When I graduated from high school, I knew I wanted to be a nurse. In 1985 I became one. If I was to go to school today, the path wouldn’t have been as clear. I think that the profession in a way has lost its charm. Today I work as an assistant manager in a geriatric ward at Danderyd Hospital. Without being bitter, which you might think after what I have just said, I cannot deny that much has changed in a negative way. When I was a recent graduate and many years after that, the main focus was on providing patient-centered care. This meant that we were fully committed to the patients by spending a lot of time with them, doing what we were there for – caring for those who needed care. I believe that much of our time is spent by doing things that have got nothing to do with the fundamentals. We are being bombarded with surveys and assessments in regulations of politicians, in the belief that some occupations are carried out to a greater extent if the requirements for completed questionnaires exist. In addition, the hospitals must pay a fine if questionnaires are not completed correctly.
What happens now is that instead of dividing the time evenly over the patients, we also have to compete with all the administration that politicians ask of us. If the assessments are not completed, what happens to them? Primary care does not read questionnaires. The gap between decision makers and healthcare professionals is far too wide. The idea, where the seed was sown to increase the quality of care, was good but the road to where the seed should become a flower is too long. In the long run, this also means that personnel resigns, due to a lack of a an unstable work environment. Who wants to come to work in the morning, not knowing if they will be able to go to the toilet in the next couple of hours? The biggest challenge for me and my colleagues is to retain personnel and give them a proper working environment. At the moment we have a well-staffed department and I hope to be able to get back a bit of the “older nurse role” where the focus of our work would benefit the patient and not so much computers or politicians.