Nurse experiences poor care.
Article Type: Letter to the editor
Author: Rotherham, Barbara
Pub Date: 02/01/2012
Publication: Name: Kai Tiaki: Nursing New Zealand Publisher: New Zealand Nurses' Organisation Audience: Trade Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health; Health care industry Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2012 New Zealand Nurses' Organisation ISSN: 1173-2032
Issue: Date: Feb, 2012 Source Volume: 18 Source Issue: 1
Accession Number: 282425916
Full Text: I am a nurse who was recently admitted urgently to Auckland City Hospital. The medical care in the acute areas, where I remained for a number of days, was absolutely marvellous, as was the nursing care. The nurses realty knew about holistic care and dealt with the whole person and their family.

Once in the wards, though, reality hit. In the medical ward the nurses seemed to have some idea of holistic care, such as checking you had been washed by an aide, assisting you to the toilet, answering bells and feeding elderly patients. Every day I was told: "The ward was short staffed today."

The surgical ward was a different story. Although they were all very proficient at the medical care, not one nurse seemed to even care about the patients as people with other needs, eg there was no offer of assistance with getting on surgical stockings after a shower and the Locker was placed behind the patient, making access impossible for a patient with a recent surgical procedure. Every time I shifted the Locker to the bed beside me, with the drawers facing me, so I could actually use it, a nurse would come and push it back. Then tell me that the table over the bed was for food only, not for books, flowers, phones etc.

Sleeping medication was another example--an efficient nurse should ensure sleeping medication--not just a star dose--is prescribed early in the day, for administration that night, for the patients in her care for that shift. Because doctors were busy elsewhere, it took five hours for a basic steeping pill to arrive to enable me to get some sleep. Where are the nurse practitioners with prescribing fights--surely they should be in every surgical ward? These little things are just basic holistic nursing care.

The nurse aides were far more proficient in these areas, though tacking in understanding as to why they were so important. Not once did I see a second-level nurse. They could have been well used.

Every day staff said they were short staffed. Why swith a pool of nurses available? Cost cutting perhaps?

I was an early polytech-trained nurse. I will never forget the head of the school giving us our first Lecture about holistic care and drumming into us that the whole patient was paramount for good nursing care. All news to us at that stage, but I never forgot the message. Where has all this gone? They certainty do not get taught this in nursing courses today.

Interesting that in all the Nursing Council competencies we must meet, not one measures actual empathetic nursing care at the bedside.

Barbara Rotherham, RN, Auckland
Gale Copyright: Copyright 2012 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.