Sunday, 29 June 2014

No Smoking Guns at the NET/NEP Conference, but plenty to inform the Shape of Nursing Care

I see the British Medical Association last week declared that anyone born after 2000 should be banned from smoking. Hmm, I wish them well with that one - just how they think this might be enforced will be interesting to hear. It’s not that I disagree with the intention behind the suggestion; it’s just not a very practical idea to implement. The UK Government already advises drivers not to smoke in their car while driving, and yet a driver smoking is a common sight. As are drivers using their mobile phone- and it’s been against the law to use a mobile phone while driving since 2002.

Research has shown that using a mobile phone while driving is equally as dangerous as drink driving – albeit for slightly different reasons – while the evidence reveals you’re 4 times more likely to crash, a staggering 68% of the population who use their mobile phone while driving do so because they believe they won’t get caught. Sadly, the BMA proposed smoking ban for anyone born after 2000 seems just as unenforceable.

What is enforceable is the hunting of ducks in Holland. 0.2% of the Dutch population are into hunting – and if any readers of this blog object to hunting, please contact Koninklijke Nederlanse Jagers Vereniging who have responsibility for the control and management of wildlife and as such, hunting, and not to me. Why am I mentioning this? Well last week I was at the Nurse Education Today  / Nurse Education in Practice conference which was held in Noordwijkerhout, which I thought was a quiet suburb of Amsterdam. How wrong could I have been!

At 04.00 every morning the local duck population started what was non-stop quacking. This penetrating sound was inescapable as I had to sleep with the bedroom windows wide open due to their being no air conditioning. The ducks quacking started off the seagulls screeching and for 2 hours it was impossible to get away from the noise. Unfortunately for me and fortunately for the ducks and seagulls, as I travel light, I hadn't taken my Holland & Holland to Holland.

Ducks and seagulls aside, the venue was wonderful, there were many familiar faces, and many more new contributors. The conference was a great success. There were over 400 delegates attending the conference, hailing from 44 different countries. I was presenting 2 papers there. One paper was with 2 of my award winning colleagues Wendy Sinclair and Moira McLoughlin. They created great interest with their presentation of the work they are leading on in using social media in nurse education.

As I said in last week’s post, I was also there to present a paper with my colleague and friend Karen Holland on our work with colleagues from 7 different EU countries. However, 4 other colleagues, Angela Darvill, Elaine Ball, Martin Johnson, and Patric Devitt, also each presented a paper on their work on enhancing nurse education.

Having this opportunity to present the work we are doing in the School across our programmes, but in particular the nursing programmes is important, not least because there is yet another review of nurse education in England. The Shape of Caring Review, commissioned by Health Education England, and chaired by the brilliant and enigmatic Lord Willis of Knaresborough. What is likely to make this review different however, is that the focus is going to be on the learning that goes on in clinical practice placements, and just importantly, the continuing education needs of qualified nurses. Our papers showed just what is possible in both these areas.