"Patients and nurses need to stand together"

(as a staff member),

I was at the point of crying when I recently watched "Dispatches-Confessions of a Nurse". I am a student nurse and whilst on my placements I have seen hundreds of amazing nurses who really have a passion for their job and good patient care. However more and more nurses are getting disheartened with the state of the NHS, its low staffing levels and greater focus on paperwork than patients.

Nurses are underpaid and overworked. The nurses I have seen will regularly stay 30 minutes to an hour longer at work, unpaid, to help catch up with work. The caring professions are the only professions that are not covered by the law demanding a 30 minute break for every 4 hours worked by any employee. Therefore I have known 10 hour shifts with a 15 minute break (where nurses are even able to get that). Often, due to being overworked, a nurse may just take enough time to rush a sandwich. Even then, call bells will be going off, and the nurse is looked at as if she is in the wrong for taking 5 minutes to eat a sandwich on a long shift, and not answering the bell. Surely the employer is in the wrong for not providing adequate staff to cover that staff member when they are on a break.

Nurses go into their career because they have a determination to fight for their patients, to give them good care. They are constantly trying to raise issues of bad staffing, bad care, bad priorites etc to improve the situation for their patients. They need their patients' support, so that nurses' and patients' can work together to improve the situation in the NHS for both.

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