Thursday, 8 May 2014

Nursing in the news

Roger Watson, Editor-in-Chief

Modern nursing fares badly in the UK press according to an article published in JAN by Karen Gillett of King’s College London. In a critical discourse of articles in 11 UK newspapers, Gillett shows how there is a nostalgic view of nursing in the past, while the view of current nursing is poor. This is something that has been noted before by McKenna et al. (2006).

The blame is laid at the door of education, possibly with good reason, but the idea that nurses are too educated to care for patients is something that is not being upheld, according to a recent review (Willis2013). However, this view is regularly propagated, especially – but not exclusively – by the Sunday broadsheet newspapers in the UK, and the solution inevitably involves doing the impossible: turning the clock back.

Gillett used the LexisNexis database to search for relevant newspaper articles; the results were overwhelmingly negative regarding the view of modern nursing, with some exceptions. Theoretical perspectives of the phenomenon of nostalgia are covered and it is clear, as the saying goes, that ‘nostalgia is not what it used to be’.

I actually belong to that nostalgic past, having ‘trained’ in a hospital-based school of nursing in the UK. I enjoyed every minute of being a student nurse but I do recall ‘drive through’ pressure sores, patients tied to chairs as a form of restraint and practices related to food and hygiene that would keep the tabloid and broadsheet newspapers filled with little else for months; where were the newspaper then? I quote from the conclusion to Gillett’s (2014, p.e7) article: ‘By sanitizing the past and forgetting the problems with traditional approaches to nurse education, there is a risk of repeating the same mistakes’.


References

Gillett K (2014) Nostalgic constructions of nurseeducation in British national newspapers. Journal of Advanced Nursing doi:10.1111/jan.12433

McKenna HP, Thompson DR, Watson R, Norman IJ (2006) The good old days of nurse training: rose tinted or jaundiced view? International Journal of Nursing Studies 43, 135-137

Willis P (2013) Quality with compassion: the future of nursing education Royal College of Nursing, London

3 comments:

  1. Karen Gillett offers a strong message that is important for nurse educators and those who commission nurse education to take on board.

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    Replies
    1. Sally, thanks for your comment and your interest I the blog. Best wishes

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  2. In a critical discourse of articles in 11 UK newspapers, Gillett shows how there is a nostalgic view of nursing in the past, while the view of current nursing is poor.Lam Wah Ee Nursing College

    ReplyDelete