Nurses can start their careers unable to care for patients because they have spent too long in lecture halls, a nursing leader has warned.
Dr Carter called for a reappraisal of the training system in which nurses take a three-year degree with time divided equally between the classroom and the wards. He claimed some courses provided insufficient patient contact. Before nursing degrees were introduced in the 1990s, training was more hands-on.
Dr Carter also warned that untrained healthcare assistants now carry out many tasks once reserved for nurses, such as helping patients to eat and drink, cleaning bedsores and taking blood samples.
Areas to think about:
- Are there any parallels with the state of medical education?
- How might lack of clinical experience among new nursing graduates affect the work of doctors?
- After qualifying, both professions face ever-increasing administrative burdens in their daily work. This paperwork also takes time away from clinical contact. How might the bureaucracy be reduced?
- NHS staff training ‘unacceptable’ (bbc.co.uk)