Published Nov 20, 2000
I have been a nurse for 16 years now. 12 of those years was in the US. Now I am in the middle east and am trying desperately to find a place where I can fit. Most of the nurses here are Indian. I don't know what they are learning in nursing school but they seem to only be educated to the level of a CNA. THey have no assessment skills. Doctors are even worse. Let me tell you about an incident that happened to me. I was fresh out of the US, it was my 4th day at this big hospital here, in a geriatric ward. There was 44 year old female who had a cerebral bleed the previous year which left her brain damaged. She had a trach, NG, foley. She could not even make eye contact. Her tongue was protruding out of her mouth and she was biting it to the point where it was bleeding and had purulent drainage. THe nurses were not at all concerned with this. The tip of her tougue was turning blue. I could not let this go!
The nurse in charge starting getting concerned because of the fuss that I was making. After several doctors came to see her with no results the nurses told me not to worry because there was a doctor who was a very good neurosurgeon who had seen her in the past and he would come an evaluate her condtion. I was somewhat relieved. When he came to see her I went with him and as he stood at her bedside deciding what to to about her tougue, I suggested removing her teeth, because according the other nurses this was a problem that she had several times in the past. He looked at me and said "Well I would hate to confine her to dentures" I could not believe my ears. This woman has been in this state for 1 year. I should have said "Well if she does ever starting eating again she will have her teeth but she won;t have her tongue!" It is criminal what some of these nurses and doctors do to there patients.
I was trained as a nurse in the UK, and now I work in the USA. It is very different to be a nurse in the USA. You use alot more assessment skills, and have more autonomy and responsiblity. In the UK it is not uncommon to have to take care 6-12 patients on a day shift, so you are not expected to do full physical assessments, because there is not enough time in the day. In the UK I never once listened to someones lungs, so it was very strange to nurse here in the beginning. However, I would say that the USA is the best place to nurse, as you are paid more, and treated more like a professional.....
Did you find it difficult to adjust? Did your place of employment in the US train you to assess breath sounds? How were you accepted by the american nurses?
I have a million questions. I feel like nursing has taken on a whole new meaning for me since I have seen it on a global scale. I am very interested in talking with other nurses who have had similiar experiences. I agree with you, I think nursing is the best I have seen in the US.
Nursing in Australia is good. Not only is climate nice, but working conditions are good. As a Registered Nurse you are paid in incriments of 1st year to 8th year. 8th year gives you approx $41,000. That is for South Australia. Wages are more in other States of Australia, but so is the living costs. The hospitals are very busy and are currently on a ecruiting drive for nurses. If you applied now you would have a response on the same day. Being a lot of places are Government run, you are well protected and supported. It is very difficult for work place bullying. You have the opportunity to practice iin a variety of settings and the hospitals encourage further education of nurses. If you are interested in escaping, Australia is a great place to come.Contact me if you want more info.
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