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Shitty Nursing: The New Normal?
Malmö University, Faculty of Health and Society (HS), Department of Care Science (VV).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7934-6949
2019 (English)In: International Journal of Nursing Studies, ISSN 0020-7489, E-ISSN 1873-491X, Vol. 91, no 1, p. 148-152Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this article we ask our profession to consider whether something is rotten at the core of modern nursing. We will use our own experiences as patients, together with published literature, to ask questions of our profession in perpetrating what one of our colleagues recently, and with great embarrassment, referred to as ‘shitty nursing’. Our intention is most certainly not to offend any readers, for this term has been used in literature for more than one hundred years to describe bad situations, including those where events or people’s behaviour are of a low standard. Our intention instead, is to challenge ourselves, the profession and you the reader by raising a measured debate which seems at present to be missing within the profession. We examine the potential idea that poor nursing care may not be the exception, but horrifyingly, may be the new normal. We are particularly concerned that patients’ fundamental care needs may be falling into an ever widening gap between assistant and registered nurses. Whilst we acknowledge the potential causes of poor nursing care, causes that are often cited by nurses themselves, we come to the conclusion that a mature profession including clinicians, educators, administrators, researchers and regulators cannot continually blame contextual factors for its failings. A mature profession with an intact contract between itself and society must shoulder some of the responsibility for its own problems. We do suggest a way forward, including a mix of reconciliation, refocus and research, underpinned by what we argue is a much needed dose of professional humility. Readers may take us to task for potentially overstating the problem, ignoring non-nursing drivers, and downplaying other significant factors. You may think that there is much in nursing to glory in. However, we make no apology for presenting our views. Our lived experiences tell us something different. As professional nurses our main aim is to ensure that our adverse experiences as patients are statistical anomalies, and our future encounters with nursing care represent all that we know to be excellent in our profession. We leave you to judge and comment.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2019. Vol. 91, no 1, p. 148-152
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-4149DOI: 10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2018.12.018ISI: 000466616700020PubMedID: 30831477Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85060223785Local ID: 27502OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mau-4149DiVA, id: diva2:1400979
Available from: 2020-02-28 Created: 2020-02-28 Last updated: 2024-02-05Bibliographically approved

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Borglin, Gunilla

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