Are Fundamental Aspects of Nursing Being Forgotten?

With regards to the attributes required to work in nursing, a good bedside manner and having the utmost respect for patients is paramount.

However, according to a survey of NHS patients, a fifth of people in hospital in England are not treated with dignity.

The Adult Inpatient Survey 2012, which covers people aged 16 or above who stayed in hospital for at least one night found that poor or inconsistent care was more likely to be experienced by women and patients over the age of 80.

This pattern was found to be higher for those with a long-standing illness or disability like deafness or blindness, with those in hospital for a long period, or who stayed in three or more wards, even more likely to experience a lack of respect.

Carried out by the Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion at the LSE, the analysis of the 2012 poll also found that over a third of patients did not receive the assistance they needed at meal times.

In response, the NHS England has said that rises in the number of nurses on wards since the data was collected should result in widespread improvement. But Age UK, which helped to advise the researchers, said there had been "remarkably little change" over time in the care experienced by older patients.

So what can be done to improve the treatment of hospital patients?

Among the diverse health courses offered through Skills Platform, Nursing Times Limited are offering a new learning management system course which can help ensure those working in health professions have the knowledge and skills to make patients feel safe and secure. The course reviews the fundamental aspects of nursing care and includes 450 practice hours, 40 hours of CPD and a health and character declaration.

Also available via Skills Platform are courses such as Patient Moving and Handling, an online course which covers key topics such as understanding patient handling needs. The course will also review the law and legislation associated with patient moving and handling, in addition to patient risk assessment.

And it doesn’t end there. Courses such as Equality, Diversity and Human Rights can not only improve the ability to empathise with colleagues and patients from diverse background, it can contribute to ensuring that all access, services and general approach to care are appropriate to an individual’s needs.

“This is a time when so much is changing in the health sector,” says Sam Gallagher, Executive Director of Skills for Health.

“ The challenges have never been greater and learning and development remains one of the fundamental tools available to employers and crucially individuals with a responsibility for maintaining their own professional registration, and want to deliver high quality care.”