Vernon Coleman on Nurses

Vernon Coleman

The following quotes are taken from Coleman's Laws by Vernon Coleman

`Nurses have now been given legal authority to prescribe. This is lunacy and means that patients will, in future, have to take very special care to protect themselves from incompetent, prescription-happy nurses as well as incompetent, prescription-happy doctors. Nurses should dress wounds, soothe brows, make beds and provide bedpans. If they want to prescribe they should become doctors.' (page 31)

`Many senior nurses now spend their days closeted in their offices, staring at computer screens and filling in assessment forms. Many seem to regard themselves as above what they see as the menial tasks of nursing. They leave the hands-on work to untrained staff. The introduction of degrees for nurses has made things even worse by turning a fundamentally practical profession into one with entirely spurious academic ambitions. The modern career structure for nurses has taken the best nurses away from patients; it was driven by a patronising and entirely inaccurate concept (that nursing is demeaning).' (page 92)

`Time and time again patients report that nurses won't lift them up the bed (it has been reported that some hospitals have posters with the slogan `Nurses are not weight lifters' on their walls), won't help feed them, won't bring bedpans, won't change beds, won't do anything for patients in pain or distress and won't respond when the call button is pressed. They will not, in short, do any of the things that nurses are traditionally supposed to do. They are not interested in soothing or healing or helping because they have become career administrators with aspirations and ambitions. In many hospitals it is the patients who can get out of bed who end up doing all the nursing work.' (page 92)

`The nurses who run our hospitals are the ones who are least interested in the art of caring, least passionate about nursing as an art and most anxious to climb up the career ladder by exhibiting their prowess at managing meetings, mastering the double-speak that has invaded hospitals and `giving good mouth'.' (page 95)

`The Government would save more lives if it took down speed cameras and, instead, put up cameras in hospitals to check that nurses, cleaners and doctors washed their hands properly.' (page 97)

`Doctors and nurses know little or nothing about staying healthy. In particular, doctors and nurses know nothing useful about food, diet and healthy eating. (Sadly, the same is true of nutritionists and dieticians.) (Coleman's 9th Law Of Medicine)

Taken from Coleman's Laws by Vernon Coleman. Coleman's Laws is available from the bookshop on this website.

Copyright Vernon Coleman 2007