UK Aged Care Nurse Planning Immigration to Australia

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    Hi guys,

    Just joined the site . I'm a UK Registered Nurse with almost 3 years experience in aged care. I want to find out more about aged care nursing in australia and people's experiences of workin in both private and public hospitals.

    I love my job but the workload is a huge issue on the NHS wards. I've read a lot about the 1:4 nurse-patient ratio in NSW and this sounds like a dream! Is this really the case? Sounds far to good to be true, particularly in aged care!

    Here in the UK I generally nurse 10 acute medical patients with 1/2 Health Care Assistants. Granted, some patients are classed as medically fit and maybe awaiting social issues to be sorted out, but still, severe dementia patients need and deserve appropriate time and care from nursing staff and this proves extremely difficult!

    I've worked a stint in a Nursing Home which was far less stressful, reasonably well paid and better staffed. However, I soon got bored and decided this wasn't for me, not yet anyway.

    Like most nurses, I'm not affraid of hard work, infact I thrive on it, but unfair and dangerous staffing levels are seriously testing my patience with the NHS!

    Has anyone found the right balance in aged care nursing? Surely there are other options, besides leaving the speciality I'm passionate about? Decisions, decisions!

    Shared experiences and advice will be much appreciated!
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  4. 11 Comments so far...

  5. 1
    Hi there. 1:4 ratios in VIC and NSW is for acute wards. Aged care is considered sub acute and you would be looking at 1:5 or 1:6 on a day shift I think.

    Victoria's public health service is dealing with huge cost cutting measures. Not sure about NSW.
    ceridwyn likes this.
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    Yes, most aged care is privately owned now. An RN can be the only one rostered on for 50 to 60 residents on weekends, afternoons and night shift, along with a few EN's (thank, God for these) and a majority pca's.
    Weekdays there will be clinical managers etc, but usually they are busy with all the government paperwork.

    This is why locals have stayed clear of aged care, not because of the residents but because of the responsiblity. If anything goes wrong with the care of the pca or at times those of the EN the RN is responsible in the end.

    Also the pay is about 5 dollars au an hour, less than those working in the public sector.

    This is another reason overseas nurses, especially from our neighbours often take these jobs as they do not realise the bottom line of their responsibility as an RN and the less pay, outweighs the need for a sponsorship visa.

    As for getting work in sub acute areas of aged care medical or rehab, in public hospitals, times are tough at the moment.

    The right balance is in a public hospital in rehab, especially as the patients are becoming more acute in rehab now- 3 day post joint replacements, so nurses their get the acute side as well. Usually with ratios of about 6 to 1 on morning shift and 10 to 1 on afternoon. But times are tough and these jobs are difficult to find.
    Last edit by ceridwyn on Jan 18, '13
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    Hi K+MgSO4 & ceridwyn

    1:5 or 6 would be great! As for the private route, nursing 50-60 residents for $5 an hour less, think I'll give this a massive wide birth! Sounds crazy! Public hospital rehab is an option I've thought about so will look into this. I would consider different areas of nursing but probably wouldn't be of interest to employers with all aged care experience.


    May I ask what areas you both work in?

    Thanks for the info!
  8. 0
    My post was probably describing sub acute such as rehab and geriatric evaluation.

    I work on a surgical ward that does mostly emergency surgery such as appendix gallbladder perf bowels etc. We do elective opthal surgery (gag) and endocrine thyroid and adrenal mostly. However my ward is closing in 2 weeks............

    I am being redeployed.
  9. 0
    Wow, a bit of everything then, fast paced is an understatement no doubt. Similar to the surgical assessment unit I worked on as a student, minus opthamology.

    Good luck with the move, hope it all works out well for you!
  10. 1
    Thanks bit scary having a change foisted upon you rather than planning a move.

    Have a look at the age.com.au to see what the weather has been like today! 47 degrees in Sydney!
    ceridwyn likes this.
  11. 0
    Good luck, in your next job! Wow the Melbourne hospitals have really been hit hard.

    I suppose the health department could not do any more trimming of the country regional hospitals, as they have been stripped down to basic, with beds closed for months, nil calling in casuals. Pity the pollies are given/can afford private health insurance!! and not have to wait 6 months for cancer treatment for a family member, which is not an uncommon scenario or 3 years for a hip or knee replacement.
  12. 0
    I can't imagine what 47 degrees feels like! It's snowing heavily here! Will have to get a new sledge to travel to work at this rate.

    Just saw updates on the bushfire in Gippsland, terrible!
  13. 0
    Hi Joannee.
    Just arrived here in Aus last December. Started working last month in aged care facility. Im on 457 visa. Hospital is much better i guess than nsg homes. im responsible of the whole bloody lot! 15 dementia, 15 frail on my unit. 30 frail in the other unit. Hostel of 30 downstairs, and residential of 30 in the other building.
    morning shift staffing: 1 RN, 2 CERT 4s 8 care staff.
    afternoon: 1 RN, 1 CERT 4s 8 care staff till 9pm then,
    night: 1 RN , 3 care staff.

    same as UK.


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