Five Out Of Six Nurses Aren't Fit To Be Nurses - And Why I Think The Royal College of Nursing Is A Disgrace

Vernon Coleman

An astonishing (and horrifying) survey conducted among 848 readers of the journals Nursing Standard and Nursing Older People shows that fewer than one in six nurses say that nothing would prevent them from reporting abuse of older people in their care.

In other words five out of six nurses would, at least sometimes, fail to report abuse of the elderly people they were being paid to look after.

Would these same nurses ignore the abuse of children so easily?

I suspect not.

This is utterlly appalling and an indictment of the modern nursing profession.

The same survey shows that six out of ten nurses would turn a blind eye to the abuse of the elderly. They would say nothing if they knew that an elderly patient or care home resident was being beaten, bullied or robbed.

Why are nurses failing their patients?

One reason is cowardice.

Unbelievably, it seems that nurses are frightened to report abuse in case they themselves are abused by the person doing the abuse.

Oh, please.

Another reason is, apparently, `fear of misinterpreting the situation'.

What sort of political correct garbage is that?

A report from MPs and peers recently showed that patients and residents now often suffer malnutrition and dehydration, abuse and rough treatment, lack of privacy, neglect, poor hygiene and bullying.

Elderly people are left for hours in soiled clothes.

How can anyone `misinterpret' any of that?

And why?

I'll tell you why.

It's because nurses are too busy reading the paper or stuffing themselves with cakes and chocolates.

Nurses who say nothing when they see abuse are as guilty as the abusers.

What a mess the nursing profession is in.

A once great profession is, today, in a worse state than it was in the days of Dickens.

If the nursing profession doesn't root out the five out of six nurses who are a disgrace then we will soon reach the point where we will have to get rid of them all and start again.

What is the Royal College of Nursing doing to protect patients from lazy, cowardly and good-for-nothing nurses?

In my opinion, as a doctor, it isn't doing enough.

If it was doing enough then surely five out of six nurses wouldn't admit that they were prepared to ignore the abuse of their patients.

Is it so very old-fashioned of me to believe that every nurse should always report every incident of abuse? Always. Without exception.

Copyright Vernon Coleman 30th August 2007 Read How To Stop Your Doctor Killing You and Coleman's Laws, by Vernon Coleman. Both books are available from all good bookshops and from the shop on this website.

Copyright Vernon Coleman 2007