Newspaper

I don’t read the newspaper and I rarely watch the news. This probably seems like I’m not interested in current affairs or the world in general, which isn’t true.

Emmeline Pankhurst and co would be horrified.

I got out of the habit after the great nurse bashing event of 2012 when every time I opened the paper I would be confronted with stories about nurses (as a whole) being too posh to wash, not caring about the patients and forgetting what nursing was all about.

Now I know people have had bad experiences with poorly trained nurses who didn’t care and didn’t give them and their family anything like the quality or care that they should have received.

Not all nurses are angels, technically none of us are and there are some appalling nurses out there who should never have been allowed to qualify.

However, that doesn’t give people the right to lump all nurses together and label us as heartless, uncaring, wannabe doctors.

I remember being so angry after reading one article that I phoned the paper and was so incensed by their response that I threw the land line across the room. The Northern one was rather cross which didn’t exactly help the situation.

Reading some of the articles and the comments about them made me wonder why on earth I worked as a nurse. I love my job so I put up with the long and antisocial shifts, the going home late, the stress and the toll it puts on you emotionally as it’s all part of being a nurse. I try to be the best nurse I can be but some days there is room for improvement and I know this.

I don’t work in this job so people will say nice things about me.

I don’t expect thanks and gratitude although it is a lovely feeling when that happens.

What I do expect its to be treated with respect; to be treated the way any professional adult would expect to be treated.

I don’t think that’s unreasonable or too much to ask.

Yesterday I reminded me of the exact reasons that I don’t read any of the newspapers.

I was scrolling through the online edition of the evening rag, looking for details of the Christmas toy appeal when I came across an article about the unit I work at, that I was actually sitting in. In hindsight I should have ignored the article, especially with it’s sensationalist headline but stupidly I clicked on it.

It was an entire article based upon a few comments by some parents and was basically a load of untrue ‘statements’ and wild conclusions that bore no relation to the headline. It was a poor piece of journalism from someone trying to create a story where there wasn’t one.

The thing that got to me was that the comments had been made by two parents from the unit. They’re perfectly entitled to think and say what they want about the unit, the hospital and the staff to whoever the choose but their baby hadn’t even been discharged yet. I could see them cuddling their baby from the computer where I was sat.

I had spent hours that shift talking to them, making sure they were happy and confident with everything that we were dong for their baby. I made plans with the nurse in charge about getting them home in time for Christmas and they seemed really please.

Thrilled actually.

Which I was not after reading that news article.

Surely it’s good manners to wait until you’ve left somewhere before you start telling the media about their various faults?

Or if you’ve got an issue actually raise it with the staff instead of complaining to complete strangers, knowing that what you’ve said will be in the public domain?

Did they think that we wouldn’t see it?

Or did they just not care?

Clearly I will continue to care for their baby and treat them in exactly the same way as I did before. I will still talk to them and reassure them and I will still do everything in my power to get their little one home in time for Christmas.

I went home yesterday feeling quite down and flat. It was the sort of feeling you got at school when you thought someone liked you but actually they’d been saying mean things about you behind your back. We aren’t friends with the parents nor should we be as we need to maintain a professional relationship but we like (most of) them and we’re friendly with them. We talk about families, work, any other children they have and the like. Some of the babies are on the unit for months and we really get to know the parents and they get to know us.

We’ve held their hands, supplied tissues and hugged them when everything has just got too much for them and they need that extra support.

It’s still a professional relationship but somehow it’s also more than that.

Maybe I’m just being unreasonable.

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