I REALLY DESPAIR. What is it about nursing that leads people to look back decades and decide nursing was so much better then?

How about training the police as they did pre-1960? All they would have to do is learn to blow a whistle loudly and get some guidance on what put in a notebook. Fantastic! They’d be on the streets and ready to protect us in a week.

We should stop this respiratory equipment for firefighters. They’d get into the depths of the fire so much quicker if they did not have to mess about with this equipment as their new-fangled teaching insists.

We could do away with those fancy paramedics. How long does it take to train them? The old-fashioned ambulance man who just took people to hospital was so much cheaper.

Of course, cutting nurse teaching would have similar advantages. Never mind delivering excellent, modern patient care that saves lives.

What it is about nurses? I assume the ‘long-standing highly-qualified’ nurse Mr Wigglesworth refers to, wrote the piece I read recently in Valley News. A real ‘wasn’t it great when we had to climb in the nursing home window after a night out’ nurse. Such nurses see the good old ways with utterly misplaced nostalgia.

The reality of the old system was that students kept the wards running, they were counted on the ward staff. This inevitably limited the amount of teaching they received.

Much of the time, the qualified nurses did what they had to do, while students did the basic work like making beds and the good old bed-pan round. That was one of the worst aspects of the old system, it was task orientated and patients were referred to as ‘the appendectomy in bed three’.

I am particularly annoyed at the suggestion the old nurses cared and showed ‘empathy’ for patients, whereas modern nurses and students don’t know how to respond with sympathy. I hardly think those who failed to see the person behind the patient, seeing them simply as a medical condition, are in any place to lecture.

Calls for the good old days totally fail to appreciate the massive change in nursing. Doctors are performing procedures that never existed. Nurses have often taken on complicated procedures, allowing medical and nursing staff to work together as they never did.

I am a neonatal nurse: we are highly trained, knowledgeable and effective. We are by the baby’s side at all time and are the first to notice problems starting, because of our knowledge of physiology and skilled use of technical equipment.

We call the crash team, but we manage the situation until our colleagues arrive. Is anyone whose baby has been in a neonatal unit ready to argue 60s training would have been sufficient for a nurse to care for your child?

Modern nurses need modern training that is much different, and patients need nurses who are properly trained. Patient’s lives depend on the high-level abilities of today’s nurses. Nurses need a much better level and length of training than they used to have, and other professionals rely on such nurses.

Stop insisting on the equivalent with nurse training. I expect nurses are so often in receipt of the idea that modern training is unnecessary because they are still not respected as a profession.

Yes, I know nurses are seen as awfully kind, but you would not consult a doctor on that basis alone. Mr Wigglesworth’s regrettable view of nursing sees the nurse as someone who essentially goes around managing the basics and being awfully kind.

Nurses deserve the same respect, as individual and accountable practitioners, as the doctors they work with. Is it any wonder this lamentable view of nursing is still current when the Wigglesworths of this world regard them, unlike other professionals, as worthy of nothing more than the training of the 60s?

If you find Mr Wigglesworth at all beguiling, consider how precious your life is, and your family’s. Admitted in an emergency, you would be as dependent on the highly knowledgeable, technically competent and efficient modern nurse as their medical and other professional colleagues.

If you want modern and effective care, don’t denigrate or underestimate nurses. They are essential to the effective functioning of the modern health team. Go back to the 60s in nursing training and that will be the care you get.

I agree with Mr Wrigglesworth about the university system. Blair decided that 50% of youngsters should be at university and Cameron went along with that ridiculous idea. We now have far too many students at university and for too many institutions, far too easily labelled, as universities.

You can be admitted to university with just three ‘Ds’ at A level. Call that a degree? Call that a university? Students can be accepted onto a nursing course through clearing. Students accepted for

nursing should be dedicated to becoming a nurse, not accepting it as second best when first plans fail.

David Cameron is the last person I would consult on the NHS. That perfidious 2012 Act did more harm to the NHS than anything else and was pushed through by Cameron, who had lied outrageously about his plans for the NHS.

2012 encouraged privatisation, which Cameron knew was not wanted by the people of this country. The recent ‘reforms’ have done nothing to stop the increase of privatisation in our health service.

Veronica Burton BAHons (Dunelm), RGN, ENB 405

Have you got a strong opinon on an important matter? Let us know on at www.yourvalleynews.co.uk/your-opinion/.

Read more letters we recieve at our Opinions page.

Pin It on Pinterest