A lot has been said and written about the lack of compassion in nursing,and our esteemed Health Secretary has vowed to “introduce ” compassion in nursing!

I would love to see how he will do it, part of it is built into ones nature, and then it is reinforced by the training you have. Hospitals are not a place where anyone loves to go, it is always some mishap which lands us there.

I have lately had some experience of the NHS and our caring profession, and though I have been involved with the health care all my adult life and have mostly defended it, I must say am bewildered as to what has happened to the profession I loved and practiced most of my life.

My husband was taken to the hospital last week, after he reacted badly to a pain killer, he was in the acute medical ward,for four days, the first day i went to visit him I was shocked to see that he was not got out of bed,washed or shaved. This is something new to me, I might have held various positions in the NHS,but I am basically and primarily a nurse,and my first duty is to make sure that my patients are washed, fed and are out of bed to mobilise unless they are very ill. This is the basic human need ,once this is taken care of ,the rest follows. It gives the person a sense of well being and allows them to continue with their activities of daily living, and they feel in control of their life .

There is some absolute rubbish is being talked about by our politicians, as everyone wants to have their say on compassion. Last night Andy Burnham, the shadow health secretary was on Question Time. He piped up that ‘when talking to nurses,one told him that now a days majority of post operative patients are over seventy,and this makes caring for him harder”.

I sat there fuming, how dare he spout such rubbish, does someone reaching the age of seventy or over becomes an alien? Do their basic human needs change to something other and what kind of nurse thinks this and how dare he cites this as a reason?

The basic problem is that all the nurses now want to become specialists, mini doctors, and the basic nursing care,the most important part of nursing is done by un trained,people who do not understand the ethos of nursing,a lot of them come from the background of working in super markets,they do not have to have any other skill , they are just slotted in as pair of hands.

Once upon a time nurses who trained had an aptitude for the profession,that is where the compassion came from, they liked people, they wanted to comfort them, they wanted to help to ease their pain,by simply staying by the bedside and holding their hand,not just do the high tech stuff.

It is funny that i left the profession because my role had become too technical, I didn’t have time to talk to my patients, and to me that was not nursing,and todays nurses strive not to be with the patient .

I think this is not something which can be taught, so much the pity.


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