Talk Health and Care

Professional respect and recognition amongst all Registered Nurses

Do Registered Nurses working in social care settings really feel valued? My experience of working in both the NHS and ASC have highlighted an often unnoticed lack of understanding about who social care nurses really are.

I'm often asked if a ward needs to refer to district nurses for xxxx and have to explain that as a NURSING home we have registered nurses who provide all such care. Eyebrows raise when we don't bat an eyelid at supporting complex health needs and concerned comments of "are you sure you can manage this?" are often shared. Our assurances often fall on deaf ears. Assumptions appear to be made about the quality and skills of our nurses, with an archaic opinion that social care is somewhere to retire to or that our nurses simply lack the ability to hack it in the NHS. 

But this is simply not true. There is a vast resource of experience and skill amongst our nurses, however time is running out to ensure that this area of the workforce is sustainable for the increased demands of the future. 

So while our employers can support us feel included and valued the professional group we belong to often does not. 

Just what do we have to do to rid ourselves of the stigma many of our colleagues still hold and promote our area of nursing as an amazing opportunity for any nurse to advance their career in? 

What would you like to happen to make you feel more included and valued at work?

Caroline Dinenage 8 months ago

Dear Sarah,

Thank you for your thoughts. Let me start by saying how much I personally value the contribution that nurses (and indeed all staff) make in social care.

I think you have identified a really important point - we need to support and respect each other. Under times of stress this can be challenging, but understanding each other is the first step in feeling valued and extends to all our professions in social care.

We should have mutual respect for the hard work and skills that everyone brings to our vulnerable people. I hope that integrating health with social care will help foster better relations between colleagues, but it will need a culture change that is supported by every member of the team. I’d be interested to hear any ideas you may have to help improve other people’s perception of nursing in social care?


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Sarah O'Connor 7 months ago

Dear Caroline,

Thank you for your comments. It is really reassuring to know that the contribution that all social care staff make is being recognised. Your point about when we are under stressful times is very valid. I fear that without promoting the image and opportunities for nurses in social care we will lack the skill set needed to maintain our services with increasing demands in the future. Services that support the NHS.

I would like to see more social care nurses being put into the spotlight to showcase their skills and what a difference they make, not just to the people we care for, but for the contribution that they make to supporting the National Health Service.

I am working with a group of local care homes on a number of projects. One being to promote our professional image within our local professional community. I hope to speak with our local hospital board of directors and GP services about systems we can implement, not only to highlight our skills but help to expedite discharges from acute care and avoid admissions where possible.

You are absolutely right that there is a culture change needed. After all we are all here for the same goal. To care and safeguard our vulnerable people when they need us most.

Kind Regards

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Caroline Dinenage 5 months ago

Dear Sarah,

It’s great to hear how active you’ve been in community-based projects to address some of the issues you’ve raised here on the platform, and I want to personally thank you for your work in tackling these issues. Please do keep us up to date on your progress as I’m sure others will be keen to hear about and learn from examples of best practice. It would be great to see your work generating discussion on the platform and inspiring others.
Thank you again for taking the time to share your thoughts and ideas.


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