Young readers, you can say” I want to become a Doctor!” But don’t say those words lightly. For the decisions you will take, the amount of instant knowledge you will need, the hours you will work and the relentless pressure you will face will not be light things. It’s the same for nurses too. And for ancillary workers like ambulance workers, reception staff and x ray folk. We know, we’ve interviewed them or spoken with them all.
But worst of all is the abuse they face from those for whom they risk so much to save and help. , We once witnessed the busy staff of a large London Emergencies Department insulted threatened and slandered by a man who, three hours earlier, had been brought in on the point of death. One of his accusations was that they had stolen his cigarettes-“all you nurses are the same” he whined in a display of the basest infantile narcissism. The examples we have chosen are more or less at random from England’s NHS; but they could stand as examples for most health systems in most advanced countries.
And so we think it is time for a specific law in our country designed to protect our frazzled health care workers from deliberate and aggressive abuse, physical and verbal, from patients any others who may be with them. Declaration of Interest: we don’t work in healthcare. But we know it to be a noble, humane and rational calling, representing what is best in humanity. Time to help preserve one of our most precious resources. We hope you’ll press for such a law in your country too.
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