The Goverment's proposal to get trainee nurses to first work as healthcare assistants, in a bid to improve patient care was renounced by the Royal College of Nursing union president as a “stupid” idea.
The concept is the Goverment's direct response to the 290 recommendations made by a Staffordshire Hospital public enquiry and seems to have caused quite a stir. But why? Is it too much to expect that our nurses should learn the valuable key skills of caring? After all, we expect those entering the profession of social care to do so.
We cannot and do not rely on those entering the social care profession to have had prior experience of caring for someone. Nor do we accept someone’s personal experience of looking after someone as sufficient evidence that they have the necessary caring skills. So why would we accept this from those entering the nursing profession?
We happily accept we need to teach essential "caring" skills to those entering the social care profession, ensuring those we serve receive safe and sound quality of service. So it surely makes sense that we would expect the same from our nursing care.