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To think the glamorisation of the NHS isn't helpful

(143 Posts)
YeahWhatevver Fri 10-Apr-20 11:45:39

My DH is a nurse and I'm getting really fed up with the glamorization of the NHS and Doctors and Nurses.

He's watching the TV, seeing the clapping, the endless stories of NHS saving the nation, the grit and determination of the staff, doubling down to fight off this virus and said last night how he wishes it was like that and him and his friends felt like that.

The truth couldn't be further, my DH and his colleagues are exhausted, under equipped, scared, and in their hearts of hearts don't want to be in a hospital. Who in their right mind would want to go into a virus infected ITU for hours per day and then come back to you wife and kids?

The public need to know how scared and overwhelmed these people are, not how Stacy, 21 from Newcastle has ended her nurse training early to go and join the fight and is one of the thousands of "heroes" grateful to be able to play their part.

I've already seen a marked change in DH's mood, he dreads going to a job that he used to love, I've got no idea what him and his colleagues will be like in another 8 weeks.

Appuskidu Fri 10-Apr-20 11:49:31

My sister and her husband are both frontline NHS and say the same. They are terrified going to work and actually really hate all the clapping. They are stressed, scared and vulnerable.

Harakeke Fri 10-Apr-20 11:52:54

It must be stressful knowing that you’re now considered a hero - the pressure that puts on you.

I wonder if it’s a lot of noise to distract people from decades of cutbacks. Look - we’ve gutted our health system but see how well our plucky staff all doing!

💐 to your DH, OP.

bettybattenburg Fri 10-Apr-20 11:55:56

It's a rhetoric that suits the government isn't it? They can be happy with the media portraying the NHS staff as heroes but what the media should really be doing is highlighting what a poor state the NHS is in because of years of government cuts.

sufferingsandra Fri 10-Apr-20 11:56:42

At some point during the day, I say a quick prayer or whatever you prefer to call it for the people who are marching into battle everyday against this virus.

I say thank you as well to the millions of us who pay our taxes to keep the NHS afloat as best we can.

I am thankful for everyone who abides by these strict measures, not to keep themselves safe but other more vulnerable people.

It’s a collective effort and I’m grateful to everyone who plays their part

Iwalkinmyclothing Fri 10-Apr-20 11:58:00

I think it's a lot easier to clap and cheer and call people heroes and angels than it is to actually fix things and pay people properly and resource services properly. Fucking sick of the heroes stuff. If you value them as much as they deserve, treat them properly rather than contining to insult them in terms of wages, working conditions and demands and pretend that calling them heroes makes up for that.

Look what happens to whistleblowers. That alone would put me off were I making career choices now.

Storywriter Fri 10-Apr-20 11:58:23

Exactly. I'm reminded of the Rights Not Charity campaign by disabled people a few years ago. If I was an NHS worker I would want adequate funding, not patronising applause. How about we start a new movement this Thursday, bang a pot if you're happy to pay Scandinavian style tax to adequately fund the NHS and other essential services?

user1635896324685367 Fri 10-Apr-20 11:59:16

I'd call it deification but agree it's unhelpful.

user1511042793 Fri 10-Apr-20 12:00:17

A lot of us don’t want the claps we want a decent pay rise not the pay freeze we have had. However it is nice to be appreciated and the rainbows children have coloured in their windows does give me joy on my drive to work. People need good news stories as staying in is very isolating. If it helps people to clap I’m not going to stop them and would say thank you. However please don’t think when we ask for our pay rise we won’t ask for everyone’s support once again to ensure it isn’t jeered out the house like Boris and his government did last time. Sorry hijacked your post a bit. Yes the fall out in future for nhs staff mental health is going to be huge.

Ellmau Fri 10-Apr-20 12:01:48

I think really the main benefit is to make other people feel better/safer in this situation.

DarklyDreamingDexter Fri 10-Apr-20 12:03:52

I don’t think it’s glamorisation. Recent reports from inside hospitals and ICUs show it’s anything but. It’s exhausting, gruelling, stressful work in very testing conditions. I think people are just generally very grateful and want to express it.

TheFutureMrsHardy Fri 10-Apr-20 12:03:53

I used to work in social care, and really had an urge to do something "worthy" with my life once my DC had grown. 2 years in, and I was out at a rapid pace. I've never been so utterly disillusioned or broken in my life. It was exhausting, thankless, and the nursing degree in my sights was a distant memory.

The nurses I came across were burnt out, didn't enjoy their jobs remotely and were quite dispassionate towards their patients.

I knew it wasn't the career path for me, and I take my hat off to anyone working in healthcare in whatever way at the moment. I can't imagine how frontline staff are feeling......... but I'd imagine heroic isn't on the list.

moita Fri 10-Apr-20 12:04:28

I think it gives people a sense of community which many need right now. A neighbour said it cheered her hearing the clapping on her drive to work. So I'm continuing.

I totally see your point though

Mumof1andacat Fri 10-Apr-20 12:05:04

I am frontline nhs. It is not glamorous now or any other time. I have 3 shifts this weekend. I don't work on ITU but week by week more and more wards are turning in to covid positive wards. It terrifies me. Staff only get full ppe if the patient is found to be covid positive and the moved to a ward for patients with covid. If suspected and the patient is waiting on the result we nurse them with plastic apron gloves and a standard surgical mask....lamb's to the slaughter....

itsgettingweird Fri 10-Apr-20 12:06:09

I absolutely get why your DH feels like that.

But could they look at it another way?
We know they are scared, at risk, exhausted, watching far more death than usual and knowing they cannot prevent that in cases at a certain point, putting their families at risk, suffering MH due to the combination of above and in many cases without even the basics such as the right PPE.

Whatever the government wants from the clapping - the general population do genuinely see these people are heroes. They are doing something many of us couldn't. Day in and day out and without a way out of this virus yet. Knowing we may have a dip over summer but they face this again in winter.

I don't think all the visual stuff is ignoring what we know is the actual truth of the situation behind the scenes. Which I'm sure is realistically 100 times worse than we are imagining.

So thanks to your Dh and everyone out there. I really hope their MH survives this and they continue to love the job they once did. thanks

Jonb6 Fri 10-Apr-20 12:06:55

But it isn't just the nurses and doctors, can we also remember the cleaners and other auxiliary staff who keep everything going? The shopworkers for whom pay really is shit are also at risk, the refuse workers, the police, the train drivers, the bus drivers, all of whom are at risk. And yes, totally agree about the nhs funding issues of the last 9 years. Yet another reason to never vote Tory.

DFAMA Fri 10-Apr-20 12:10:35

I keep saying this! Nhs staff are human and have the same needs as the rest of us, this clapping nonsense puts additional pressure on them and implies that they can cope with this and that they are actually choosing to work in the appalling conditions they have. Its a nice little distraction from the reasons they are in the situation they are in isn't it?

BlueBirdGreenFence Fri 10-Apr-20 12:10:38

But they are heroes. Every one of them. It is an active decision for everybody to go to a workplace where they know they are at a much higher risk of harm than they would be at home. If they don't want to put themselves at that risk they could resign, take a career break or be signed off for anxiety etc. The alternatives might look like a worse choice at the moment but it's still a choice.

Grasspigeons Fri 10-Apr-20 12:10:54

I clap because i am grateful to the individual staff who are putting their lives at risk. I feel sick to the stomach at how they have been left with no ppe and limited testing and dealing with years of underfunding which is why they are left puting their lives at risk.

Karenenya Fri 10-Apr-20 12:11:25

I think the clapping helps people to feel a closeness with their neighbours, which is often lacking in today's society. I do agree that medical staff would better appreciate proper funding and far less stress in their jobs with adequate staffing, but the two are not mutually exclusive. We can still show our appreciation whilst acknowledging their extremely difficult working conditions.

PerkingFaintly Fri 10-Apr-20 12:15:53

I think it's a lot easier to clap and cheer and call people heroes and angels than it is to actually fix things and pay people properly and resource services properly.


TedsFederationRep Fri 10-Apr-20 12:17:33

If it helps to know this, I'm absolutely determined that when this is over, I'll be nagging my MP to support proper pay rises for NHS staff and if that means paying a little more income tax, I'm in.

This crisis has been a sharp reminder of exactly what is really important in life - and who is really important to us as a nation.

YeahWhatevver Fri 10-Apr-20 12:24:00

Message from my DH last Thursday "Just provide a decent wage and sufficient PPE. Don't patronise people who are risking their lives with self indulgent clapping. It's cringeworthy and insulting."

Honestly believe that most "recipients" of the clapping feel this way, but hey, if it makes you feel better about yourself carry on.....

Nearlyalmost50 Fri 10-Apr-20 12:24:08

I completely get what you mean, there was a thread on here about a nurse who didn't want to work currently, and actually most people were sympathetic- who would want to risk their own family, their own children, to do this job?

I also agree with everyone saying the 'hero' rhetoric is being used by politicians to cover for their own failings. Boris should never have got corona, it is their failings in tracking and tracing and isolating early on that meant it spread like wildfire around Parliament (even though the most important thing to do in a crisis is ensure stable government). He's now going to be going on about 'brave nurses' and 'exemplary care' when he comes out, when actually the word he should be looking for is 'sorry'. Sorry I didn't react quick enough, sorry I didn't listen, sorry I underfunded and sorry I didn't take my own advice and wasted resources.

We are supposed to feel guilty for even using 111/999 now in our country instead of being happy we have a good health-care system.

Working in it must be so stressful for your poor husband.

Icare1234 Fri 10-Apr-20 12:27:35

I didn’t understand video from hospitals with staff, including cleaners, porters as well as doctors and nurses outside clapping. I thought the clapping was for them I know they work together but there was no social distancing at all. Also if broadcasters wanted it surely no need to send a reporter. Camera crew maybe then a voiceover.

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