This week has been a bit of a whirlwind for me. I would have never expected to be asked on to The Victoria Derbyshire programme which is aired live on BBC Two! The reason that they were interested in interviewing me this week, is that the BBC released figures as part of an in depth look into the nursing profession. These figures showed that a huge number of nurses are leaving the NHS and this is exactly what I am considering doing too!
“We can reveal:
- More than 10% of the nursing workforce have left NHS employment in each of the past three years
- The number of leavers would be enough to staff more than 20 average-sized hospital trusts
- More than half of those who walked away in the last year were under the age of 40
- Leavers outnumbered joiners by 3,000 last year, the biggest gap over the five-year period examined by the BBC
- Brexit may have had an impact. Since the referendum the NHS has gone from EU joiners outnumbering leavers to the reverse – more leavers than joiners
- Nurses are being pulled off research work, special projects and admin roles to plug the gaps”
Sourced from the BBC article by Nick Triggle , NHS ‘haemorrhaging’ nurses as 33,000 leave each year, dated 17 January 2018.
There are various reasons why I am considering leaving the NHS, mainly I have become disillusioned about working in the profession, that I have worked in for the last twenty years. The NHS has changed so much since I started my nurse training back in 1994. I feel that there has been a shift in the public’s attitudes towards nurses. We no longer seem to command the respect that we once had. On numerous occasions over the past few years I have been spoken to in an abusive or demanding way by patients.
The other main reason I have decided to make the change in the long term, is that I feel down that to staffing levels and time contriants I can no longer provide the level of care that I would like to. I often come home at the end of the day feeling dissatisfied and wonder if I can carry on?
I have been thinking about my future for a long time now. As I have mentioned in previous posts I decided to retrain with a company called Digital Mums to become a social media manager back in November 2016 and completed my training in May 2017. This is something that I did not take lightly, as I had to invest a lot of time and money in to this career change.
My day started early as I needed to be a BBC Broadcasting House by 8am. I really wasn’t sure what to expect as I have never set foot in a television studio before!
I was taken in to the make up department and made to look a bit more presentable! I was chatting away to the make up artist when Victoria Derbyshire casually walked in. She took me a bit by surprise! I knew that she was going to come and talk to me before we went on air, but I wasn’t expecting it right then.
Victoria took me into the green room and we had a chat about why I wanted to leave nursing in the NHS and what my future plans were? I gave her an example of a situation that I went on to mention in the live interview. It was about a patient who had come to see me for a simple injection, I knew that this patient had terminal cancer. I was sad that I was not able to give that patient more of my time. I literally administered the injection and the patient left my room.
Victoria seemed to be genuinely interested in my story, she said that it was bringing tears to her eyes! I said that I knew that she had undergone treatment for breast cancer and she agreed how important the nurses had been to her when she had her treatment. She was diagnosed with breast cancer back in July 2015 and she went on to have a mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. She make a full recovery thankfully, but I could tell that this experience had been completely life changing for her.
Then it was time to go into the studio, I got my microphone attached and had to sit and wait while the first part of the programme was filmed. I was so nervous and was wondering how I was going to hold myself together! I was fascinated by the workings of a television studio. I had no idea about the number of people that were involved in putting together a live show.
The interview lasted no more than eight minutes, but to me sitting there it seemed like much longer! I was interviewed along side a fellow male nurse who is employed in nurse education. I think that he was brought in to provide another viewpoint in that he had no plans to leave the profession and actually said that he thought that nursing students were well prepared when they qualify. I’m afraid, I would not entirely agree with his statement, because if this was the case I do not think so many nurses would be leaving after such a short time after qualifying.
Overall, I felt the interview went well and I am glad I did it. Obviously it was a very big thing for me to speak on live television, however I believe that as nurses we need to speak out otherwise nothing will ever change for our profession.
If you would like to watch my interview, then you can view it via this link on the BBC iplayer
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