Friday, November 13, 2009

Isn't nursing a vocation rather than an academic discipline ?

My wife works in one of the professions allied to the health industry. She's furious with her professional organisation that has got into bed with the government to try and promote it professional standing and go for a turf war with the other professions. Especially as what it means is vastly inflated fees and a tread mill of box ticking continuing professional development that only benefits those who deliver such material.

On the same theme today we discover that nursing is now to be a degree only profession. Of course a new level below nursing will appear as nurses will be too expensive as they will have all that debt to repay and such a move will further reduce the supply of nurses ( if Labour cut of the mass immigration of nurses and mass emigration of our own home grown nurses ).

I think the big risk here is the further loss of empathy and vocational commitment.

A University education is usually great fun. Another three years in the mono culture of people your own age group, perhaps even your own sex for some subjects, where you are the centre of attention combined with the new hedonistic religion of self fulfilment and life long debt which you can never pay off can be a great time. But one thing it doesn't do is build empathy for the whole of society, especially the sick part - if you ignore the superficial rich guilt that leads so many otherwise intelligent people into the arms of socialism.

And one complaint that occurs again and again about modern nursing is that the nurses are more intrested in each other and their social life than the patients. Especially unattractive patients who are demanding, smelly and unpleasant.

Now I admit I may have this wrong - but it seems to me that an undergraduate degree will reduce the effectiveness of nursing as nurses will only learn about empathy in lecture theatres rather than practice it.

Surely further education would be better spread thought the career of a nurse after they have been placed into the right culture by an apprenticeship in a hospital of the type that was traditionally the route to qualification.

It sometimes seems that the governments aim is to create dysfunction in society, and this looks like an example.


ContraTory said...

It’s typical muddled thinking. In principle, there is nothing wrong with having senior or specialist nurses with specialist degrees, but most caring work in a hospital does not require anymore academic qualification than that secured by the old style state registered nurses (SRN) (or state enrolled nurses (SEN) for that matter.) What will happen here is that the new graduate nurses will become largely a managerial class doing a minimum of clinical work and all the other very important but routine work will be undertaken by non graduate “auxiliaries” – nurses in all but name.

Ginro said...

I would have thought that being able to speak English fluently would have been a priority for nurses.

Anonymous said...

Having been made very ill due to misdiagnosis and treatment by a "Nurse Practitioner" at a local hospital I will never, voluntarily see one again. She couldn't even be bothered to come closer than 8ft, perhaps in case she caught something nasty.

James Higham said...

It's this mania for specialization and the iron curtain pseudo-qualifications which has reduced the country to rubble.

Oh when all this is swept away and we can get back to sanity.