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Student nurses to receive ‘political lobbying lessons’

The session is designed to equip students with practical skills and knowledge they can use to develop a good relationship with their local MP.

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Nursing students will learn how they can work with MPs to promote the nursing profession in a new training session organised by the RCN.

Members of the RCN’s student committee and student information officers – the RCN’s representatives in universities – will learn their way around the UK parliament and the government from the UK Parliament Outreach and Engagement Service.

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The session is designed to equip students with practical skills and knowledge they can use to develop a good relationship with their local MP.

The RCN’s public affairs team will talk through the college’s approach to engaging with parliamentarians, especially the crucial role members can play. The team will explain different tactics and approaches students can take as well as what they can ask MPs to do to show their support for nursing staff in their constituencies.

Janet Davies, chief executive and general secretary of the RCN, said: “To work effectively, any union must be able to engage MPs and ministers.

“We know our members make the most powerful advocates for the profession. When frontline nursing staff sit in front of parliamentarians, you can see they listen.

“It’s through the hard work of members that vital issues such as safe staffing, harassment and health policy reach the top of the agenda.

“When nursing faces challenges on every front, the RCN wants to make sure our advocates are fully-equipped.”

Charlotte Hall, chair of the students’ committee, said: “Student nurses represent the future of the profession. Learning to engage with MPs is vital if we are to effectively shape that future and ensure the best possible care for patients.

“With these skills, committee members and student reps will be able to help other nurses make their voices heard on behalf of the profession and patients.”

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Education

Nurse apprenticeships to introduced at nine more universities

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Nursing apprenticeships are to be introduced at nine more universities in England by September 2018.

Nine universities are to be given part of a £4.9 million grant by the Higher Education Funding Council for England to devise their training programmes for nursing apprenticeships over the next year.

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This is the second wave of investment from HEFCE’s Degree Apprenticeship Development Fund, designed to produce 4,500 apprentices from the following higher education establishments.

  • Coventry University.
  • Keele University.
  • Leeds Trinity University.
  • University of Cumbria.
  • University of Suffolk.
  • Southampton Solent University.
  • Birmingham City University.
  • Sheffield Hallam University.
  • Middlesex University.

Madeleine Atkins, HEFCE Chief Executive, congratulated the universities provided with funding;

“They will now work with employers to develop new degree apprenticeship provision across a variety of sectors. This will help more people to access higher education, and to follow their chosen career, while closing the skills gaps in the economy”.

Last year, in its first wave of apprenticeship funding, HEFCE gave money to four universities so they could offer nurse apprenticeships from September 2017.

Alongside this plan, Health Education England revealed last month it intends to train up to 45,000 new nursing associates by 2027.

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Education

RCN introduces new infection prevention course

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The RCN has announced an innovative new course which will provide nurses working in infection prevention and control (IPC) with the skills to lead the fight against antimicrobial resistance.

The RCN Professional Development Course for Infection Prevention and Control is an introductory module designed for nurses working in the NHS, independent and social care sectors.

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The course will prepare nurses working in or have an interest in IPC for the current and future challenges to their work resulting from antimicrobial resistance. It will be piloted in Spring 2018.

Resistance to antibiotics in health and care settings is increasing globally as well as in the UK. Public Health England’s campaign, “Keep Antibiotics Working”, recently highlighted the key role nurses can play in the fight against antimicrobial resistance. Infection prevention and control and the work of IPC nurses is pivotal in reducing the need for antibiotics and combatting this threat in all care settings.

On the programme, participants will develop clinical and leadership skills in the prevention of infection, learn how to lead a service improvement project in their workplace and the most effective ways to manage and sustain change.

Rose Gallagher, RCN Professional Lead for Infection Prevention and Control, said:

“The UK is leading the fight against antimicrobial resistance and the prevention of infection. Antibiotic resistance is a very real risk whereby simple infections are prolonged or become untreatable.

“Nurses have paved the way as clinical leaders in the prevention and management of infection and this course is responding to their current and future training needs. It will focus on practical work-based learning and develop specialist nurses that can adapt to changes in clinical practice and service provision in line with changes to health systems.

“It’s important we focus on the prevention of infection everywhere, not just in hospitals. The role of IPC nurses is constantly evolving and this course will help direct improvements to combat the rising threat of antimicrobial resistance in all settings.”

Further details about the course will be published in the New Year and expressions of interest can be registered on the RCN website.

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Publisher apologises after nursing textbook contains racist stereotypes

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The nursing textbook has been heavily criticised by healthcare professionals for containing racist stereotyping.

The textbook provides a section on advice for nurses when administering pain relief to people from different ethnic backgrounds but the contents have been criticised for applying racial stereotyping.

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It begins: “A client’s culture influences their response to, and beliefs about pain. Some cultural common differences related to pain are listed here.

The book, Nursing: A Concept-Based Approach to Learning, contains advice for healthcare professionals when dealing with different ethnic communities. Here are some direct quotes of the content;

Arabs/Muslims

  • May not request pain medicine but instead thank Allah for pain if it is the result of the healing medical process.
  • Pain is considered a test of faith. Muslim clients must endure pain as a sign of faith in return for forgiveness and mercy. However, Muslims must seek pain relief when necessary because needless pain and suffering are frowned upon.
  • Arabs and Muslims prefer to be with family when in pain and may express pain more freely around family.

Asians

  • Chinese clients may not ask for medication because they do not want to take the nurse away from a more important task.
  • Clients from Asian cultures often value stoicism as a response to pain. A client who complains openly about pain is thought to have poor social skills.
  • Filipino clients may not take pain medication because they view pain as being the will of God.
  • Indians who follow Hindu practices believe that pain must be endured in preparation for a better life in the next cycle.

Blacks

  • Blacks often report higher pain intensity than other cultures.
  • They believe suffering and pain are inevitable.
  • They believe in prayer and laying on of hands to heal pain and believe that relief is proportional to faith.

Jews

  • Jews may be vocal and demand assistance.
  • They believe pain must be shared and validated by others.

Hispanics

  • Hispanics may believe that pain is a form of punishment and that suffering must be endured if they are to enter heaven.
  • They vary in their expression of pain. Some are stoic and some are expressive.
  • Catholic Hispanic may turn to religious practices to help them endure the pain.

Native Americans

  • Native Americans may prefer to receive medications that have been blessed by a tribal shaman.
  • They tend to be expressive both verbally and nonverbally.
  • They usually tolerate a high level of pain without requesting pain medication.
  • They may pick a sacred number when asked to rate pain on a numerical pain scale.

The publisher states the content has now been removed from the nursing textbook. In a statement the publisher said;

“While differences in cultural attitudes towards pain are an important topic in medical programs, we presented this information in an inappropriate manner.

“We apologise for the offense this has caused and we have removed the material in question from current versions of the book, electronic versions of the book and future editions of this.

“In addition, we now are actively reviewing all of our nursing curriculum products to identify and remove any remaining instances of this inappropriate content that might appear in other titles.”

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