`There Are So Few Staff, We Run around Trying to Fit Everything In' the Crisis in Welsh Nursing Is Today Laid Bare with the Publication of the Results of the First Royal College of Nursing Investigation into the Working Conditions, Life Demands and Career Needs of the Nation's Army of Nurses. as the Organisation Launches Its Value Nursing Manifesto Health Editor MADELEINE BRINDLEY Spoke to a Neonatal Nurse about the Reality of Her Job

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), March 4, 2003 | Go to article overview

`There Are So Few Staff, We Run around Trying to Fit Everything In' the Crisis in Welsh Nursing Is Today Laid Bare with the Publication of the Results of the First Royal College of Nursing Investigation into the Working Conditions, Life Demands and Career Needs of the Nation's Army of Nurses. as the Organisation Launches Its Value Nursing Manifesto Health Editor MADELEINE BRINDLEY Spoke to a Neonatal Nurse about the Reality of Her Job


Byline: MADELEINE BRINDLEY

``I'D ask people thinking about becoming a nurse to think very carefully about it. Unless they really wanted to be a nurse, I don't think I'd advise them to be one.

``I don't feel we're allowed to do our job to the best as we want to.'' Since Claire Bateman qualified as a neonatal nurse four years ago she has seen many of her thirty-something colleagues leave the profession. Under pressure and worn down by incessant bureaucratic demands and staff shortages they have left the NHS in search of better paid jobs but without the same life-or-death re-spons i b i

i t y. Even Claire, who says she still enjoys going to work, hesitates at the prospect of nursing as a job for life. ``For the next 10 years, yes, definitely. But who knows?''

The 28-year-old, who was inspired to become a nurse after a holiday with the charity Scope, said, ``At the moment I would say yes, but then I've only been nursing for four years. ``It is a lot more demanding and busier than I thought it would be. There are so few staff, we run around trying to fit everything in.

``I spend a lot of time writing up notes and filling in pieces of paper. Things like care plans have to be done because that's the way to ensure the patient is cared for, but sometimes it feels as though we're filling in forms for the sake of it.

``I'm lucky, I still really enjoy my job and going to work. But there are some days when I think I haven't been able to do everything I wanted to do, like talking to patients because I haven't had the time to sit down and discuss their worries and the issues that are important to them.'' Ms Bateman's concerns are similar to the 1,200 nurses, health visitors and midwives who told the Royal College of Nursing in Wales they were unhappy with many of the aspects of their job and working conditions. One in three do not see themselves continuing nursing until retirement age; more than three-quarters do not feel well paid; 65% said they do not receive adequate support and resources to do their job properly.

And like Ms Bateman's advice to the nation's future workforce, 51% of RCN nurses don't think that their job offers good career opportunities and 46% feel the balance between their professional and personal life is wrong as they regularly work overtime to supplement their wages. …

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`There Are So Few Staff, We Run around Trying to Fit Everything In' the Crisis in Welsh Nursing Is Today Laid Bare with the Publication of the Results of the First Royal College of Nursing Investigation into the Working Conditions, Life Demands and Career Needs of the Nation's Army of Nurses. as the Organisation Launches Its Value Nursing Manifesto Health Editor MADELEINE BRINDLEY Spoke to a Neonatal Nurse about the Reality of Her Job
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