‘A nurse’s world’ – readers respond


Sir, – The article “Some nurses think they’re too important to wash a patient” in the “A nurse’s world” series is inflammatory and inaccurate (Health + Family, February 28th). I find it unnerving that this “frontline worker” is granted anonymity by your publication. – Yours, etc,


Senior House Officer,

St James’s Hospital,

Dublin 8.

Sir, – I am incensed by the extraordinary, presumptive and bitter-sounding accusations the “confused” nurse flings at his or her public hospital colleagues in the article “Some nurses think they are too important to wash a patient”. No wonder the article is anonymous.

His or her colleagues are accused of “distancing themselves from the patient”, of denying patients their dignity and rights, of not listening to patients, of not caring enough to help each other, of considering protocols to be more important than patients and of (God forbid) taking their lunch breaks.

This was your fourth-most read article on your website yesterday. For those who did read the article, please see this as one nurse’s anonymous piece of writing.

I and my nursing and medical colleagues work damn hard at listening to patients, at treating people with the respect and dignity they deserve, in exceptionally busy circumstances, and all the while managing to achieve treatment outcomes equal to international standards. We are guilty of caring about patients and even, believe it or not, of occasionally taking a lunch break. – Yours, etc,


Clinical Nurse Specialist,

Liver Unit,

St Vincent’s University

Hospital, Dublin 4 .

Sir, – Were I to write an article about stress in the workplace, I would agree with the author of your article about the long hours, the under-resourced hospitals and the frustration with the system. I would not, however, bicker over who works harder, who is valued more, or who deserves the most sympathy. Our healthcare system needs co-operation, not deepening of divisions for the sake of cheap point-scoring. – Yours, etc,


Specialist Registrar

in Cardiology,

Dublin 8.

Sir, – The dysfunctional public health service should hardly be taken as justification for publishing anonymous hate pieces. Clinical services continue on, and patient safety depends on a good relationship between nurses and doctors, which is under threat already due to the strains we work under.

This writer attacks doctors. He or she describes unbelievably callous behaviour of ignoring a fallen patient. I have never seen that happen.

The writer describes a superiority, a perceived attitude that doctors are “more important than” nurses. I have not observed this. There is mention of designated car spaces, which I have never had where I have worked, in Galway University Hospital, Sligo Regional Hospital, the Mater Misercordiae University Hospital, or Temple Street Children’s University Hospital.

I appreciate that The Irish Times is addressing the issue of frustrations and stresses that we clinical staff work with, but this article was unhelpful and disheartening. – Yours, etc,


Children’s University


Temple Street,

Dublin 1.