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To agree with David Cameron

(127 Posts)
McNewPants2013 Mon 22-Apr-13 20:23:04

http://m.bbc.co.uk/news/health-22209634

I think it is a good way to ensure that the patients get good quality nurses.

A year as a HCP before commencing a degree in nursing sound a brilliant policy.

flangledoodle Mon 22-Apr-13 20:55:07

Why does everyone assume good nurses need not be academic. I am a CCU nurse and that is a highly skilled and very resposible job. You really wouldn't want to be nursed in a critical care area by nurses unable to think critically, understand complex pathophysiology and be able to manage and titrate dangerous drugs.

All this puttingvthe caring back.into the job is of course important but the answer is not to prioritise beibg a caring person over academic capability.

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Mon 22-Apr-13 21:01:04

I don't know if I'm just being dense but whenever I've been in hospital a good chunk of the actual 'caring' sort of nursing has been done be HCPs. If they are replaced with students who will do it for a year, max, then how does that bring standards of caring up?

McNewPants2013 Mon 22-Apr-13 21:06:45

Perhaps it does need more thinking out, but could the care aspect be part of the 4 years training. Where a QN has to sign to say the student has proformed the care component and it be a requirement to pass the first year.

lyndie Mon 22-Apr-13 21:08:04

Stupid idea, knee jerk reaction again. Who will be paying for this? Are these posts in addition to the current HCAs or will they make them redundant?

A massive core of the nurse training course is already hands on care, an extra year will put some people off, they could go and do a degree in a profession allied to medicine in a shorter period of time.

The President of the RCN was on the radio this morning - he said you could have Florence Nightingale on the ward, if he or she is over stretched they cannot provide good care.

It is ALL about staffing ratios, the sooner the powers that be accept that the better, instead of faffing about trying this and that and making cuts try mandatory staffing levels before its too late.

NameThatTuna Mon 22-Apr-13 21:08:20

The answer isn't making students do a year as a HCA. First year students on placement do that anyway.

By the time they reach 3rd year, they are on 'management' placements. That's how it is in our Trust anyway.

What's the point in making a student work as a HCA when once they qualify, they won't have time to do the basic hands on care because if the paperwork etc anyway.

AtYourCervix Mon 22-Apr-13 21:11:21

They do already McNew.

Students do do a lot of hands on care. They are supernumary and have the time.

McNewPants2013 Mon 22-Apr-13 21:18:22

I guess IABU and everyone here has made some very good comments.

AtYourCervix Mon 22-Apr-13 21:21:57

It sounds great.

Patients get better care.

More HCAs working.

Students get a good grounding in patient care, bathing, feeding, talking, caring.

Until you have a think about who and how, where and how much?

MrsKoala Mon 22-Apr-13 21:24:28

I used to recruit nurses from access course/A'levels onto Dip/Deg nursing courses. IME The majority of those on access courses were older people who had worked as carers already. They would not have been able to do A'levels so without access courses would not have gotten into nursing. They are already scrapping the Dip course - i think (i left working in that field 3 years ago) so the access course credits will need to be higher (60 at level 3 rather than 45 as i recall).

The nursing course is 50% community of practice. This should be sufficient to gain caring skills with patients i think. If after 3-4 years of 50% of a full time (and nursing courses are full time - unlike other uni courses - no long summer hols etc) you still do not have the requisite people skills then i think you never will.

In the interview process i oversaw there was a massive focus on the caring side (the academic was judged on results and numeracy and literacy tests). Then the student nurse was continually assessed throughout the course. Then on completion of the course another application/interview process would have to be passed to get a job as a nurse.

Bue Mon 22-Apr-13 21:27:39

It's a ridiculous, knee jerk idea. Not to mention unworkable. It doesn't take a year to learn basic patient skills and how to 'care'. And nursing students do a lot of hands on care anyway, and they work with HCAs some of the time to get this experience - it's a complete myth that they spend all their time in an ivory tower!

I say this as a student midwife, by the way. Maternity care assistants do a really valuable job and I really enjoy working in a team with them and learning from them. But I didn't need to spend a year doing their job in order to care about women and to learn how to care for women.

BadDayAtTheOrifice Mon 22-Apr-13 21:38:14

Typical, stupid, poorly thought out 'solution' for 'uncaring' nurses.

Nurses haven't lost the ability to care, they do not need this. Want they need is adequately staffed wards, and a reduction in the paperwork which serves little purpose except to make the CNST auditors job easier.

sleepyhead Mon 22-Apr-13 21:38:59

I don't know. I've just spent 6 days back in hospital after developing a postnatal infection.

Plenty of HCAs - meals, cleaning etc all ran like clockwork. Midwives were like hen's teeth and I missed several doses of my IV abs because no one was available to hang them. A hundred more "caring" HCAs doesn't solve that.

My experience was that the qualified staff cared hugely, and if they'd had the luxury of time would have loved to have sat helping me to latch ds on (they would say "buzz the next time you feed him" but you'd buzz and there'd be noone free for at least the next half hour), or sit and talk through my worries about being away from ds1 for so long, or whatever - but there were too many patients for too few staff.

My worry is that this is a great way to say - "look at all the new staff we've recruited" while continuing to erode the ward skill mix.

Anyway, I know many nursing students who work as HCAs either part time or as Bank staff to help fund themselves through their nursing course already. There aren't the jobs for everyone to do it though.

sleepyhead Mon 22-Apr-13 21:40:46

Plus, we should value experienced HCAs - a couple of the Maternity Assistants in my hospital had decades of experience. One was an amazing source of good bf advice.

Would you get rid of them to have a continually rotating supply of nursing students?

ivykaty44 Mon 22-Apr-13 21:47:42

Where are allt he HCA jobs going to come from?

if a prospectus nurse doesn't manage to get a ob as a HCA does that mean they can't tdp the course?

If prospectus nurses can't get on the course due to t not being able to get a job as an HCA will this result in a shortage of nurses?

if there is a shortage of nurses who will suffer?

If there is a shortage of nurses will they be employed from abroad?

Will nurses from abroad be made to work as an HCA first?

SimLondon Mon 22-Apr-13 21:51:19

"Samu2 Mon 22-Apr-13 20:48:24
I want to be a HCA but the hospital near me turns me down every single time I want to be a HCA more than anything but I can't get my break"

Have you asked them why you keep getting turned down? or got someone else to check over your application before you submit it?

Sometimes you have to be persistant :-)

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Mon 22-Apr-13 22:03:36

Well a quick search of nhs jobs website shows 39 vacancies for HCAs nationwide. Some of the adverts are for more than one job, so maybe 50-60 posts altogether, 4 of which are for 'trainee' or 'apprentice'. Some are for senior or 'experienced' and some probably wouldn't cut the mustard in terms of Scameron's plans ie day units, eye surgery, sexual health outreach for LGBT. Not enough bathing/feeding/bed making experience. I would guess that maybe 10 of the jobs would give suitable credit for getting onto a nursing course and would be suitable for someone with no experience. Are there more than 10 people nationwide who apply for nursing each year? If there are than that could be a flaw in the plan.

GeorginaWorsley Mon 22-Apr-13 22:08:12

I trained 30 years ago almost,under 'old' system.
Whilst things have changed enormously and nurses now routinely perform tasks that doctors used to,there is something to be said for how we trained back then.
A 'friend' recently commented how she could nurse,it was only a case of reading the manual.
Oh how I laughed.Not.

ivykaty44 Mon 22-Apr-13 22:11:58

so 39 vacancies

did you look to see how many nurse jobs are going?

Samu2 Mon 22-Apr-13 22:21:02

SimLondon.. I haven't asked them, that is a good idea though.

I have had a few people look through my application but to be honest, I had children young and have very little work experience. You only need GCSE's to apply but I have heard that with the way the economy is now more people with a lot of qualifications are going for these jobs. It sucks, I would be great at it, I really know I would be and all I want is an interview to prove how willing and passionate I am about becoming a HCA.

I apply every time the post comes up, get turned down and cry a little grin I asked if I could volunteer even but they aren't taking anyone on voluntary. I am now learning to drive and then I will try to get a job in caring going to peoples homes or volunteer so my CV looks better but they all require you to drive so I have to pass my test first.

girliefriend Mon 22-Apr-13 22:26:39

The government need to legalise staff to patient ratios, that imo would do more for basic patient care than anything else.

Its very hard to give one to one care, wash, feed and ensure patients are comfy and not in a soiled bed when its one nurse to twelve patients sad

pointythings Mon 22-Apr-13 22:33:26

girliefriend agreed, but they would need to look at the specific care situations. A geriatric ward would need higher ratios than a general adult ward. A paediatric ward would also need higher ratios.

I really do think that looking at (and investing in) safe staffing levels should be the first outcome of the review. It strikes me that what is coming out of government at the moment is all about blaming nurses to deflect attention away from the way staffing has been eroded to cut costs.

fruitnfibre Mon 22-Apr-13 22:34:47

Can`t believe what the goverment is trying to do with nursing, makes my blood boil!!!!
If there were actually more trained nurses and less HCA maybe the trained nurses would actually have time to nurse patients and mentor students, properly.
I became a nurse to actually nurse - the stress and frustration of not being able to do my job properly was making me ill, so I`ve given up.
Dread to think what it`ll be like by the time I`m old.

milkysmum Mon 22-Apr-13 22:38:40

I am a community nurse and think this is a really poor idea and would put lots of people off a career in nursing- and as everyone else is pointing out is likley to be highly unworkable in practice as HCA jobs few and far between already. Minimum staffing ratio's are a much much better idea and would improve patient care hugely in my opinion

XBenedict Mon 22-Apr-13 22:42:37

I'm not sure it's a great idea. I also trained under the "old" system over 20 years ago. I have just returned after a career break to have my children and I would love to work on the wards. All my past experience has been ward based right up to the role of ward manager but I can't get a job on the wards as I am not prepared to sign a 24 hours a day 7 day a week contract. Unfortunately I need regular hours so secondary care is no longer an option for me. I can't be the only mum that would prefer this. Is there not a way of making the NHS more flexible and entice some of its experience back? Just my musings while I retrain in primary care.

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Mon 22-Apr-13 22:43:54

ivykaty 1766 job adverts with 'nurse' in the title

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