Sunday, 14 April 2013

A Positive Approach

It wasn’t until the idea of becoming a nurse started to emerge that I began to broaden my healthcare horizon to extend beyond that of my life-long fascination with the human form, and take an increasing interest in other issues such as medicine, health-care provision, and of course the nursing profession. Since then, I have tried to ensure that I keep abreast of all things health related, particularly on a national level. However, I’m becoming more and more frustrated and fatigued at reading/hearing/seeing the incessant negative and dour press surrounding the nursing profession, and our hardly-flawless but nonetheless largely wonderful national health service. I am in no way denying that terrible things can and do happen both within the profession and the NHS, or indeed that things need to be reported and addressed, but I do want to promote some of the more positive and truly amazing events that also occur. I can think of no better or more relevant way of doing this than by writing about my personal experiences in practice, including the absolutely incredible, awe-inspiring, and unforgettable placement I have had this semester, which has without doubt been one of the best experiences of my life.

To date, I have never encountered a bad placement: I’ve inevitably enjoyed some more than others, but ultimately every experience has had something to offer. I’ve worked across different trusts, different areas, and different settings, and the care, for the most part, has been consistently high. I’ve worked with teams who have been understaffed, under-resourced, and over-stretched, and whilst the level of care was variable and not entirely holistic, it was, in my opinion, these aforementioned pressures and constraints that were the major contributory factors. I am certainly not implying that this is always the case; I’m sure we’re all too aware that substandard care delivered by substandard individuals is very much a reality, and whilst one such individual is always one too many, my experience has been that such cases are the exception and not the rule.

The vast majority of people whom I have encountered throughout my placements have demonstrated the kind of patient-centred and holistic care that has endlessly impressed and inspired me. I have been consistently moved by the plights of many patients, and so have I by the exceptional care and attention that they duly received. I have finished countless shifts feeling completely dejected and at a loss as to how I will ever be as good a nurse as so-and-so is. I have experienced first hand the compassion and empathy of nurses, who have quite literally held my hand and tirelessly supported me through the tough times of this degree. And perhaps most tellingly, many of these nurses have passed the ubiquitous would-I-be-happy-for-this-person-to-look-after-one-of-my-own-family-members benchmark nursing assessment with flying colours.

I could go on, but I strongly suspect that I am preaching to the choir. I for one am truly proud to be a part of this very special profession; a pride which deepens and develops with each and every placement, due mainly to the many magnificent nurses I have encountered along the way. I can only hope that one day I am the kind of nurse who motivates and inspires new generations of nurses coming through the ranks to be the very best that they can be, in much the same way that I have been.


  1. Hear, hear! A very interesting read and I could not agree more. It's very easy for the world to report about negative events, but where are the amazing things that nurses and other healthcare staff do every day? People find it far easier to complain rather than give long overdue praise to those that deserve it. One day...

  2. Glad you liked it :) I shall endeavour to be more positive in future posts and tweets. Pinky promise ;P xx