I love working in the NHS because.......................... - page 3

There has been quite a bit of negativity about the NHS and working in the UK on this forum recently so instead of another thread saying how bad things are and how much we hate our co-workers I... Read More

  1. by   madwife2002
    I have to say I worked on a very special unit too in the South coast of the UK. I worked above and beyond the call of duty and so did my other colleegues. We all had enthusiasm and worked hard to implement change. We involved all staff and all enjoyed a happy working environment, I have to say most of the hospital was a pleasant place to work as I was often the clinical lead and had to cover the whole site. The other parts of our trust however were miserable horrible unhappy places to work. There was little if no retention.
    I do however believe there are lots of corners of the Uk where there are happy places to work.
    Here in the US you will find happy places and horrible places to work-same grass just different country-Oh that was another thread lol
  2. by   english_nurse
    the thing about the nhs is that things can change for the worse at the drop of a hat when the trust decide to make cuts to save money, especially high up the nursing ladder, more so than at ward level, hence why we have been left in the cold on my ward as our matrons job was phased out and she had to leave, but during the time she was our boss the unit i work in was one of the most envied , we never had problems recruiting staff, people had worked there for years, the patient care was excellent and most were happy
    mabel, i am not criticising but, yes, you do work in the NHS but your job is very different to the majority of NHS workers, you dont seem to be stuck on one ward, dealing with cranky relatives who dont understand why i cant spend all day with their mum/dad when ive got 17 others to look after, with half the staff i had a year ago!
    The last night i worked i spent half the night chasing a detox who decided to throw his urine bottle over the patients in the bay because no one had time to take the thing away, he then flipped and started throwing funiture, so i had to call security, he was moved from the ward after the other patients got distressed.
    my last shift was very different to yours mable, so you can see why i feel the NHS has let me and my patients down.
    i used to have one shift in a million like this now most are like it, when i walk on the ward i hold my breath as i dont know what mess or how many staff i will be coming into.
    im sure someone on here will say 'well you know, things will not be better in the USA, it can be hard here you know' which may be true, but for me its time for a change.

    my grass will be greener, it will just be artificial and painted green rather than the natural greeness i used to know when i first qualified as a nurse in the NHS which incidently wasnt that long ago!
    Last edit by english_nurse on Aug 28, '06
  3. by   madwife2002
    I think the staff are struggling badly in the NHS and it has always fluctuated from bad to good and back again. It is difficult to see why things feel different now. I think in the past when the job freezes were on, each hospital employed bank staff and they were utilised really effectively.
    I can remember being a newly qualified staff nurse working on a 23 bedded renal ward with at least 5 patients on machine dialysis and being the only RN with 2 auxillaries as they were then known, it was normal. Renal units and medical nits have always been heavy hard work wards. Every patient being on IV antilbiotics and we made them up ourselves-the only floor I may add who did that was the renal unit because we all had to be IV trained other wards it wasnt important for the staff to be IV trained the docs would do it.
    So why was it ok then to work like that but it is not ok nowerdays, what is the difference between now and then? I think the patients are worse they behave badly and demand so much more. The patients charter has a lot to blame and i honestly believe the way they train nurses has changed.
  4. by   english_nurse
    Its never been right to risk the life or safety of a patient, which i believe low staffing levels does, the levels you quote to me are the regular levels at night, usually im one short so its usually me and a hca.
    as for the training, there is alot wrong with the recent training (of which i am a product) maybe we are taught to have higher expectations these days?
    Im im not so sure the public would like to go back to the student nurses running the wards, imagine what the courts would make of that, after all we are in a sue happy society.
    Last edit by english_nurse on Aug 28, '06
  5. by   Owain Glyndwr
    Quote from mabel u.k
    Instead of responding to the most recent posts I thought I would tell you about my shift today to demonstrate what I love about the NHS, I have had a fantastic day.... I then checked the on call book on the ward that my office is based on to make sure there were no urgent jobs that needed to be dealt with. Fortunately the Hospital at night team had sorted out all of the problems. I then walked the floor. I cover 6 surgical wards and any surgical patient that is outlying on other wards on the weekends which is different to my week work.

    On the first ward I attended they had a patient they were concerned with, he was post op 3 days (colorectal) and had began vomiting. I reviewed his history and examined him, he had been allowed to drink the previous day and I couldn't hear bowel sounds so I reduced him back to sips and prescribed some IV fluids after checking his bloods. THese are all skills that I have learnt within the NHS fully supported by my managment. I bleeped the SHO to asked him to review him later.
    So no 'nursing' so far.........

    Quote from mabel u.k
    I then went to the next ward where they were short staffed because they had one nurse escorting to CT she wasn't going to be too long and I didn't have any jobs that needed to be done, so I took her bay of patients to help alleviate the workload a little until she returned. I made a a few beds with the HCA and assisted a confused lady to have a wash and dress. One of the HCA's was only on her 3rd shift and was unsure how to take a manual blood pressure so I talked her through it and she took my BP then the patients.
    Bit of 'nursing' there. Are they short staffed because all the nurses have gone to be nurse practitioners?

    Quote from mabel u.k
    The emergency bleep went and I attended another post op, peri arrest the staff had notice a deterioration and the pateint had become even more drowsy within the past hour. When I arrived there was very little for me to do as because of the training they had recieved from our resuscitation department put up high flow oxy and they had speeded up fluids. He was a shocked post op so with some fluid he improved and HDU came to assess him further.
    No nursing required

    Quote from mabel u.k
    Now there were lots of other little jobs that needed to be done, resiting IV's taking bloods arranging discharges and the usual sort of stuff that makes up my weekend work. Because it is August the new house officers need lots of reassurance the docs that we have within my unit are a little green but ask for help when they need it and to be honest they are very competent. Today I have also spent time with one of our new ward managers who was feeling overwhelmed by her role and we spent a bit of time talking about how she could feel more in control of her new job.
    Lots of little jobs, but no nursing ones. Apart from looking after junior doctors. Glad to see you feel they are competent - very satisfying.


    Quote from mabel u.k
    THe highlight of my day was reveiwing one of my patients for discharge. During the week I work with one consultant so I a patient caseload.... I knelt by her side and explained that I wasn't a doctor I was a nurse practitioner. I explained that this was a nurse who worked on all of the wards and I worked for her consultant which made me her special nurse.

    Now she had been very unwell on a few occasions but every time I attended her she said here is my special nurse. After many weeks of investigations and interventions, then dealing with her home situation and making sure she was safe to go home today she is finally ready for discharge - both physically and more importantly mentally as she had lost much of her confidence during her admission. I cannot explain the relationship that I had with this lady but to see her go home well is reward enough. But it does not end with her discharge as she is booked into clinic in 4 weeks so I will see how she is progressing there. This continuity is priceless. If she had been an elective patient I would have seen her pre admission, pre operatively assessment I would have been there for her admission and discharge and then in follow up clinic.
    So, what is the ward nurse's role in all of this? Or don't they have enough time

    [quote=mabel u.k]I have a fantastic job, I work with fantastic nurses, doctors and managers. I love being with my patients and I love working in a role where I can still be a nurse but learn and practice new skills as well. and have continuity with my patients from the start of the care to when they are discharged from clinic.[/quote
    OG
    Last edit by madwife2002 on Aug 30, '06
  6. by   Chassie2
    I have only been a qualified paeds nurse for two years, and I truly love nursing, seeing a terribly sick child bounce back to full health is someone that you can't beat. But the NHS has drained me...internal rotation (coming off nights onto earlies), stretches of 14 days (working 13 of them), lack of staff (or being one of the only staff on the shift, and being so scared of what I needed to do if there was ever an emergency), feeling so so wretched after night shifts (and dreading going onto shifts). Being sick of complaints from parents about why their child's operation has been cancelled for the 3rd day in a row (when we're just the messenger from theatre), taking sh*t from rude families. Reading press reports about how superbugs are running rife through my hospital (when our ward has been one of the cleanest) and parents coming in saying "are we going to catch anything being here?". Running ragged all shift with no lunch or dinner break, finishing the shift half an hour late and not being able to claim overtime...feeling faint due to running round all day with no food...and parents still looking at you funny when you say "I'm really busy, I can't fetch your child a TV at the moment". Yes, there are days when you can say "I've really made a difference for someone today" but these are too few in the NHS...I handed in my notice last month with a huge sigh of relief, I'm only sad that it was the work I loved but not all the "added extras" that went with it.
  7. by   english_nurse
    i will tell you one thing the nhs hasnt given me
    a house with a swimming pool
    yeah, i know i havnt got one yet but its only a matter of time lmao
  8. by   madwife2002
    Quote from english_nurse
    i will tell you one thing the nhs hasnt given me
    a house with a swimming pool
    yeah, i know i havnt got one yet but its only a matter of time lmao
    Come on you wouldnt want a pool in the UK It is a normal thing over here to have one lol. You wont get rich quick over here as a nurse. But you will earn a good living.
  9. by   madwife2002
    Quote from Chassie2
    I have only been a qualified paeds nurse for two years, and I truly love nursing, seeing a terribly sick child bounce back to full health is someone that you can't beat. But the NHS has drained me...internal rotation (coming off nights onto earlies), stretches of 14 days (working 13 of them), lack of staff (or being one of the only staff on the shift, and being so scared of what I needed to do if there was ever an emergency), feeling so so wretched after night shifts (and dreading going onto shifts). Being sick of complaints from parents about why their child's operation has been cancelled for the 3rd day in a row (when we're just the messenger from theatre), taking sh*t from rude families. Reading press reports about how superbugs are running rife through my hospital (when our ward has been one of the cleanest) and parents coming in saying "are we going to catch anything being here?". Running ragged all shift with no lunch or dinner break, finishing the shift half an hour late and not being able to claim overtime...feeling faint due to running round all day with no food...and parents still looking at you funny when you say "I'm really busy, I can't fetch your child a TV at the moment". Yes, there are days when you can say "I've really made a difference for someone today" but these are too few in the NHS...I handed in my notice last month with a huge sigh of relief, I'm only sad that it was the work I loved but not all the "added extras" that went with it.
    So sad the life of a nurse in the UK I really feel for you I honestly do.
  10. by   english_nurse
    i dont want rich quick
    i just want a pool
    actually i have one but its full of frogs
  11. by   madwife2002
    Quote from english_nurse
    i dont want rich quick
    i just want a pool
    actually i have one but its full of frogs
    And you'll get one, a very nice one. Train up your hubby to keep it clean they go green here too lol.
  12. by   RGN1
    I loved my NHS job which was on an acuten medical ward. It was busy but the nurses I worked with were really facntastic.

    However as the new budget year grew closer staffing levels fell to quite frankly dangerous levels. we were not allowed agency to cover sickness or anything else in all honetly. I found a job closer to my home, in the private sector & left. It was in the nick of time. The day I started my new job my old NHS hospital put up it's staff car park fees (YES THEY ACTUALLY CHARGE STAFF TO PARK AT WORK!!!!) from 30p (50-55cents approx) to 1 (95 cents approx) per day.

    Now I've learned that 3 wards have closed there - 1 acute surgical, the stroke unit & a care of the elderly ward. Guess which ward will be taking the briunt of the latter 2 closers with inadequate staff.......... yup....the ward I just left!!!!

    It makes me mad because that hospital had fantasic nurses but the management treat them with such contempt!! I'm glad I left but I'm sorry to, sorry for the peope I left behind.

    Some may say I should feel guilty for leaving but who would give me a medal for staying?? I'd more than likely be part of a law suit for inadeqaute care due to lack of staffing! At least my place may have gone to some newly qualified nurse who would not have been able to get a job any other place!

    I know this thread should be about how good it is to work in the NHS &b there are TRULY fantastic nurses doing just so but I for one could not work in a place where managers treat staff soooooooooooooo very badly while their own pockets (& parking spaces) are well lined!!!

    & don't EVEN get me started on the advertised wage for the new head of the RCN or the increase in the NMC/RCN fees!!! When the average staff nurse can't even afford a mortgage in 95% of the UK!!!!
  13. by   plato353
    Sorry to hear about you situation Chassie 2 i hope your future endeavors will be more sucessfull. Allow me to say this is what i term as dedication making you poor( can be financial emtional etc) .

    I have always advocated to being an agent for change should the situation allow you to do that.(dont mean to be patronising)

    Allow me to share chaps. I come from South Africa and have work in the depts of poverty. That does not get me down i am a christian believer and i think there will change for the good one day. The question why the USA. I work for a private company in the UK that does alot of rehab programs in Zambia ( buliding creches and soup clinics for kids etc). We travel out twice a year to Luanda for charity work. Our company has a head office in the USA(not going to mention where).
    My aim God willing is to finish my contract at my chosen hosp in California and do lobbying from within the USA. There are alot of multinationals over there that get huge tax incentives for various donations that they make especially with Africa on the agenda.
    As the Americans say you have to network.I view this as my chosen path in life coupled with teaching and my other half shares in this passion. I guess i am not after the large SUV and swimming pools those do come in handy at some point but not my main focus.
    I am not anti NHS i just feel that the goodwill of many of my former coll are being eroded and that saddens me. I still believe in the fundamentals of nursing.
    I have stepped out of that frenzy and gotten hold of myself.

    PLATO 353

    " to get fullfllment out of life try and change your job every 10 years...."
    sailor turned MD 2001
    Last edit by plato353 on Aug 28, '06

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