recently found this site. I am fascinated by the discussions going on. We seem to have so much in common. Patient safety compromised by the use of minimally qualified staff in favour of Registered Nurses, poor staffing levels, excessive (unpaid) overtime etc. But I have a problem, all the abbreviations for nursing personel you use. Could someone spare me the time to explain them and the educational content that leads to such qualifications. I'm sure this would be of great help to those of us from other parts of the world who would love to join in. I think the Internet is about to take off in a big way in the UK this year so you can expect quite a few more British nurses visiting soon.

    Why go nursing?

    I always wanted to nurse, from being knee-high to a grasshopper. It may have started as a fascination with the uniform when I was five. A congenital heart condition had me a fairly regular visitor to hospitals from an early age. The injections and investigations certainly didn't put me off! Then I became absorbed by human anatomy and physiology; the sheer wonder of it all. I knew as a teenager I'd have to work with people and, ideallistically at sixteen or so I wanted to make a difference to peoples lives. I trained in the 1970's, in a system that was entirely hospital based. It had its faults but I loved every minute of it and would do it again tomorrow. What I wouldn't do is undertake the current British method of training which is college based, with very little hands-on nursing and seems to consist of disproportionately large amounts of sociological "clap-trap". What saddens me most about nursing in Britain today is that nursing seems to have lost the respect of the public in general, our medical colleaques and the government in particular. For example, everybody but everybody is getting extra pay for working over the millenium New Year holiday or else time off. In the National Health Service all leave has been banned and we'll be lucky if we get our basic special duty payments. No wonder there are recruitment problems.

    Hospitals in Trouble

    A message from the other side of the pond. Nurses in the UK always thought you had it so good in the States but it appears we're suffering similar problems. Nationwide we are suffering a shortage of nurses so we're not in danger of being laid off but our management loves to save money too. As a result wards are dangerously understaffed and unqualified or newly qualified i.e. inexperienced nurses are used to fill the gaps because they are the cheapest. We too have to battle with our legislators for the safety and well being of our patients. Perhaps it should be a case of International Nurses uniting to promote nurse to patient ratios. Good luck to you all in the fight.

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