Nursing in the UK - page 4

I am a registered nurse in the US, and I'd like to get some information on how nursing works in the UK...for example: 1. Are nurses called "Registered Nurses" or "Licensed Nurses" or are they... Read More

  1. by   fergus51
    I don't see why this thread has degenerated into a "we're better than them" type thing. I have worked as a nurse in Canada and the US, and worked with nurses from all over the world. In no way does that make me capable of generalizing to the extent that I have seen people do on this thread. Saying UK or American nurses are better trained, or work less, or all "pass the buck" by getting a doctor's order or anything is a bit excessive. I am sure we can all agree that every country has great and not so great facilities and nurses.

    I have been considering trying the UK, and I can only hope that I would be welcomed if I do The vast majority of UK nurses I have worked with have been professional and friendly, so I hope they are representative of the majority in their homeland.
  2. by   platinumrn
    I agree with the UK nurses (sorry US counterpart). My first job in nursing was in a Level I trauma center in EAstern North Carolina. THis was late 90's. They relied on travel nurses to a degree.
    I worked with a nurse from the UK (correct me if I am wrong) that went to school in Midworcester. She was awesome!!!!!!!
    She was very astute on changes in her patient (including sounds) and ensuring they got the care they needed from our medical counterparts.
    The nurse MUST be holistic and an advocate for our patients!!! This differentiates us from other ancillary folks.
  3. by   Aphrodite
    My last post on this this particular subject. I'ts good, as I said to vent and of course no matter where we are, we all have something to vent about. I agree that the focus should be on exchanging ideas and learning from each other and I'm sure we could all learn a lot by doing this. However, we are all human and have feelings. I think mancusoa, your insensitive comments are offensive more because you sort of just did a sweep of all British trained Nurses and their apparent incompitence. That is just simply rude and I see you have tried to justify yourself in a follow-up post. I can just imagine that on your return to the US, you had plenty of negative things to say and that is very immature. I have to say that your comments about "They came to me for this and that"...and "I taught them this and that" What rubbish (BS in America) Are you not embarrassed by your own comments? It's obvious that you have caused offense on this board and although I don't like to be childish myself, the truth is that you have just made me mad and I think WE ARE ALSO GRATEFUL THAT YOU ARE BACK IN THE US! (by the way I live in Canada and I feel embarrassed for you) You must have really missed your sneekers, scrubs and stethescope that so many of your type feel validates you as a professional. My advice to you would be to first of all grow up and learn some manners and secondly to throw away your arrogance and stop being so silly. Im absolutely sure that if you had experienced working in a large teaching hospital in the UK, you would NEVER have had this negative opinion and you would certainly NEVER have had to 'teach' anyone anything. You would have been treated with respect as a visitor, your knowledge appreciated and more likely you would have learned a lot. Sooooooooooo smarten up Mancusoae and have a BIG MAC on me!
  4. by   Good_Queen_Bess
    Well said Aphrodite. Simply put, there are good nurses and bad nurses all over, the same as there are good people and bad people. You just don't expect to come on this BB and get insulted by ignorant sweeping statements by someone who thinks they know the entire nursing profession in Britain by one supposed bad experience. Well, I was working with an American nurse a few weeks back and I found her arrogant, ignorant and lazy. But I didn't make the ignorant generalisation that ALL nurses in America are like that, because I hope I can see beyond that one bad experience and don't have a myopic, self-righteous opinion of myself.
  5. by   uk_nurse
    nurses in US are trained differently to us UK nurses but are no way better than us. We all have our own roles to carry out and as said by someone else there are good and bad nurses everywhere
  6. by   andywhite
    Greetings!

    Wow, this whole US/UK issue is a heated subject. I will assume that any situation depends on your expecations and what you make of it. I remain openminded on the subject.

    Anyway, to my questions

    I am a Nursing student in the US and my long range plans include spending a couple of years (or possibly more) over in the UK.

    I would like to get a general idea of the atmosphere of the health profession in the UK and the working environments for RN's.

    Is there room for growth in responsilbity and pay? Meaning if you really apply yourself and acquire more responsilbity, can you grow professionally as well?
    Is the field respected in the UK?
    Are there many nurses who specialize in particular areas (infectious disease, oncology, etc.)?
    Which area do you think has the best working enviroment? Public, private? Institutional hospitals or small practices?
    What is the general relationships between nurses and doctors? Who is doing most of the care and evaluation?

    Thanks so much.
  7. by   Betty_SPN_KS
    As I said before, I'd like to learn more about nursing in both the US and UK.
    I'm a USA nursing student, with a lot to learn.
    Any who would like to pm me, feel free.

    By the way, if I'd show up to clinicals without my stethoscope, I'd be sent home!
  8. by   fab4fan
    Wow...I thought the Revolutionary War ended a long time ago!

    This reminds me of when I was going through the Prado, and some other Americans were *****ing that the Met was better. What are you doing here, then?

    I find it hard to believe that the UK is completely bereft of any nurses with comparable ( or better, for that matter) critical care skills...heck, even usual nursing skills. Don't they have ICU's, too? Is there no trauma in the UK? They don't do major surgeries there, either? Who's taking care of these pts., Mary Poppins?

    Sorry to you UK nurses who have had to endure the bratty behavior of some of your colleagues from the US. Not all of us feel that way about you.

    Seems to me I recall that Florence Nightengale was British.

    (I also agree with the poster who wondered why the US nurse stayed for 2y in a hosp. that was such a snake pit, by her description.)
  9. by   Karen30
    In response to your questions, there is always room for growth in responsibility and pay, if you are willing to apply yourself, you can grow professionally, there are many exciting and new opportunities within the UK in nursing and if you are inclined to study and work hard then you can only go up!!
    As for whether nursing is respected in the UK, it depends on who you talk to!!! Nurses would say "NO", the public would say, "YES" it depends on how you classify respect.
    Many nurses in the UK specialise in various fields, if you know the area you want to specialise in then go for it, if not then I would say work on a general medical/surgical ward for 6-12 months to get a feel for the type of nursing/patients you want to care for.
    Same advice I would say as to whether you go public or private. The NHS, does offer it's staff some incentives, as for the private sector I'm not sure having never worked in that environment.

    I think the relationship between nurses and doctors probably varies from hospital to hospital or practise to practise. I am lucky that the doctors I have worked with respect nurses as a profession and value our opinions and expertise, but I do know of nurses who have said that some doctors have treated them as second best or "hand maidens"

    As for caring and evaluation, if you work within a hospital environment and you have a good multidisciplinary team then the care and evaluation should be a joint effort.

    Sorry for the length of this post, if you need any information then just ask!!!
  10. by   DavidFR
    Originally posted by MANCUSOAE

    Be grateful we don't have socialized medicine!
    Sorry, but you are commenting on ONE socialized medical system.

    I now work in France where the system is excellent. The difference? UK -lowest rate of taxation in the European Union; France-one of the highest. You get what you pay for. The French are very community minded and very attached to their public services. The majority are proud to pay high taxes for good public services and while everybody would like to pay less tax, they see it as a necessity in a civilised society where everybody has access to good health care without having to worry if they can afford it or not. I'm afraid the selfish British public (and I speak as a Brit myself) will always vote for tax cuts, then moan that their schools, hospital and trains don't work.

    French nurses are highly skilled. All the tasks you describe (cannulation, catherization etc.) are done by nurses, though frankly, they were when I worked in the UK too so I don't see why your hospital was behind. Nurse patient ratios are not high, BUT the support workers here (Aide Soignantes) are highly trained and are almost like your LPN's or British EN's, so although you may be few registered nurses on a shift you have very good support from your Aide Soignantes. The French system works efficiently. There are no waiting lists like in the UK, it's high tech and dynamic. Of course it has it's problems like all systems, but what the French think of as a "problem" is often ten times worse in the UK.

    I have heard too many horror stories of what can happen to people in the US if they are not adequately covered for me to be convinced it is an attractive system. Didn't Clinton want to reform it? And wasn't he blocked by big business?. And you spend more on health care than any other developed nation for no better measurable outcomes.

    I believe there is no fairer system than the principle of health coverage for all funded by the state out of taxation and free at the point of delivery. The French example is proof that this can also be of a good quality. Give me socilailzed heath care any day!
  11. by   seanymph
    I have a question about working in the UK. I do travel nursing here in the US now and would eventually like to extend to do it in the UK. MY speciality is obstrestrics. I am not a midwive. I am a RN who does labor and delivery, postpartum and wel newborn nursery. Is this something I would be able to do in the UK? Either one area or all? I do not want to do medical/surgical or any other area, just obstretrics. I am also intrested in the North Yorkshire Area if anyone would like to fill me in on their hospitals, especially the Leeds area. Thank you.
  12. by   Silverdragon102
    Hi Dawn,
    I live in West Yorkshire approx 10 miles from Leeds and in this area there are a few good hospitals.
    Regarding working in Obstretrics Only midwives can deliver but you might be able to work on the antental and post natal wards, but you might not be able to get as involved as you do now. UK do not have travel nurses like the US but work with an agency who has a contract with various hospitals but work tends to be intermitent ie in 1 week you may work in several wards but there is a shortage and sometimes arrangements can be made with wards for longer assignment to work with them.
    Hope this helps. you can always pm me if you have any more questions. I will try to help
    Anna
  13. by   Good_Queen_Bess
    Originally posted by DavidFR
    Sorry, but you are commenting on ONE socialized medical system.

    I now work in France where the system is excellent. The difference? UK -lowest rate of taxation in the European Union; France-one of the highest. You get what you pay for. The French are very community minded and very attached to their public services. The majority are proud to pay high taxes for good public services and while everybody would like to pay less tax, they see it as a necessity in a civilised society where everybody has access to good health care without having to worry if they can afford it or not. I'm afraid the selfish British public (and I speak as a Brit myself) will always vote for tax cuts, then moan that their schools, hospital and trains don't work.

    French nurses are highly skilled. All the tasks you describe (cannulation, catherization etc.) are done by nurses, though frankly, they were when I worked in the UK too so I don't see why your hospital was behind. Nurse patient ratios are not high, BUT the support workers here (Aide Soignantes) are highly trained and are almost like your LPN's or British EN's, so although you may be few registered nurses on a shift you have very good support from your Aide Soignantes. The French system works efficiently. There are no waiting lists like in the UK, it's high tech and dynamic. Of course it has it's problems like all systems, but what the French think of as a "problem" is often ten times worse in the UK.

    I have heard too many horror stories of what can happen to people in the US if they are not adequately covered for me to be convinced it is an attractive system. Didn't Clinton want to reform it? And wasn't he blocked by big business?. And you spend more on health care than any other developed nation for no better measurable outcomes.

    I believe there is no fairer system than the principle of health coverage for all funded by the state out of taxation and free at the point of delivery. The French example is proof that this can also be of a good quality. Give me socilailzed heath care any day!
    You are right. In the UK, people can be selfish. I would happily pay a couple of percent more tax per pound to see better health care as well as better education etc etc. However, lowering taxes is a vote winner, and unfortunatley people generally can't see beyond the end of their nose. Tax the rich :chuckle !!!!!

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