Difference between nursing in the UK vs nursing in the US? - page 2

Seems everyone's legging it from the UK to the US. What's the deal?... Read More

  1. by   MrsCleverclogs
    Quote from Skwidward
    Oh there's no denying the fact that life in the US kicks ass, especially Florida.

    Are there any differences between the job itself though besides the pay?

    I heard nursing in the UK was a lot more CNA type stuff and less, I don't know, delegating and pt care management type stuff.

    EDIT: pt ratios and stuff like that?
    Interesting comments can I ask where you heard such information?
    Uk nurses do do a lot of total patient care but a large part of their role is pt care management and they do undertake a lot of the work that the social workers do here in the US.
    There are no such thing as respitory nurses, the RN's on the floor do the job that the Respitory nurses do, as well as their other roles. RN's make up their own AB's, because there is no such thing as 24 hour pharmacy-nor does the pharmacy work at the weekends or holidays. Sometimes you get AB's that are already made up-but not everywhere.
    They teach and educated students, no such thing as a tutor coming to the floor to work with the students. They also teach and educate the CNA's.
    They go to meetings to discuss care of a long term pt in the home. All RN's have extended role within their place of work and are expected to do research and educate others-nothing is done unless it is researched based.
  2. by   StNeotser
    So, say you needed an order for something in the UK, say an ATB. How does this get done if you don't chase up the Dr for an order?

    I know I've had to chase up Drs for d/c foley orders, Tylenol orders (yes really!) and sillly stuff. Also, the D/C home with home help, PT & OT meds and narcotics are fun.

    We have standing orders with some Drs, then house orders but some Drs have none whatsoever. Is there some sort of list in the UK where everyone can have Tylenol, Mylanta, MOM and general OTC meds?
  3. by   Skwidward
    Quote from cariad
    yes i did take offence that you had heard and think that uk nurses are likened to cna's,
    simply, i did not say that i "think" uk nurses are "likened" to cna's. i simply stated what i heard and asked a question.

    Quote from cariad
    as i said previously if you didnt mean to be inflamatory, then ok, but to compare cna's and trained rn's rubbed me up the wrong way.
    Quote from cariad
    i am quite sure that if i posted on the us threads in the same way then i would get the same replys.
    yeah, maybe if you started a thread and made a statement that said us nurses are equal to cna's, you'd get a few negative responses. but, if you asked a question about the differences between the job itself performed by us and uk nurses then stated what you had heard, i'd expect you to get some answers to you question. sure, in any thread you start, you're gonna get one or two people who miss the point.

    nursing in the us, in most states anyway, seems to be progressively more orientated around management and delegation of pt care and less actual time for direct patient care. i am not stating that us nurses do not provide direct pt care, just that there is less time available to provide the amount really needed or that the nurse would like to provide -you know that little extra, what we all got into the job for in the first place. i'm assuming this is because of high patient ratios, increased 'cover your ass/ cover the hospital's ass' paper work. i don't know. again, i am asking the question.

    i had also heard that uk nurses enjoy more autonomy. however, i chose to post what i did as a means of double checking it....if you can see what i mean. maybe if i had written, "is this true?" after it, you might have not jumped off into the deep end as you did. like i said earlier, i just assumed that anyone reading my post would notice the actual question i was asking and realize that to be asking a question in the first place, i was admitting a certain amount of ignorance on the subject, and by putting up something i had heard, i was actually looking for verification, correction...not making the statement myself.

    i guess i should have realized that asking a question then stating, "i heard...etc." could actually be mistaken as me saying, "well, i just wanted to tell ya'll know what i think of uk nurses. they're.....etc."
    Last edit by Skwidward on Nov 12, '06
  4. by   Skwidward
    Quote from traumaRUs
    While I think the question: what is the difference in style of nursing in the UK versus the US, perhaps it could have been phrased better.
    Funny that you would have a problem with the phrasing of this question when this is not the question I asked. It is a misquote. I mean, if it is indeed the manner in which the question was phrased that poses a problem for you, I would have expected a direct quote of the incriminating question not one you wrote yourself.
    If it is indeed the actual question I asked that you find inappropriate, please describe how exactly someone wishing to learn about the differences between nursing the UK vs nursing in the US is supposed to phrase the question, "Difference between nursing in the UK vs nursing in the US?"

    I'd love to know.

    Here are the other two questions I asked. I'd appreciate it if you could demonstrate how these could be altered as to not cause offense, because personally, I am at a loss.

    "Are there any differences between the job itself though besides the pay?"


    "pt ratios and stuff like that?"
  5. by   Skwidward
    Quote from MrsCleverclogs
    Interesting comments can I ask where you heard such information?
    From some American travel nurses....both had worked in the UK.
    I also heard that UK nurses have much higher patient ratios. Is this true?

    Disclaimer: The question in bold is not a statement or judgement I am making of UK nurses. It is, in fact, something else I have heard said about nursing in the UK from an outside party -that is someone else other than myself said it.
  6. by   suehp
    Quote from madwife2002
    The biggest difference in my opinion is the hassle to get in touch with the doctors to get orders, nurses here know what is needed but are unable to act without a doctors say so.
    In the Uk the roles of a nurse and a doctor are clearly defined, here I find the roles blurr, and sometimes it is difficult to comprehend why doctors are controlling nursing roles. Nurses here spend a lot of their day chasing up doctors to get verbal orders.

    Yes gettting hold of Docs can be a pain especially if you have to ring them several times to get a response....
    In our hospital we have a Rapid Responsae Team which if you are concerned over your pt, something doesnt seem right or you cant get hold of the Doc, then you call this team and they have standing orders anyway so they can get your pt stable etc and when you can get hold of the Doc he can give you more orders if needed....this happened to me a while back - a pt c/o of feeling dizzy, sick and felt awful (POD #1) and when I checked her B/P it was 60/40 - I knew that she needed fluids but I hadnt got an order for it and couldnt wait for the Doc to reply to my call so i called this tema - they gave her a bolus, got here stable and when the Doc called me back he gave me orders for me if it happened again (which it did)...so when it did happen i had everything ready and called him back after i got her stable the next time for further orders. The Pt was really grateful that everyone responded and she felt so much better
  7. by   Noahm
    Cariad,

    I am a USA trained nurse living and working in the UK. I mentor nursing students here in the UK. The American students spend more time in class and doing work on their 2 year courses than the UK students do in 3 years. The class days are a lot longer for the Americans and they have much MUCH less time off. Trust me.

    I think Skidmore was referring to the fact that ward nurses in the UK rarely use a stethoscope to listen to lung, heart, and bowel sounds nor do they carry out detailed assesments on all of the patients every shift and the fact that many do not cannulate.

    American nurses are able to make decisions but things are much more controlled over there due to the liability. An American floor nurse knows when a patient needs a catheter or some IV fluids etc. etc. but she better damn well have documentation showing that it was ordered by a doctor before she does it because of the lawyers and insurance companies. My personal opinion from experience is that the rules in the UK are much less strict but this isn't because the nurses are better educated. I wouldn't say that British nurses are better than American nurses or vice versa. It is like comparing apples and oranges because we both have different systems.

    I find that we spend much more time chasing doctors in the UK and we have much higher ratios. It is 1 or 2 RN's to 30 patients on my acute medical ward. We usually have 2 or 3 HCA's. The floor I worked on in the USA was a general medical floor and we had 1 RN for 6-8 patients.
    Last edit by Noahm on Nov 12, '06
  8. by   Noahm
    Quote from StNeotser
    We have standing orders with some Drs, then house orders but some Drs have none whatsoever. Is there some sort of list in the UK where everyone can have Tylenol, Mylanta, MOM and general OTC meds?
    Yes we can give Paracetamol (acetaminophen), gaviscon, lactulose without an order. We write it on the front of their drug charts and the docs can sign it later.
  9. by   Skwidward
    Quote from Noahm
    I think Skidmore.......
    Was this necessary? I mean, is there a reason why you felt the need to make a mockery of my screen name?
    I know Cariad did this also, but I let it slide. Considering her interpretation of my original post, I assumed she had simply misread it.

    I really don't understand why I am being attacked personally for asking a perfectly viable question. Are you people really this hostile?

    Should we just turn this thread into a name calling competition?
  10. by   janelola
    I thought the question was ok.
    well, I'm not there (US) yet! But my mum has gone over there 5 years ago and is loving it. It's not just the massive pay increase, it's the whole way of life. She's in CA, so for 10 months of the year it's beautiful weather and you can live outside a lot more. People are nicer to each other. Realise I'd better be careful as things can be interpreted the wrong way. But all I know that is when I go into a shop in the US and buy something the staff are actually nice to me, I actually nearly had to wrestle a very kind shop assistant from Belaire(?) I think as she wanted to take my shopping to the car, I just wasn't used to such kindness, here, a shop assistant will barely look up if I ask them for something and then they usually grunt at me!
    There are CCTV camera's EVERYWHERE - it was in the news the other day that UK is the most 'Big Brother' type nation. People walk with their head down with no eye contact. I live in Manchester and it's always grey and raining! Need I say more???
    Right I've finished. Janelola
  11. by   Noahm
    Skwidward I did NOT do that to your name intentionally. I just cannot spell or type and I didn't check back to see what your name actually was before I typed it. SORRY!!!!!!
  12. by   Silverdragon102
    Maybe speaking a bit out of term but think this thread is getting a bit heated. It doesn't matter where we work in the world nurses have different roles and different way of doing things. Surely we can answer the OP's question without getting at everyone.
  13. by   janelola
    hear hear!

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