Recently moved Canadian RN to UK

  1. Hi all!
    I have recently undergone the whole thing with registering in the UK with the NMC, finally received my PIN and worked my first shift in a UK hospital yesterday as agency on a Medical assessment unit (basically a branch of the ER/A&E). I found the situation there appalling. I'm a Cardiac HDU/ITU nurse back home (from Canada, but worked in Detroit), and I found the patient care situation is dire here. They had 10 patients to each nurse from 7:30-1400, and then I came on the unit and they handed over to me for 1400-2000. I barely had any report, the charts were all over the place, IV bags were not hung up properly or hung up at all. Medications had to be mixed by the nurses, which is different, but theres nowhere to find out the proper way of doing it, I asked how I could find out, and all the nurses said was "you just memorize it".I didn't even see one of my patients until 1900... because I didn't get a handover that I didn't know about!!! This was insane, and it makes me miss my job back home!! Is this the case with all the UK hospitals? IF so, how do your nurses survive?!!!!
  2. Visit jhan2288 profile page

    About jhan2288

    Joined: Sep '12; Posts: 2


  3. by   Silverdragon102
    I used to work in a Medical Admission Unit although a few years ago. We was allocated patients but a lot depends on how many beds you have. We had I think it was initially 21 beds and 3 RN plus 3 care workers and could admit as many as 50 patients in that shift. We took admissions in turn and completed all paperwork and initiated some investigations before the doctor even saw the patient like bloods, ECG, and if necessary the insertion of IV access. Yes we mixed antibiotics as required and instructions should be included in the packaging of the vial but generally you mixed the same medication so soon got the hang on what you needed to do. Common in a MAU for charts to be all over the place but we did have a system and tried to keep them in one place unless with the nurse or doctor.

    I understand at the moment things are really bad in the NHS system so probably still working short staffed

    I hope things settle soon but it may be a case of everyone is burnt out and just don't care anymore due to poor staffing
  4. by   misswoosie
    Oh well I see it hasn't got any better since I left the UK.
    The last hospital I worked had a med/surg admissions unit with 28 beds and ususally there were 3 or 4 qualified staff on duty and maybe 1 or 2 healthcare assistants. It was crazy.
    Yes RNs usually have to make up IV meds.

    Charting is something that seems to have been going down hill for several year s now, especially fluid balance. I had a fairly experienced RN who was UK trained but had just returned from working in the US for 5 yrs tell me that fluid balance charts weren't that important for medical patients (as opposed to surgical). No one seems to do 24hr balances any more and then they wonder why pts end up dry with kidney function going off so frequently.
    Plus I think oral fluid management is totally neglected nowadays.
  5. by   wish_me_luck
    Are nurses being hired in the UK? If not, then you can't fix the staffing. If so, maybe some of us US nurses can move there? What's the pay like in England? I know it is less than the US, from what I understand. I had learned (via a video through Frontier on PBS) that England's system is very much preventative.

    England nurses, please pony up some information regarding jobs, pay, and such there. I would highly appreciate it. Thanks.
  6. by   Silverdragon102
    Things are rough with some NHS Trusts filing bankruptcy or laying staff off including nurses. Pay wise look up RCN payscale 2012/13 and nurses generally start at band 5 just over 21000 a year which with current conversion is $33626 USD

    Process with NMC is long and there are courses you have to take. Anything like LPN or ADN is not accepted. The UK has not trained equivalent to LPN since the late 1980's

    UK does do a lot towards preventative and normal to see chronic care for diabetes, COPD, heart disease etc done by GP or in the community
  7. by   wish_me_luck
    thanks fo the info. I am lucky, I have a BSN.
  8. by   C.Rene RN
    Hi, I am a US trained RN with over 7 years of inpatient hospital experience. I recently relocated to the UK on a settlement visa to be with my husband. I have already obtained my UK RN license through the NMC and I am currently beginning the job hunt. JHan, how did you find your job (not that it sounds overly desirable! no offense)? Did you go through an agency, or find one on your own? I am feeling very overwhelmed (just arrived 4 days ago-still need a NI number etc) and dont know where to begin! I have been on the NHS website to try and investigate local jobs, but I am very curious to talk to someone who is in a similar situation to me. Any advice or info you have would be greatly appreciated. I hope your job situation has since improved! Thanks for your time.
  9. by   KellySaraLynne
    Wow @JHan2288! That sounds crazy?! Have things gotten better? Did you stick it out? What hospital were you working in?
  10. by   C.Rene RN
    Hey Kelly!
    Sorry, they wont let me respond privately to your message because I'm not active enough on the site, or something! In response to your message about Continental Nursing, I did speak to them and receive their packet (which was indeed overwhelming). However, I decided not to work with them after all because I am here on a settlement visa to be with my husband and the closest they could put me to where we live was over 2 hrs away! When I completed the Overseas Nurses Programme a lot of the girls in my class were working with them and found them very helpful. If youre not picky about where you are placed it is probably worth working with them!! They were very nice on the phone. Hope that helps a bit, good luck!
  11. by   ayla2004
    Never worked mau only wards. Mau is known as he'll. As for iv meds did you have a uclh drug book available in the clinic brilliant resource for intractable meds . I log now nurses know about stand call it a bible.

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