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Wednesday 25th April 2018

Proud to be sure ...!

1st May 2006

Having attended the RCN Congress I was not appalled by the ‘baying masses’, but rather proud of my nursing heritage.  Having worked at the frontline and seen the conditions under which many nurses have to work, I still have the greatest respect for my colleagues who are battling at the clinical coal face. 

I also identify with those student nurses who feel that they are left to flounder in the present conditions on the wards, with little one to one clinical support or mentoring.  It was hard enough on a busy shift seven years ago to eat into the precious clinical time of a senior nurse, eager though she might have been to impart her skills; I find it hard to imagine what it must feel like to be that lowest of the low student nurse on their first ward placement surrounded by hard pressed staff who are concerned for their job security, and weary from battling to achieve their small rise which may or may not be achieved by Agenda for Change.

Not only do the cameras focus on the ‘grey and female’ portion of the nursing profession attending the Congress at Bournemouth, but they also fail to record the moments where nurses graciously put their grievances to one side, and generously applauded Patricia Hewitt on the few points on which there might be a modicum of agreement between the Secretary of State for Health and the workforce on the ground.  This was not a discordant scrum, but the heartfelt cry of an angry profession who are still striving to maintain their dignity.

I may no longer be in clinical practice, but I proudly brought home my poster, and declare with the rest of them “Keep nurses working; Keep patients safe?.

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