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If GPs gave practice nurses better training and support, they could transform primary care


Scream! In my 15 year experience working for 8 GP practices, but the last 2 has spanned 13 years, it has been my greatest frustration that my GP employers have not known what I am capable of doing or indeed, what my training has been, apart from the mandatory as it has been brought in. My appraisals have only been done to tick the QOF box and never been followed up. I also find much of my work load does not even require a trained nurse and anyone could train to do ECGs, smoking cessation, or phlebotomy. In my observation it has been GP employers and practice managers that need encouragement and training to know, in many circumstances, who they are employing, and that nurses often do not become practice nurses to become mindless pair of hands. On the hand, I do love my job. My higher management friend states I should have been a practice manager, but it should not be a them and us battle. I had to leave my last job due to subtle bullying from the manager and she started to exclude me and put herself between myself and the GPs in my attempts to communicate. The GPs condoned this behaviour. However, in pay and holidays I have never had a problem (except the GP who was still getting away with giving his secretary of 14 years 2 wks annual leave!). I do think a different mentality of person generally chooses nursing over becoming a doctor and it is not always academic. I think this is why we have high intelligence in many nurses, but nurses tend to not speak out or are oppressed more easily. It is the oppression that is often the problem, not the enthusiasm and the oppression needs to be removed as it appears to be still ingrained in the hierarchy of general practice. It isn't the nurses that do not want to train but the employers who will not release the nurses. I did most of my extra training in my own time and at my own expense.

Posted date

27 Jan 2014

Posted time