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Was nursing care better in the 'old days'

(159 Posts)
Beswitched Thu 20-May-21 12:14:09

Just had a very frustrating time trying to get my mother who has cancer and not been well for the last few days into hospital. Last night I encountered a very cold nurse who kept stonewalling me and didn't even ask one question about my mother. She was more interested in making it very clear to me that there were more beds available.

I know there are still lovely, caring and very dedicated nurses out there. But since it became a profession requiring a 3rd level degree it also seems to have attracted people who really don't seem to be suited to the job and treat patients and their families as a nuisance.

Beswitched Thu 20-May-21 12:14:42

No beds available, not more.

greenlady102 Thu 20-May-21 12:19:30

I worked in the NHS for well over 30 years on and off. and i don't think it was better in the old days.

Galaxy Thu 20-May-21 12:20:42

My son was quite ill a few years ago, we were fast tracked through A &E which is never a good sign. He was admitted and a doctor explained what was going on, an incredibly kind student nurse ( degree course) was watching me as the doctor talked, when he went she said did you understand what he meant and with absolute gentleness talked me through it all again. She had had the foresight to notice that I was barely functioning. I will never forget her kindness.

Galaxy Thu 20-May-21 12:22:20

I am sorry you had a bad experience but I think there is a risk of looking back at a time that wasnt perfect but imagining it was.

Witzend Thu 20-May-21 12:24:30

I have fairly recent experience at both ends of the age scale - a baby grandson who was in intensive care 3 times with severe bronchiolitis. The nurses were utterly brilliant - we were all profoundly grateful to them

Then there was my mother, with fairly advanced dementia, who broke a hip at over 90. Dementia meant she could be decidedly stroppy, or plain bloody difficult, but they were very patient.
At one point when my sister was there, she told a nurse that she was going to tell her father of them, and he’d have them all put in prison. (!)
The nurse came straight back with a calmly perfect reply: ‘Well, I’ve spoken to your father, and he says you’ve got to eat your lunch.’ 😂

Dh was also in for a few days a couple of years ago, no complaints at all.

Maybe we’ve just been lucky.

EllanVannin Thu 20-May-21 12:33:47

Care was always as important as the treatment at one time. Nobody seems to have the time to stop and talk or explain anything which is sad. A trained / retired person should be employed to give their time to patients who are either undergoing procedures or are awaiting admission etc. and who are anxious which many are but staff can't always spare their time.

I used to see WI members now and again in my local hospital going around the wards having chats but I don't suppose this happens now on account of the virus. It took a lot of pressure off nursing staff.

Right now staff are having to cope with a backlog of thousands who have been waiting for over a year for treatments/ operations etc. so their workload is heavy and on-going.
Admissions to hospital have gone sky high and bed situations everywhere are worrying I'd say.

JaneJudge Thu 20-May-21 12:35:44

Hospitals just operate differently these days. 40 years ago relatives were only allowed in during set visiting times. I remember having my tonsils out at 4 yo and I was dropped at the ward door and my Mum picked me up the day after! Also general hospitals used to treat a wide range of specialisms, now generally you are sent to a hospital which is a specialist in whatever you have. Lots of people now treat at home too.

Unfortunately one of my elderly family members is in and out of hospital at the moment and I get the impression there a funding type decisions going on wrt her ongoing care which is delaying decisions being made about her care now and that is quite upsetting for the family, not because they don't want to spend the money - more that there is no transparency.

Learning disability training has definitely moved on. The last few times I have been to clinics with my daughter, pre covid, the hospital have been wonderful. The breast clinic in particular were so good with her.

Beswitched, who else is involved in your Mum's care? can we help you navigate this? It must be very worrying for you x

JaneJudge Thu 20-May-21 12:41:04

I used to see WI members now and again in my local hospital going around the wards having chats but I don't suppose this happens now on account of the virus. It took a lot of pressure off nursing staff

I agree volunteers make a huge difference but also family do too and this is the same for any person in a 'care setting' I have seen in respect to my own daughter's care recently how standards have dropped during the pandemic. I know things are extremely difficult for those working in health and care during the pandemic but I do think lack of time provides an argument for letting support into homes and hospitals in the forms of volunteers and relatives, to relieve some of that pressure.

Beswitched Thu 20-May-21 12:48:12

JaneJudge

Hospitals just operate differently these days. 40 years ago relatives were only allowed in during set visiting times. I remember having my tonsils out at 4 yo and I was dropped at the ward door and my Mum picked me up the day after! Also general hospitals used to treat a wide range of specialisms, now generally you are sent to a hospital which is a specialist in whatever you have. Lots of people now treat at home too.

Unfortunately one of my elderly family members is in and out of hospital at the moment and I get the impression there a funding type decisions going on wrt her ongoing care which is delaying decisions being made about her care now and that is quite upsetting for the family, not because they don't want to spend the money - more that there is no transparency.

Learning disability training has definitely moved on. The last few times I have been to clinics with my daughter, pre covid, the hospital have been wonderful. The breast clinic in particular were so good with her.

Beswitched, who else is involved in your Mum's care? can we help you navigate this? It must be very worrying for you x

Thank you so much. We've just got a call to say they will have a bed later today which is such a relief smile

JaneJudge Thu 20-May-21 12:49:50

Well that is good news. I hope they make her more comfortable and it eases some of the worry off you for a bit. You need to look after yourself too x

sodapop Thu 20-May-21 12:55:46

Nursing care is much more technical and things have moved on such a lot since I did my training. I do think some skills in bedside care have been lost along the way and it should not be down to volunteers to provide this. There is good reason I think to return to a two tier system with a qualification like the State Enrolled Nurse.

PippaZ Thu 20-May-21 13:01:21

Beswitched

Just had a very frustrating time trying to get my mother who has cancer and not been well for the last few days into hospital. Last night I encountered a very cold nurse who kept stonewalling me and didn't even ask one question about my mother. She was more interested in making it very clear to me that there were more beds available.

I know there are still lovely, caring and very dedicated nurses out there. But since it became a profession requiring a 3rd level degree it also seems to have attracted people who really don't seem to be suited to the job and treat patients and their families as a nuisance.

What on earth is a 3rd level degree? There are three levels of education , further education, which would include degrees is the third level after primary and secondary.

The levels of qualification for degrees would then be

Level 5 - Foundation Degree
Level 6 - degree apprenticeship
for example degree with honours - examples -
bachelor of the arts (BA) hons, bachelor of science
(BSc) hons
Level 7 - master’s degree, for example master of arts (MA),
master of science (MSc)

Level 8 - doctorate, for example doctor of philosophy (PhD
or DPhil)

Most people leave school with either a Level 2 qualification (pass grade at GCSE Level) or Level 3 (A Level)

There are obviously many more qualifications at each level but I cannot see where your 3rd Level Degree comes in unless you mean a Masters and that is not a requirement (although some go on to that level) for nurses.

grannylyn65 Thu 20-May-21 13:10:14

Really!?

Beswitched Thu 20-May-21 13:11:21

It's a common phrase used where I live. Not sure what the point of your post is other than an attempt to put other people down.

Kim19 Thu 20-May-21 13:15:47

More knowledge less compassion is my impression.

Blondiescot Thu 20-May-21 13:16:15

Learning disability care has definitely improved - we now have specialist learning disability nurses, for one thing. My daughter is one of them.

grannyactivist Thu 20-May-21 13:32:49

No, I don’t think nursing ‘care’ was better. I had dreadful hospital experiences in the past, where the nurses were in thrall to the doctors, and and other experiences where nurses were wonderful.

Nowadays nurses are doing many of the procedures that used to be done by doctors and are also experts in their own fields. My nursing daughter is a teacher, manager, mentor, administrator, researcher - and this is all fitted in around her nursing shifts. She has split shifts so she is permanently exhausted, has several specialities that mean she is often called in if another specialist is off sick and has endless compassion for her patients and their families.

She has been assaulted by patients and their family members more times than I can bear to think of; patients have also spat at her, deliberately urinated on her and pulled her hair out by the roots. She has charge of machines that look as if they were birthed by NASA, understands some complex procedures that doctors are baffled by - and somehow manages to pin a smile on and deliver excellent nursing care when she’s on the unit.

ElaineI Thu 20-May-21 13:34:46

I think all medical care has advanced at an increasing rate since I trained in 1974. The degree courses which have at least 50% practical training seem to be better suited for nursing students who prefer hands on training. The students I had doing more intense uni training were often behind in practical skills but probably gained them during their 3rd year. I have found nurses I have encountered as a patient/relative to be just as compassionate and caring as they were when I trained. Skill set required has increased but so has skill set learning in nurseries and schools. There are always a few cold b.....s but it was always thus.
My first ward as a student nurse had a fierce Sister. We had to bring everything on a tray to patients - pillowslip, teaspoon, glass etc. You had to make the beds with the counterpane draped over in the morning then go round and tuck it in during the late shift. Fortunately that has changed!

PippaZ Thu 20-May-21 13:37:28

Beswitched

It's a common phrase used where I live. Not sure what the point of your post is other than an attempt to put other people down.

What does it mean? It rather sounded as if you were attempting to put nurses down and I didn't want to assume that.

Ilovecheese Thu 20-May-21 13:38:06

I came across some very cold nurses forty odd years ago.

Beswitched Thu 20-May-21 13:43:20

I made it very clear on my post that I was aware there are still many many wonderful dedicated and compassionate nurses doing a cari g job. I just asked if perhaps the fact that the job now has degree status may also be attracting candidates who are suitable to the technical and academic parts of the job but lack the caring and compassionate instincts that remain a critical part of a nurse's role.

If you're unsure as to what I'm saying in a post in future perhaps politely request clarification rather than charging in with a lecture.

PippaZ Thu 20-May-21 13:44:49

Kim19

More knowledge less compassion is my impression.

... and how would you describe that post? Compassionate? You don't have to be ignorant or knowledgeable to behave unkindly, as you have now proved.

PippaZ Thu 20-May-21 13:50:59

Beswitched

I made it very clear on my post that I was aware there are still many many wonderful dedicated and compassionate nurses doing a cari g job. I just asked if perhaps the fact that the job now has degree status may also be attracting candidates who are suitable to the technical and academic parts of the job but lack the caring and compassionate instincts that remain a critical part of a nurse's role.

If you're unsure as to what I'm saying in a post in future perhaps politely request clarification rather than charging in with a lecture.

Why would degree status change that or do people care more if they aren't "too" educated. It sounded as is your 3rd Class degree was a put down on learning.

I will repeat. You don't have to be ignorant or knowledgeable to behave unkindly or, indeed, kindly.

As Martin Luther King Jr. said "There is nothing more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity" I imagine, in a hospital, that could be doubly true.

JaneJudge Thu 20-May-21 13:55:48

I think there is a discussion to be had around do you have to have a degree to be a 'nurse' Of course old auxiliary nurses are now called health care assistants. Is a health care assistant really NOT of a nurse?