Wonderful news for the profession; the recent IPSOS Mori Veracity Index published on 18 November 2018 demonstrates nursing once again tops the chart of most trusted professions. When asking student nurses which theme of the NMC Code (2015) (revised on 10 October 2018 to reflect the inclusion of individuals on the new Nursing Associate part of the register from January 2019) is most important to them; first years typically cite prioritising people, second years frequently debate between practising effectively and preserving safety whereas third years consistently favour promoting professionalism and trust. Third year students frequently explain the rationale for this decision as that if nurses and midwives do not command the trust and confidence of patients, people receiving care, other Health Care professionals and the public it is impossible to uphold the other themes within the Code. Nurses occupy a position of trust and are expected to maintain the standards expected of them in upholding the reputation of their profession by the regulator and perhaps, more importantly the public. Members of the public appreciate nurses. It is the things we do and how we make others feel that count for the most in the eyes of our patients and clients not the things we say. Ask many individuals what attracted them to join a health or social care profession and they will respond with “an opportunity to make a difference to the lives of others”. Often it is the small activities we execute for our patients and clients and the way in which we implement our actions that make the biggest difference to their care experience and help to ensure the care received is described as wonderful. Perhaps the promoting professionalism and trust theme is the one which resonates most with the public. Trustworthiness was explored in a previous post in this blog and it may be beneficial to re-visit that post but in doing so please remember that the regulator continues to revise its guidance.
Why; if the public hold the profession in high esteem, do so many nurses seem to dwell on the negative aspects of their role rather than celebrating the positive? This has long been a mystery. It seems that as a profession we are more adept at expanding hours of our time reflecting upon the negative rather than celebrating the positive. Perhaps our engagement with television, radio, newspapers and social media help to fuel our interest in situations where significant improvements could be made. As professionals we should continuously reflect upon our practice to ensure that the care we deliver is based on the most up to date evidence and that we learn from episodes which have been identified as providing less than optimal care. However, we should also not neglect to respond to positive feedback.
Care Opinion recently held a learning event in Manchester for a variety of individuals who wanted to understand the value of feedback from clients. Care Opinion offers an online space where people can post their comments; good and bad, and those caring for them can respond. Many individuals are using the site to express their views about their care, and many experiences which are told are of a positive and complimentary nature. However, it is also apparent that many individuals do not receive a response to their comments or are even sure if their remarks have been received by the right people. The number of comments posted on the site is very small when considered against NHS England’s “Monthly activity data” which relates to the number of elective and non-elective inpatient admissions and outpatient referrals and attendances for first consultant outpatient appointments. Nevertheless the site provides a useful conduit for two-way feedback and has helped both clients and providers to improve upon services, staff morale and encouraged learning in care organisations who have begun to use the website. The patient or client stories are a useful way of helping student health and social care professionals explore and understand contemporary, real patient experiences. Review the site for yourself and read stories posted by clients and service users in the area where you live and work. We should be taking every opportunity, via multiple modes, to be patient / person centred and really listen and respond to the feedback from clients and service users to improve the quality and standard of care which is delivered.
Thinking about person centred care was the focus of an event hosted by the University of Salford on 30 November 2018 at which The Queen’s Nursing Institute (QNI) launched its report “Nursing Care for People Experiencing Homelessness”. The report shares the experiences which homeless health nurses face in the day to day challenges of delivering healthcare to this vulnerable sector of society. The event itself provided an opportunity for individuals, including nursing students, educators, practitioners and researchers; to learn and share ideas about delivering person centred care to individuals who are homeless through hearing from several nurses about their wide range of experiences in supporting homeless individuals. Listening to the person led care of individuals from a wonderful Gypsy and Traveller Community Outreach Nurse was delightful and insightful, emphasizing the importance of creating therapeutic relationships to underpin great care for clients.
Attendees of this inspiring event, were given a hard copy of the “Transition to Homeless Health Nursing Resource”. Hardcopies of the resource can be requested from the QNI’s website. The QNI website declares “we believe high quality nursing should be available for everyone where and when they need it”. Take some time to explore the wealth of resources the QNI provides to help community nurses deliver the highest standards of care to clients and discover the exploits of some wonderful nurses.
Graduation took place last week at the University of Salford and it was a joyous and happy occasion celebrating the success of the hard work of individuals culminating in the awarding of degrees and acquisition of professional registration. Many students obtained first class degrees and can rightly congratulate themselves in becoming wonderful practitioners. Graduation was described by Jackie Kay; Chancellor University of Salford, as a shimmering, luminous moment as she urged our graduates to give their all, to work for the benefit of others, to be a catalyst for positive change, to seize the opportunities life gives them, to use the knowledge and skills they have gained and to be the best that they can be. Patients and clients across the North West will be recipients of these wonderful neophyte practitioners.
Perhaps you may concur with the Christmas song “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” that this is the happiest season of all. As you spend time with peers, colleagues, friends and family over the Christmas period why not consider telling them how wonderful they are in what they do and they might even believe you if you tell them often enough. Please also remember members; of all ages, in our communities who struggle all year round because of their physical and mental health challenges and for whom the bonhomie of the Christmas season can be especially painful. Thank you to all those wonderful practitioners who commit themselves to delivering high standards of health care all year round to those in need.