I know that this is really a blog about my time in Cameroon but I had to comment on this. Everyday I look at the BBC news website to keep in touch with news at home. On the front page today is this story about nurses monitoring patient food intake. Although currently my life is really detached from this I am a ward nurse at heart. The story mostly talks about the effects of malnutrition and as a surgical nurse I agree that diet is a very important part of the healing process, especially of wounds. However blaming nurses for the problem of malnutrition I do not think is fair.
Meal times always coincide with drug times. Its a difficult question. Whats more important, drugs or food? However only the qualified nurses can give out the drugs. There are housekeepers and health care assistant to help with meal times. It is not as if nurses already have enough to do. We basically do everything for our patients. It is not as if we just have one patient to look after, usually its six. That's alot of drugs to do, alot of doctors orders to fulfil, alot of phone calls to take and alot of food to monitor. That's not including the trips off the ward to theatre, endoscopy etc. Oh and on a 14 hour shift we need to eat too!! So yes nurses are too busy to monitor food intake. We are busy looking after the patients. We need help from others. Do not blame us for the problem of malnutrition. We have enough to worry about.