The phrase “nursed back to health” derives from the altruistic work nurses do for us on the daily. Nurses are there for us in our most vulnerable time of need, when we are so sick that a few spoons of Nurofen do nothing for us. That’s when we need nurses, and they are always more than willing to help. To calm us down with a nice relaxing chat and warm smile.
“The recent strike and emergence of the crisis has no doubt caused uncertainty in the minds of prospective nursing students hoping to emerge out of college this summer into a vocation they have studied for four years.”
However, following recent events, they have been painted as villains after striking for better working conditions, greater staff retention and a better pay. Taoiseach Leo Varadkar criticised nurses publicly for striking on a week day but did not attempt contact the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) before the strike took place. As Margaret Frahill, a nurse manager at Mercy University Hospital, Co Cork, told The Sun “this crisis didn’t happen today or yesterday.”
The recent strike and emergence of the crisis has no doubt caused uncertainty in the minds of prospective nursing students hoping to emerge out of college this summer into a vocation they have studied for four years. The future, according to fourth-year nursing student at UCD, Ann Marie, looks grim. She said going into the nursing sector is “now going to be a huge challenge.”
We got speaking about the recent strikes which, according to theJournal.ie, saw about “37,000 INMO members…engaging in strike action over pay and staffing levels.” Anne Marie, along with her fellow nursing students, were appalled over the lack of staff in the workforce. She said she is afraid of the enormous amounts of stress being put on nurses due to the shortages in the workforce. “Nurses don’t become nurses for the fun of it” she said passionately. “They do so to care for the sick. The workload is so high and so stressful, and nurses are so tired they miss a patient deteriorating leading to poorer outcomes for the patient.”
This just shows how the mind of a nurse goes straight to the patient and their wellbeing. These are the people who wouldn’t think twice about helping others.
Regarding the recent deal the nurses have secured, a 2.5% pay increase, Ann Marie conceded that the nurses had got a “good deal.” However, she did not understand how this would lead to “more productivity from an already shattered work force.” The biggest problem, Anne Marie told me, was the current working conditions. Last year saw a record number of people on trolleys waiting on a hospital bed. She said “my heart goes out to people on trolleys, especially the elderly. Very undignified for patients and hugely difficult for nurses to give best quality care and to respect their [patients] dignity and privacy.”
Facing the fear and uncertainty of the current profession, Ann Marie still holds out hope for her future career. “I really hope I can make a difference in people’s care and lives I will give it my best shot that’s for sure.”