Nursing Politics in Bed 1

Nursing “does not exist in a vacuum” (Dimon 2013). The approach of the government to society is dictated by politics at the time.This influences social attitudes and priorities. For example; individuals must earn a living, individuals must earn status. They who do not earn and depend on those who do, are unworthy or “skivers”. Darwin- the fittest species survive by cooperation.This is especially reflected within the workhouse era according to the poor law, and the approach towards the unemployed within today’s society.International forces do dicate government policy regardless of which body is in power. So, consider patient care.The nurse or carer at the side of the patient is not solely responsible for poor care. Yet there are exceptions such as sheer abuse.Think wider; who manages the environment? Who owns the establishment? Who dictates? Why are people reluctant to complain? Many staff fear loss of job, repercussions, living on the street and becoming “unworthy”.Resources too depend on politics. Yet so too, do decisions for the allocation of resources.Consider the management structure. Trotsky called for (as did Marx), the return of power to the people; nurses, doctors and domestics- away from managers with profit motives.Think broader; why do individuals adopt a certain political orientation? They may have ulterior motives. Many politicians may not even believe what they themselves say. Others are indoctrinated and support without question. Thinking too, is discouraged.Certain publications are blocked.Thus consider; Who is in charge? Who benefits? Who is blamed? How is care organised? Why is privatisation occuring? Who benefits from privatisation? Who appoints board members of the “independent” NMC and CQC? Are people afraid of caring? Is caring now, a sign of weakness within a market environment? Put politics on the nursing and nurse education agenda. Read G Orwell Animal Farm (1954).Politics do not only exist at number 10 Downing Street.Reference Dimon C (2013) The Commodity of Care Cloister Press


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