Practice nursing: saving the Cinderella service
Heather Randle discusses why nurses working in general practice feel undervalued and invisible despite working harder than ever during the pandemic
Much has been said about the incredible efforts of health and social care staff during the pandemic. So it is very odd that one group who have played a key role in rolling out one of our main defences against COVID-19 – the vaccine programme – should feel largely invisible.
And yet they do. They are nurses like me who work in general practice. So what have we done and why do our efforts appear to have gone largely unnoticed?
We have led on both infection control within our services and the largest vaccination programme in history.
We have provided leadership and training to colleagues with limited knowledge around immunisations and have supported patients to consent to and have their COVID-19 vaccination.
This has often involved working long hours, including unpaid in our own time, to support the vaccination clinics and catch up on the now-lengthy backlogs.
We have ensured that the childhood immunisation programme has continued along with screening programmes such as cervical cytology and supporting patients to maintain their chronic diseases, to name just a few.
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