May 2016   Comments

What we are prepared for

I could not agree more with Dave Bateman (Last Word, April). Students get so much academically focused training now with so little focus on those old nursing standards: bedside clinical skills and basic people skills. So often, the newly graduated can tell you what the articles and the textbooks say, but they have no idea how to provide safe care, comfort and empathy. I totally agree that caring for patients, not preparing for careers in research and management, needs to return to the forefront of training. We have been told for so long that the way to gain respect is to obtain higher and higher levels of education. I think we should find a balance between the education that is needed and the practicality of what nursing actually is.

After almost 25 years in emergency, I am disheartened to have new staff who may not have learned how to place nasogastric tubes or do suctioning. And because they don’t have those skills, they haven’t been able to develop the instincts that there is something “just not right” about the patient.

We won’t gain respect by having more letters after our names. We gain it through balanced, educated, empathetic care.

– Norma Missio, BsN, ENCC
Vancouver, B.C.

I would like Dave Bateman to explain to your readership how working “six 12-hour shifts in a row” year in and year out could possibly result in competent and caring nursing care. I believe he is confusing dangerous and appalling working practices of the past with what nursing is all about.

– Pauline Bélanger, RN, MN
Edmonton, Alta.

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