greet n meet/cheese n wine - page 5

Isnt it great a forum for Aussie - feel like l am on an adventure again So lets see whose is on the board Lets all check in and see who can, may contribute - please any lurkers come and talk y us ... Read More

  1. by   Evie
    Hihi Everyone :-)

    It has been great to read all your differing opinions about hospital training vs university. This matter is quite pertinent to my situation because I'm at uni at the moment. I'm in my 2nd year at QUT in Brisbane and I must say that I absolutely love it. Before starting nursing I did 2 years of a dual science/arts degree and found the uncertainty of career outcomes frustrating. I'd always had an interest in health and so decided that nursing was the career for me.

    So far I am not sure about whether I think uni or hospital training is better - I think that both have their positive and negative sides. I like the fact that you graduate with a degree because from what I have read and heard from tutors it has done a lot to enhance nursing as a profession. On the other hand, it *is* appalling, as some of you have mentioned, that we graduate with only 20 weeks of clinical experience. I had my first clinical placement right at the end of first year (last November) and it was strange having to wait that long before we even had an insight into what nursing was really like (nb. an insight only!). Having said that, I think we would have been underprepared had we gone out earlier. I went out and did AIN work in aged care at the earliest opportunity and I felt that it gave me an advantage over some of the other students I was with on prac because I had mastered the very basic nursing skills, including the most obvious and important skill of communication. I was then able to focus more on improving my observational and assessment skills and feel at ease with patient-nurse contact which may have otherwise been a herdle initially.

    I do not agree at this (early!) stage that nursing should move back into hospital-based training only, but think that splitting the time equally between hospital and uni would be more beneficial, because it is important to master the theory AND the practice. This morning I had a unilab (like a prac class) which is run once a week for 5 weeks of semester, 1.5 hrs each - this is where we learn our clinical skills. We get to practice each skill once, and the next time is out on the ward - SCARY. Some of my fellow students were aghast when they were told we would not be getting paid for prac - life is difficult as a student and having to leave your part-time job for full-time unpaid work really requires careful financial planning. But I figure that if QLD nurses are still struggling with our (seemingly broke) state government - we are the lowest paid nurses in Australia after all - then there is no way we are going to get paid for our training!

    Anyway, after I graduate at the end of next year I want to move to Toowoomba (about 120km west, up on the range.. aah ) for my grad program. I am so ready to leave the hustle and bustle of city life (albeit only Brisbane-paced)! One of the most attractive things about nursing to me is knowing that my skills will be transportable. I love living in QLD and we have some beautiful provincial cities and towns (T'ba being one of the loveliest!). Ultimately, I want my career to take me overseas while I am young and unattached! Can't wait to explore US & Canada. I'd love to hear from any Aussie nurses living o/s about what it's really like. The areas of nursing that interest me are ICU and CCU/HDU etc..

    That's it for me today!

  2. by   joannep
    G'day everyone, just found this site, and I have been posting for years! I currently work in a satellite haemodialysis unit in Melbourne, and I just love it.

    I am a hospital trained nurse (Queen Victoria Medical Centre, Melbourne, 1982). I completed postgrad qualifications in Operating Room nursing and worked in the OR for 15 year.
    I went to uni and completed a BN (post reg). In 1999 I changed to renal nursing and completed postgrad qualifications in Renal Nursing. With the support of my husband and two children I have just finished and graduated from a Master of Nursing Leadership from Australian Catholic University.

    So, I have trained in the hospital system and have completed post-grad studies to masters level at university.

    As far as hospital based training versus a university degree, I will say that you are stuck with the system that is in place at the time you wish to study, whether you agree with that system or not.

    At the time that university courses were implemented the recommendation was for a 4 year course, to enable more clinical hours to be scheduled, however, in its wisdom the federal government refused to fund the 4th year so it was compacted to 3 years. Nearly every graduate has felt that they have lacked sufficient supervised clinical hours before graduation, but the fault is not the ANC, or the ANF, they wanted the 4th year.

    The women in my family have all been nurses. My grandmother, who graduated in the UK in 1930's, my mother, who graduated in Australia in the 1950's, myself, who graduated in the 1980's, and my daughter who is currenlty studying nursing (no she was not brain washed from birth!). Each one of us trained under different conditions, and with different standards of expertise.

    When I commenced my training in 1979, I would not have found it acceptable to be trained to the standard of my grandmother or my mother, so why do so many nurses think that the standard or type of training of 20 years ago is the bench mark for nurse education today. Times have changed, technology has changed and we live in a far different society. My daughter would never find it acceptable to do a hospital based course, she comes from a generation that considers a university degree a primary qualification.

    I totally agree that there is a lack of supervised clinical practice, but I have no doubt that there will continue to be changes to nurse education and hopefully these changes will incorporate more clinical hours, but I can't see the government agreeing to fund a 4th year. So the best we can do at the moment is to improve the graduate year programs so that new graduates feel they have adequate support and are not left high and dry when they hit the wards.

    I feel like I've just written a mouthful on the subject. It's time for a coffee break and banana muffin.

  3. by   gwenith
    Hi - I am a brisbanite and I trained in a hosptial - Princess Alexandra to be exact. I have been a nurse educator in a hospital before university training and have been a nurse educator/ staff development officer post university training. I have a post graduate degree in ICU as well as a degree in nurse education.

    Pro and cons of University vs Hospital training.

    Hospital training

    high clinical experience
    intense exposure to "hidden curriculum" (socialisation yes ma'am no ma'am)
    informal information network allowed learning of undocumented aspects of care (the stuff that is not in the books)
    "theory /practice gap" was able to be discussed directly and with relevance
    Students - because they wore thier "levels" in the open on thier caps had graduated expectations of achievement - you did not expect a first year nurse to be as proficient as a third year nurse
    We recruited high achievers who were unable to afford university. Some of our BEST were nurses who came into the profession by default.
    Student nurses were employed full time and had a heavy study load at the end of the three years they were near burn out
    There was cognisance that nursing= life long learning. You were expected to go on and "collect" certificates in specialties

    Unviersity Training

    low clinical experience
    socialisation via the hidden curriculum now post graduate ? has led to increased activism
    Theory/practice gap poorly adressed
    Most texts are american - do not fully cover the Australian nurses job description (Yeah I would LOOOVE to do a research paper on that one)
    The undocumented and underdocumented aspects of care must be learnt
    Nurses enter the workforce at one level and therefor inappropriate expectations are placed upon them
    University trainees are supernumery - a not uncommon problem arising form this was diminished sense of accountability to holistic care.
    Expectation of lifelong learning has diminished. NO expectation to "collect ceritficates" instead there is an increased expectation to "stay where you are"

    Many of the above points are multifactoral and not just about university vs hospital. i deliberately did not include the change in social status that having a degree was supposed to confer as I am unsure if it did change our status inside or outside the profession.
  4. by   joannep
    Hi everyone,
    I think there is a definite correlation between the move from hospital based specialty certificates to postgraduate diploma's and the current shortage of specialist nurses. For those of you who are not familiar with hospital based training; a hospital based post graduate certificate was funded by the hospital and you were paid full time, even for your study days. They were difficult to get into. I remember sitting a 3 hour exam, and having an interview with a 4 member panel, with 50 other applicants to get into a theatre course that had only 6 places that was being run by a major melbourne hospital. When I found out I had been offered a place I was thrilled. We graduated from this course having scrubbed for everything and being considered a senior member of staff. Grad-dip graduates appear to be educated to a novice standard (at least this is how they feel), the number of clinical hours they experience is less than half what I experienced. The students I have spoken to feel really ripped off regarding clinical experience, especially after paying so much money. A grad-dip is around $10,000 here in Melbourne, and while there are a number of scholarship's available, they don't cover anywhere near the cost. It is interesting that one of the major public hospitals here in melbourne is offering a hospital based renal course, that costs a minimal amount and fully articulates with a grad dip from one of the universities, if you choose to persue a grad dip qualification.

    Maybe the trend of new graduates to "stay where you are" could be related to their need to pay off their hex bill, and their reluctance to persue postgraduate education because they still haven't paid off their debt, or don't want to be in that much debt again. In the days of hospital based training we had no such requirement and could walk out the door after finishing our time and be sure of getting a job elsewhere. What do you think?

    ps. gwenith I love Lazarus Long too
  5. by   joannep
    Hey Tookie when are you coming to Melbourne to get your hair curled, we can do coffee when you are in town.
  6. by   Tookie
    Am in Melbourne again in a couple of weeks at ST V's but only for some tests - have been leading a very queit life for the past couple of months - when l go down to melbourne its generally to see the kids and my parents (They dont let me out of their sight at the moment- well at least until l straighten out the medical stuff) however we will be on for that coffee soon l hope - I had coffee recently at the new docklands area with my parents for my Mums 82nd on ANZAC day - we had just celebrated my sisters 50th - A bit far for me to drive alone at the moment - but l havent forgotten - OH yes went ot my hair dresser when l was down there and guess what - He leaving hairdressing and going into real estate !!!!- so now my sister is under strict instructions to fond someone who can cut out hair properly

    Anaywa thank you to all of those new people who have joined us for this nice drink of wine (or what you prefer) and some delicous cheese) welcome make yourselves know
    And please contiue this good discussion going on about Unis Vs Hosp - Maybe it should be started as a definate thread and not be lost in this socail win and cheese atmosphere - although we lot from the down under do discuss a lot of interesting topics when we share a glass and have a nibble of cheese.

    Enough of my raving

    Cheers Tookie
  7. by   Joh
    Hi all,

    When I posted this question almost 8 months ago,, I didnt realize there would be so many replys. I totally agree with you all.

    I am currently in my 3rd year of my nursing degree,, with 1 more assignment to do (today) and have finished this semester, with only 1 more to go.

    It is very daunting,, Have just completed 2, 4 week rotations, I in Rehab and one in Community Mental health (which i loved).
    Though next semester we have a 6 week rotation, in either med/surg and we "have" to know everything.

    Alot of us, are a bit scared as this years placements have been more about learning about commuity, rather than clinical skills.

    So they are sending us out to "pretend to be RN's" and most of us have not had a clinical prac since last year........
    We do feel very unprepared....

    Luck on my side, I am a mature aged student, and having been working as a AIN since I started my degree, so at least I have that.
    But,,(bad english), I feel that by the end of Oct when I finish, and hopefully get my badge,,, I then have to work as a RN and know what I am doing...Its soooooo scary.

    Where I live, the local hospital only offers 20 post-grad positions and the private only 5. There are at least 30 mature age students, with kids and hubbys who cannot move,, so we are a bit concerned we wont get jobs. Our local hospital (so we have heard) will not employ you if you have not done you post grad year.....

    So stay tuned,,, will let you all know what happens.

    In the meantime, I am enquirying to Flinders Uni to do a Grad Certificate in Mental Health... anyone have any ideas on this, or whether I am thinking of taking on too much......
    Would appreciate some feed back...

    Take Care

    Mackay, Qld.
  8. by   gwenith
    Macadamia coffee is on th boil and some lovely Millel Cheese with nice camembert is sitting ready to be eaten.
  9. by   AussieAIN
    Hi everyone,
    Just thought I'd tell you a little about myself. I'm 24 and living and working in the Southern Highlands of NSW (Babe the movie country). I work in Aged Care (nursing home) as an AIN and will have been as same for 12 months come end of July. I'm hooked just not sure if I want to do the EN or RN course yet, I like where I am at the moment.
    Last edit by AussieAIN on Oct 11, '03
  10. by   melbnurse
    Hi Sandra et al
    My name is Leigh, and I at present work in the public hospital system, in Rehab .Melbourne .
    I trained at the Alfred hospital, years a go! 40 to be exact .
    I have recently returned to the hospital environment, have spent 21 years with the RFDS, both on cape York, and in the Kimberley in WA.
    i love nursing , and have practiced as such , for the last 40 years . i have just found this site , so thought i would pop in and say Hi
  11. by   gwenith
    welcome leigh!!! brisbanite myself. i am sure you will enjoy it here!!
  12. by   jayna
    Heres my tuppence.

    Actually am from here
    hope it works.

    Graduated in my old country in 1992. Spend my nursing times in A&E mostly and also travelling around the country for transporting emegency cases. How I love that!!!.

    Did my BA in NZ wonder why?? cold for me here....... but worth it.

    Worked with one International organsation for two years. How I love it. Wishing to got back when i finish my traning here in NZ.

    But I would love to try old QLD nursing first. :roll :roll

    So hey, nice meeting you guys.

  13. by   gwenith
    Jayna I am drooling over your home country!!! My heart belongs to the tropics even if my skin belongs to the artic!!

    Brisbane at night.