Well, today is the day where I am going to sound extremely critical of our profession, but it is what the question entails. And we are encouraged to be critical thinkers to improve services. However, I am aware that I am still studying and only at the very beginning of my career with lots to learn. So, I in no way think that I have all the answers. Anyway, here goes. I have addressed several of my nursing pet peeves in previous blog posts:
- Poor patient care due to understaffing or poor communication and interpersonal skills.
- Patient choice being neglected in favour of ease for healthcare practitioners – particularly concerning end-of-life care.
- Insufficient understanding and delivery of palliative care.
- Lack of emotional and psychological support for nursing students and nurses.
- The failure of the government to secure bespoke funding for nursing students. In Scotland, the bursary is not enough. Elsewhere in the country, the student loan system, where students are getting in massive amounts of debt to become nurses, certainly isn’t working.
- Incorrectly measured and documented observations endangering patient safety and health outcomes.
- Lack of respect for nursing as a degree educated profession, which applies to both fellow nurses and society in general.
- A nursing workforce that is not representative of the communities we serve.
- Nurses being resistant to or unwilling to adapt and change.
- The varied roles of the modern nursing not being understood.
- Nurses who are not politically active or using their voices to affect real change and champion the profession – you can’t complain if you aren’t doing anything about it.
- Nursing history being viewed with rose-tinted glasses. It is time to look forward.
- The lack of education around nursing history at universities. How can we improve the future without understanding and improving upon the past
However, there are a couple of nursing pet peeves that I haven’t previously discussed.
Firstly, the reticence of certain individuals and institutions to encourage and support younger, newly qualified and student nurses in leadership roles. Sometimes the best leaders are not those with the most experience. In fact, having a fresh pair of eyes, different perspective or new vision – whatever you call it – and being on the shop floor, working directly with patients day-in-day-out, can be what makes them the best people to advocate for patients and nurses and to champion the profession.
Lastly, as a student nurse, one of my biggest pet peeves is being called “the student”. Luckily, this doesn’t happen very often, and when it does, I jokingly say: “my name is Craig”. But it is just rude. Don’t do it. Respect is a two-way street, and students are people too. We are the future of the profession after all.
Sorry about the rant – I promise that tomorrow I’ll be back to my usual chipper self. Would love to hear if you agree or disagree with my nursing pet peeves and any additional ones you have.