Thank you for Gerald Haigh's sensitive observations which emphasised teachers' commitment to their work and what makes them so vulnerable to low self-esteem. ("To be handled with care", TES, February 10). I can recommend it as a supportive and informative read for nurse teachers who are also currently undergoing significant changes.
My only disappointment was with his idea that nurses "don't get personally involved" and that nursing is not an offshoot of the self. Current nursing theory highlights that quality of nursing care is about involvement with, commitment to and partnership with clients and patients. This applies to all branches of nursing, midwifery, health visiting and school nurses. The idea of nursing care is related to the recognition of the person as an individual. This care relationship includes: respect for their individuality, knowledge of the person's individual needs, and a mutual sharing of knowledge and experiences. This requires involvement and personal awareness.
Like teachers, we are not just technical. Nursing is bound up with our lives and with the kinds of people we are and have become.
I feel that Gerald Haigh has misunderstood us. We are not homo-genous with our medical doctor colleagues. He fails to see our health alliance with teachers.
Head of conversion courses
Kingston and St George's NHS College of Health Studies
St George's Hospital, London SW17