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I'm a Junior Doctor and the NHS Makes me Happy!

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by NursingNotes.
I'm a Junior Doctor and the NHS Makes me Happy!

Other than being a serial Facebook and twitter spammer with a former unhealthy dependence on emoticons, I am a Medical Registrar - Gastro is my thing. I am a ST8 (that's right... 8!!) - so I am pretty much as senior as it gets as a "junior" Doctor.

It was my second career choice, I admit. Till this day, my career of choice would be to be a Ghostbuster... However, after my dear sister, Ipshita Roy (Chotdi) told me that was not possible and I was, undoubtedly, an idiot, I swiftly reassessed my options. I concluded then that I would be a doctor like my dad.

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I was six at the time. I have held on to that dream with ease ever since. I can tell you now, one thing that never once featured in my choice was the want of money - when I was six, I barely knew what a chocolate coin was, forget real money!

I have just worked a 12 hour shift on a Saturday and I will do another one tomorrow - on a Sunday. I am totally spent, but, not at all unhappy about it. The satisfaction I get from working as I hard as I do will be easy to relate to by anyone who has ever worked hard - who is surely all of us.

During my shift today, I was reminded of something that made me smile and then compelled me to write this nonsense despite being happily exhausted...

I LOVE MY JOB

I love what I do, I love why I do it, I love who I work with and I love working in the NHS - the single best team I have ever had the honour of being part of.

There was simply nothing special about today - it was like every other 12 hour shift that I have worked on for the last 10 (nearly 11) years, and that's the beauty of it. What happened today was not a show - it was entirely earnest and run-of-the-mill whilst being inadvertently phenomenal.

If you can bare to read the rest of this drivel, I will tell you just a few things that happened today to explain why...

THE HANDOVER

Ok, so this will be a weak start for any doctor reading this because the morning handover is as common-as-muck in a hospital. They happen around the country in every hospital, every single morning, every single evening, in every specialty, every single day of the week - of which there are 7...

So, what struck me? I was sat in a room with two other registrars (we are basically the boss's deputy - the general secretary to the President as it were - we make sure the show goes on), the Consultant herself (Yes, Consultants do work weekends - every weekend) and about 12 other junior doctors. A second consultant had already started a ward round on another ward - I eventually gave her a lift back to the station at 21:00...

(Yes, Consultants DO WORK WEEKENDS...)

There was a doctor allocated to each department / ward of the hospital... Their job is to ensure that all sick inpatients are reviewed, their bloods are checked, their salts and sugars are kept stable, their scans (including CT heads, MRI spines, CT abdomens, etc) were done TODAY...

May I remind you, this was happening on a Saturday - it happens everyday... It will happen tomorrow too...

Did anyone look reluctant? Of course not. They were all there to their job - the job that they had worked hard for since the age of at least twelve. I'm not saying there was the sound of clinking halos resonating through the room. As with any work place, there was the comedy cocktail of "morning people" (who are these people?!) and the resolute "non-morning people" (these are my people). There was the spectrum of grumpy to excess jolly, which simply is not welcome at that time of the morning...

But, no, not one person was reluctant. All ready to do their duty. All correctly unaware of what an awesome service they were part of.

I was impressed by the system and impressed by every one of my colleagues who were there to make the system work and to keep their patients safe with a total disregard for the calendar...

THE DIABETES NURSE

I saw a young fella yesterday evening - around 19:00 - So out-of-hours. Basically he got sick while out with friends and he was found to have diabetes. His sugars were through the roof.

He came to us. I saw him. Checked he was safe. Gave him his first shot of insulin. And then sent him home.

Many doctors & nurses will now be shouting - "WHAT?!! YOU SENT HIM HOME?!!"

The first diagnosis of diabetes can sometimes be a dangerous time - so sending them home is not always a good idea.

But, the only reason I could do that safely was that I was able to bring him back today.

And I did. I brought him back to an ambulatory care clinic which happens every day of the week, again, of which there are 7...

He came to us at 10:00. I saw him in the clinic and called the diabetes nurse.

Diabetes nurse on a saturday?! Wasn't she in a spa?

No she wasn't. She was at work.

I bleeped her and she was the most delightful lady on the other side of the phone. She actually thanked me for bleeping her and using the diabetes services - "It's what we are here for". And yes it was.

This lad was young. A sporty type. Being told he has diabetes and that he will need to inject himself every day for the rest of his life...

That's some heavy news! He was doing a good impression of a brave face, but we knew he was terrified. I would be.

So the nurse, realising that he was just about keeping it together, said to him - "i just need to step outside to make a very quick phone call". She returned with the biggest of smiles and the most comforting of manners and took him through it all again until he got his head round it. He then did his first injection by himself and felt pretty chuffed...

What she didn't tell him was that she went outside to call her own daughter to tell her that she would stay on at work beyond her shift, would not be able to drive her daughter to her netball match and watch her daughter captain the team. She wanted to make sure this new patient of her's was ok. Her daughter, of course, understood. More than that, I bet she was proud of her mum too...

Of course, rightly, the rugby-lad knew nothing of her sacrifice and never will - and why should he? We are not doing any favours, we are just doing our job.

But, I knew. And I was grateful and I was most definitely impressed.

This young lad got told he had diabetes, saw a senior doctor and a highly trained experienced specialist nurse and became independent with injected his own insulin - all within 15 hours on a Saturday...

There is only one thing that would be different if it was a weekday - it would be a weekday... THAT IS IT!! He would have got exactly the same world-class treatment and training any day of the week...

That is simply awesome!

THE 1930's JAZZ

A bit later I got called to review a lady with abdominal pain. While I was sat at the desk going through the notes, there was a poor elderly lady extremely agitated. She had dementia - a cruel disease. She was terrified simply from being in an unfamiliar environment. She was thrashing about trying desperately to find simply anything that was familiar to combat her fear.

I then watched as the healthcare assistant (HCA) went to see if she was ok. Through no fault of her own, the patient was very rude to this young HCA. The HCA, however, was simply wonderful.

She just pulled the curtains around partially so that the ward would not seem so threatening. She spoke with the gentlest of voices. She made sure that the patient could still look out the window. But, the terrified lady was still seeking rescue.

One of the cruel features of dementia is regression and familiarity is key to feeling safe - that's why patients are sometimes calmer when with their families.

The young HCA recognised this and then did something, which I thought was just lovely...

She went away and came back with a CD... She then put started to play jazz from the 1930's... Almost immediately a memory seemed to spark in the terrified elderly lady... She stopped shouting and thrashing about and instead simply smiled quietly... Finally the exhaustion of her terror was allowed to catch up with her and the lady finally slept... Perhaps for the first time in days... The HCA then just watched her for a few moments to make sure she stayed settled... She then sorted out her bedding and made sure she was warm and decent...

It was a simple thing, but could anything be more important to that patient than to have some peace? I think not.

And the beauty of it was that this was not a moment of innovation from a maverick. This was a rehearsed plan on the dementia ward. This was a routine thing for the staff. They do this all the time. I later learnt from my excellent colleague, Fiona Windsor (who incidentally is one of the most inclusive and best leaders I have ever seen), that the elderly care wards have a "Reminiscence Cupboard" - full of various artefacts collected simply to provide familiarity in situations just like this one...

The thought that the NHS invests in keeping their patients safe is just beautiful... It is not just about blood tests and X-rays - It is about the patient and what they need...

Imagine if we were allowed to do more?

Wonderful...

THE MAN WHO HAD A STROKE AND ATE A SANDWICH 9 HOURS LATER

I got called to review patient on the stroke ward. While I was on the ward a nurse asked me a quick question about another patient...

He had a stroke at 3:00 am this morning... His wife called the ambulance - they were there in 8 minutes and he was in the hospital within 20 minutes of the stroke... He then had a CT scan of his brain before it was 4:00 am...

The CT head was reported by an on-call Radiology Consultant... Yes, consultant... and the patient was seen by a Specialist Stroke Consultant (oh look, yet another consultant!) & a specialist stroke nurse... All by 4:20 am...

When they saw him, the patient could not speak and the right side of his body did not work. He too was terrified because although he could not speak, he could understand every single thing that was happening...

The consultant then reviewed the scan and decided to thrombolyse him (give medicine to break the blood clot which was causing the stroke)...

Ten minutes later, at 4:30 am, the gentleman was able to speak... He was able to say, "thank you" to the consultant and shake his hand - with his RIGHT hand...

When I popped in just to see how he was doing, he was eating a cheese sandwich, I tried to chat to him, but he said, "I'm very sorry, I really must have a wee..."

He then WALKED to the loo...

Stroke? What day of the week? Doesn't matter - we're there anyway...

THE ONE QUESTION THAT WAS NOT ASKED BY ANYONE IN THE NHS TODAY

"What can you afford?"

Point made.

THE NHS WILL BE FINE... IT WILL BE...

What I remembered today is that the NHS is incredible and not finite.

At the moment it feels like we are losing the fight to save the NHS and that we are getting slaughtered in the media... And yes we are. The media misrepresentations have been simply disgusting.

And yes, we may well lose a series of battles, but we will not lose the war...

I will tell you why...

Our opposition are armed only with weak motivations.

We are fighting against those motivated by greed of power and political gain - there is no sincerity in that...

We are driven by a pride in what we love. We want to preserve and improve on a belief we hold so fiercely.

The nurses, HCAs, physiotherapists, dietitians, OTs, pharmacists, paramedics, domestics, porters, cleaners, PA's, support staff, all allied health professionals and doctors are not driven by greed or political gain...

We are driven simply by a love of our duty and a sincere want to do our job to the best of our ability...

Greed & dishonesty cannot compete with that...

At the moment it feels like it is only the junior doctors and student nurses who are fighting to save the NHS...

But, that is not because we are the only ones who love and value the NHS.

It is because, through clever and strategic media spin, we are the only ones who have had the chance to know the truth yet...

However, the greedy, by definition, will always make the same mistake - they will want too much...

At some stage, the powerful few will take it too far and will visibly damage the NHS.

At that stage, it may seem like we have lost the NHS and that we have lost.

However, what in fact will happen is that the greedy will damage the NHS so much that the patients and relatives that we are fighting to protect will sadly start to be affected directly.

Then we will all know as one that our beloved NHS is in danger.

The country WILL get together and say as one, "Get your mits off our NHS!!!".

This country will not allow it and we will never stop fighting at any stage to prevent it from ever getting to that.

The NHS is too loved and appreciated by each one of us to let it just fade...

I am proud to be close friends with heroes like Ben White & Shabnam Parkar who I had long respected before all this... Of course, my big sis Sushmita Roy who has stepped well out of her comfort zone to fight for a cause she loves...

This battle has given me the opportunity to be in awe of new talented heroes like Hannah Brotherstone who got me into this whole thing, Amar Mashru - video maker extraordinaire and Reena Aggarwal - who has made it beautifully clear that we are not fools and Johann Malawana is no puppeteer - the BMA has NOT mislead us, it represents us clearly - very different!

We have in our ranks Roshana Mehdian, Anna Warrington, Sundeep Grewal, Salwa Malik, Yezen Sheena and Taha Nasser who are no mugs in the media.

We have fresh faces like, Lolly Sarah, Ed Preston, Nadia Masood and Kishan Patel. We have people like Palak Trivedi who simply cannot help being heroes...

We have those who tirelessly work in the background like Seán Mâtheiken, Amrita Jesurasa, Alex Gates, John Sykes, Taryn Youngstein, Bridget Catterall, Mohsin Khan among so many more...

We have actual friends of Justin Beiber and chart toppers Katie Rogerson, Harriet Nerva & Joe Blunden...

And let's not forget Danielle Jade Giza, the student nurse who is spear heading the fight to oppose the cuts to NHS bursaries...

And that is just those in the NHS... just wait till the rest get involved!!

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Opinion

How to prepare for your university nursing interview

Most of all, be confident, be passionate, be yourself and smile.

Published on

by Matt Bodell.
How to prepare for your university nursing interview

The majority of undergraduate nursing programmes will require you to undergo an interview prior to receiving an unconditional offer.

This pre-admission nursing interview might seem like a thoroughly nerve-wracking experience, but with the adequate preparation, it will enable you to shine.

Here we talk through how you can prepare on the days leading up to your interview, what you can expect on the day and during your interview and what to do afterward.

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The days leading up to the interview.

The days leading up to your interview can be just as important as the day itself. Preparation is key.

  • Understand why you want to be a nurse - nursing is a career, it will take handwork and dedication. But, why is this the career for you? What makes you want to do this over anything else?
  • Understand the roles and responsibilities of a nurse  - many students apply and attend their interview without really understanding the role of a nurse. Ideally, arrange to work with a nurse but you could also use the NHS jobs website to look at job descriptions.
  • Plan your journey  -  try a 'dry-run' if your journey is likely to be complex.
  • Read the pre-interview information pack  - if the university has supplied an information pack it will contain important information. Read it carefully.
  • Consider an open day - if you have your heart set on a certain institution ensure you attend an open day.
  • Research the NMC Code - the NMC Code presents the standards that nurses must uphold, both personally and professionally, in order to be registered to practise in the UK. You don't need to learn it word-for-word but you should understand the principles.
  • Know the 'hot topics' - these change on a yearly basis, be aware of concepts such as the 6C's, sepsis six or antimicrobial resistance.

Good websites to browse prior to your interview are the Nursing and Midwifery Council, Royal College of Nursing, NursingNotes and the Nursing Times.

On the day of the interview.

Don't let your nerves get the better of you.

  • Eat breakfast  - you are going to need the energy.
  • Be on time - know the time and location of your interview.
  • Being all the documentation that is requested - the university may ask for proof of ID, grades and a portfolio of work.
  • Dress appropriately - dress smarty, shower, shave. This interview could change the direction of your life.
  • Know your application  - you may be asked questions on the content of your application.

Today marks the start of your career as a Nurse.

Group interviews.

During group interviews, interviewers are looking specifically at how you interact within the group, how easily you build relationships and how well make your point while simultaneously listening to, and considering, the points of others.

The group interview will usually consist of a handful of applicants completing tasks or discussing questions.

  • Talk but not too much.
  • Listen to what everybody is saying.
  • Work as a team. 
  • Be confident and be yourself.

To do well in the group interview phase you need to ensure you listen and consider the opinions of others and voice your views in a constructive manner - try to be factual and concise when answering any questions.

There will always be a natural leader in the group, if this is you, lead the group but don't control it.

One on one interviews.

This is your chance to shine - you will have one on one time with the interview panel and can really sell yourself as a potential nurse. The interview panel will vary depending on your chosen institution but they are usually made up of university lecturers, clinicians, and potentially existing students.

  • Show you understand the role of a nurse - Ask yourself, do you know the roles and responsibilities of a nurse?
  • Sell yourself -  emphasise the qualities you have that would make you a good nurse; good communication skills, good interpersonal skills, ambition, drive, empathy etc.
  • Show emotion - show the interviewer how passionate you are about becoming a nurse.
  • Tell them how you have prepared for today  - did you attend an open day? Spend time with a nurse? Complete an access to nursing course? The universities are always looking for students who go just that little further.
  • Ask questions  - have a few questions prepared for the end of the interview and if you don't understand something during the interview ask the interviewer to clarify.
  • Talk, smile and make eye-contact  - it can be hard when you are nervous but showing you can develop a relationship quickly is one of the key skills of a nurse.

Ultimately, universities are looking for the next generation of nurses. You need to sell yourself and explain why you would make an amazing nurse.

After the interview.

Now you can breathe and head out for a celebratory lunch.

You may be forced to wait, anything from several days to several months, to find out the results of your interview. Stay optimistic but keep your options open.

If you are interviewing for more than one university, learn from each interview and if you are unsuccessful, don't be disheartened and ask for feedback from the panel.

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Opinion

Nurses don’t need bursaries – here are four reasons why

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by Roger Watson - Professor of Nursing, University of Hull.
Nurses don’t need bursaries – here are four reasons why

Until 2017, students studying nursing in England received a bursary and paid no fees. The bursary was paid by the NHS and was a remnant of the days when nursing students were employed by the hospitals where they trained. By the end of the 1990s, all nursing education moved to universities, but the bursaries remained.

The UK government’s decision to stop bursaries in England was met with protests, especially by the Royal College of Nursing. Proponents of the bursaries argued that it would exacerbate current nursing shortages. We need to attract more candidates, not drive them away, they argued, especially older women from lower socio-economic groups.

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Only the bursary system did not solve nursing shortages and it was not flexible enough to respond to changing demands. When we needed more nursing students, the NHS did not necessarily have the funding to provide bursaries. Contracts between universities and the NHS had a cap on the numbers of nursing students funded.

I propose four reasons why bursaries for nursing students aren’t needed.

1. We can’t afford it and they don’t need them

The NHS can no longer afford the scheme, especially with the proposed expansions in the numbers of nursing students. Nursing students, along with other university students, have access to student loans that cover their tuition fees and provide them with a living allowance.

Nurses, almost uniquely, are virtually guaranteed a job on graduation and if they earn £24,000 annually – the middle of the lowest pay band for a staff nurse – they only need to repay £11 a week.

2. Nursing students are not employees

It is often thought that nursing students are working as employees of the NHS while they are in hospital. They are not. They are “supernumerary”, which means they are not included in the workforce. This recognises that they are students and that they are there to learn. They may have less opportunity than other students to work and earn money to support themselves, but this is surely offset by almost guaranteed employment on graduation?

3. Nursing is not a vehicle for social engineering

Some worry that older women from lower socio-economic groups, those who have had families or are seeking a late or second career, will find it hard to study nursing. But are these concerns justified? The initial introduction of student loans did not reduce the numbers of applicants from lower socio-economic groups to university. Why should it affect nursing?

We need a nursing workforce that is diverse in gender, ethnicity and age. But someone entering nursing late may only work for a short time in the NHS. This is not good value for money if that money is being spent by the NHS.

Nursing and the NHS do not exist as vehicles for social engineering where everyone who ever wanted to be a nurse can become a nurse. Both nursing and the NHS exist to provide a service: patient care.

4. We’ll get the most motivated students

While bursaries were available, both nursing students and nursing lecturers reported that some students were only studying nursing for the bursary. They had no intention of entering nursing on graduation and, in fact, many nursing students never enter nursing.

With an end to bursaries and an end to the cap on numbers, we have a much more flexible system that can respond to the need for nurses. The issue remains the availability of places for nursing students in the NHS. But universities can now negotiate with any part of the NHS they wish – not just their local hospitals – and can pay the NHS for training places. This should provide the flexibility needed and an incentive to the NHS to provide, and even compete to provide, the best training places.


This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. The Conversation

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Opinion

Are Unions still valued in the modern workplace?

What price do you put on even remaining in the country to do the job you’ve worked so hard to get?

Published on

by Simon Huxtable.
Are Unions still valued in the modern workplace?

It's fair to say trade unions are something many people know about and use, but very rarely understand.

As a young NHS worker, I vividly remember the words of considered importance my mother gave me on the first day I started work (a long, long time ago) “Join a union,” She said, “Doesn’t matter which one, they will protect you.” Essentially, this is the general expectation of what a union does - stick up for the workers during tough times - but is that a role they are fulfilling? Do the nuances of UK employment law; the difficulties of the negotiation negate they apparent lack of observable progress?

“In any industrial negotiation the work starts months, even years, before reaching the negotiating table.” Josie Irwin, Associate Director of Employment Relations at the RCN, believes a lot of the good work that happens behind the scenes goes largely unnoticed by the general public. “In 2015, we took a strategic decision to work together with all fourteen trade unions represented in the NHS to get our members out of austerity. To achieve this, trade unions employ a wide range of techniques to influence government policy, from direct lobbying to securing media coverage. But what unites all these elements is they rely on members getting involved – it is members’ voices that carry the most impact, whether meeting MPs or [being] quoted in the national media.”

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It wasn’t until the mid-1800s that trade unions had any real power.

In 1820, a sixty thousand-strong mob went on general strike for a week - later referred to as the Radical War or Scottish Insurrection. They downed tools in defiance of the high unemployment, unfair working conditions and unresponsive Government, at a time of national civil and economic unrest in the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars.

Much of the Nineteenth Century is littered with instances of fractious industrial tensions; of trade unions becoming more organised, well funded and powerful. For men. Women, on the other hand, were largely excluded from the unions, both in membership, formation and in fact its hierarchies until late in the Twentieth century. There is evidence of challenges to the male-dominated world, largely due to the tenacity groups of reformers like the Women's Protective and Provident League (WPPL), but it wasn’t until the 1875 West Yorkshire weavers’ strike that women played a central role in unionism. Symbiotic to the development of unionism is the way in which the Labour Party and in part, Socialisms’ ontogenesis, unfolded in the UK.

Very much a grassroots party, Labour came into being through the political ambitions of trade unionists understanding their ability to affect real change came from within the walls of power. Political manoeuvring became a prominent tool of protest during the first half of the Twentieth century, with trade unions offering strong support to the war effort by cutting back on restrictive practices during the Great War, for the good of the nation. Even so, the introduction of the Munitions of War Act 1915 saw strike action and lock-outs forbidden with swift interventions to quell any trouble. In spite of this increasing Government macro management, union membership increased from 4.1 million to 8.3 million by 1920 and the TUC (Trades Union Congress) saw numbers swell with 77% associated to the Congress.

Looking back, it feels like nothing has ever really changed and if you look a little deeper, it really hasn’t.

Margaret Thatcher’s iron grip on unionism lead to mass unrest, strikes up and down the country - most famously the year-long Miners strike of 1984/5 - and mass unemployment. Thatchers’ capitalist ideology saw unions as a barrier to economic growth and so imposed laws to further restrict their powers; powers which she felt had blighted both the Wilson and Callaghan (Labour) government that had preceded her.

Are Unions still valued in the modern workplace?The Miners strike became very much a war of attrition, each side fighting for what they felt was right. For Miners’ Union leader Arthur Scargill and the miners that was financial stability - coal pit closures were rife in the 70s and 80s as the seams dried up and work was hard to come by. While the Tory-led Government wanted to bring the country out of a paralysing economic downturn.

The narrative of the unions continues to be that of protecting the proletariat from the tyranny of their capitalist overlords. A tad histrionic maybe, but when you consider the Government implemented the Trade Union Act in 2016 leading to a TUC-led investigation on it’s effects to members in terms of work/life balance, it's clear even today, that trade unions and Government are at loggerheads over pay and conditions. You only have to look at the recent junior doctors pay dispute and the response by Jeremy Hunt or even the nurses pay rise to see that the role of the unions is perilous and fraught with frustration. But due to this perceived lack of results or underachievement, is it any wonder then that the average person on the street views trade unions as somewhat feckless, lazy organisations doing only the bare minimum for its membership.

Writing in the Guardian, an anonymous trade union employee blows the whistle on the inner workings of their organisation telling a disturbing (and somewhat one-sided) story of alleged membership fee wastage, underwork - they point out the article was written at their desk  - and a lack of fresh ideas. With all the signs of an employee burnt out but reluctant to leave the obvious benefits of being paid ‘money for old rope’ their words are alarming: “When potential members ask me why they should join, I give them the usual spiel but what I’m really thinking is: “Join our rivals, they are cheaper and care more about you than we do.”” Interestingly, this was borne out in part when contacting four of the main healthcare unions for their right to reply. Only two, the RCN and Unison initially responded, asking what was needed. Only one, the RCN, managed to email a comment after a week of waiting for management sign-off.

One of the main obstacles preventing unions is the rise in individual-rights based employment law.

An article written in the Industrial Law Journal by O’Sullivan et al (2015) finds this somewhat hampers the union's ability to negotiate using tried and tested collective bargaining methods. However, they go on to highlight the unions concede that the new laws can be used positively to support and protect vulnerable groups of workers. Added to this, at some point down the years, unionism became a commodity. On forums all over the internet, union members discuss the value of their membership in terms of money - A is cheaper than B and you get XYZ as well - but does that miss the point of having representation? Many articles exist for student nurses and qualified staff alike comparing the value of each union against each other: Unionism boiled down to determine its price per pound of flesh - fairly ironic.

What price do you put on even remaining in the country to do the job you’ve worked so hard to get?

Are Unions still valued in the modern workplace?
Unions appear, by and large, to be the only ones doing more than voicing concern for the ever-dwindling NHS workforce. RCN general secretary, Janet Davies is quoted as saying European expat staff play an integral part in the skill mix of hospital wards all over the UK. “With 40,000 nursing vacancies in England alone after years of poor workforce planning,” She said, “We cannot afford to lose EU nurses too.” Over a fifth of EU nationals have left the country as a direct result of Brexit and the uncertainty they face over the longevity of their stay in the UK. Equally, as more and more young workers bounce between a cafe job here and a zero hour contract there, never has there been a time for trade unions to have the powers to level the playing field.

And yet they are continually viewed in a negative light, the victims of a well-orchestrated narrative. Or are they?

There is always more they could do to improve their standing. Millennials, for all their perceived faults, are in fact a different breed to the hairy-armed activists we remember from university, full of bluster about saving the planet, tofu and recycling. The kids of today can see the troubles ahead of them but rather than band together like the old days and ‘march in solidarity’ which they see just doesn’t work anymore, they instead choose different careers, travel more and look to overcome their issues in spite of authority. Trade unions need to be smart, rebrand their messages and allow new members to consider the benefits of working with a union behind them, supporting their ambition and providing opportunities for betterment.

So, do unions have a place in today’s workforce?

Absolutely, but with that comes new challenges which require new thinking and new energy. This new generation is at peace with the real world application of robots taking their jobs. They are already fostering new avenues of wealth creation and more cohesively working towards a better future. Two-way communication is key to unions surviving this latest workforce re-enablement, but if current experience serves as their narrative, unions will make themselves extinct long before Government legislate them out of existence.

A union is only as powerful as its members.

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