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 referred to as another name? Here in the US, they are referred to as Registered Nurses (RN's).
2. What is the process for becoming a nurse in the UK?
3. How might a nurse in the UK be recruited to work in the US or vise versa.
4. What is the hiring process to be placed in acute care?
I am sorry but I disagree, UK nurses have just as much ethical, moral and legal responsibility, if not more. As you rightly point out it is not uncommon for ratios of 1:10. I actually work with a ratio of 1:12 and have on occasion worked 1:24. Surely this is a huge ethical, moral and legal responsibility? Also if you are working within the NHS then patient care should be centered around a multidisciplinary approach which brings together all the ethical, legal and moral decisions and responsibilities.
Whilst UK nurses are "not responsible for heart/lung/bowel sounds" I think you will find a large number do in fact cannulate, catheterize, carry out venepuncture, etc. I work in a large district general hospital and I would say 90% of nurses carry out those roles.
I also have to say that US nurses aren't trained better just differently to UK nurses, and that being responsible for "heart/lung and bowel sounds" doesn't necessarily make you a better nurse.
Being a nurse is not only about being able to carry out technical aspects, such as B.P. monitoring, for example, but being able to care for people who are unwell and not able in some way to care for themselves. Being a nurse is about showing compassion, understanding, strength and stamina, as well as reassuring and alleviating fears. Many patients I have cared for really couldn't care what their B.P. is, sometimes all they want is for someone to be there to hold there hand, to listen and to explain things.
Last edit by Karen30 on Aug 30, '03
Yes your right, you do have to still do post qualifying courses to cannulate, etc... But most nurses where I work in the North West do attend these.
However, I think it is only a nurse who places limitations on herself, if you want to know how to learn to read CT scans, auscultate heart, bowel, lung sounds...there is no reason why you can't learn to do these things, it's just that some nurses chose not to learn these things because the demands on nurses are that great already that this would place an even larger burden on overworked, underpaid nurses in this country
Last edit by Karen30 on Sep 1, '03