Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Too Professional To Care

I've blogged before about the politically-driven decline in caring among nurses, but I think this nurse is taking it too far.

A hospital nurse accused of attempting to murder four elderly patients was motivated by a drive to free up beds, a court has heard.

Barbara Salisbury overstepped the line between humane nursing and callous dispatch when she tried to hasten their deaths, Chester Crown Court was told.

Prosecuting barrister Robin Spencer QC told the jury on Wednesday that Ms Salisbury was even heard urging one patient "give in, it's time to go", as she administered an overdose.

Nursing training since the late 80s has been designed to produce 'mini-doctors' for whom feeding, washing, cleaning, hand-holding, talking to patients or making beds is traditional 'women's work' to be avoided at all costs. Next month the Royal College of Nursing will debate the motion that nurses are 'too clever to care' and that the 'compassionate' part of the job should be carried out by healthcare assistants, the lowest form of NHS life.

When Florence Nightingale invented modern nursing, life was more straightforward than it is today,” said Tom Murray of the RCN’s Exeter branch, which put the resolution.

“People knew what doctors and nurses were there to do. Since these far-off days events have moved on.”

Here's an idea. Find out which hospital Tom Murray works at. And try not to be sent there.

UPDATE - Tom Murray appears to be a senior lecturer in the 'faculty of Health and social work' at the 'University of Plymouth' - formerly Devonport Tech. He also seems to be a member of the NATFHE union. Why am I not surprised ?

The bad news is - he teaches nurses.