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  1. skylark

    Medical Helicopter Crash.

    Off topic, but just wanted to say that I happened to see the crash in Chicago, back in July 2018. The helicopter developed a technical fault, possibly from being struck with a firework or drone (think 4th July people!), and I watched the helicopter drift for several minutes, leaning badly to one side and also tilted nose down. The pilot was absolutely incredible, he managed to somehow drag that thing slowly across two suburbs and land it on a small area of grass, in between interstate and train tracks. A few yards either direction and he would have gotten hit by a truck or a train. But he managed to miss everything and every building, and landed it beautifully. All crew walked away and the patient was moved by road to the trauma center. I have nothing but admiration for that pilot, I've seen countless landings both military and civilian at our trauma center but I have never seen skill like that, he literally coaxed over houses and tracks and drifted it out. I hope that guy gets formal recognition of his skills and bravery that day.
  2. skylark

    UK nurses overseas - maintaining NMC registration

    I can help but it will need to be WhatsApp, I gave up on my Skype account! I already revalidated but can help you with the discussion, just let me know : )
  3. skylark

    Living paycheck to paycheck

    I was a single mom, with no family nearby and had to pay for every minute of childcare when I was working. Ask around your friends and see if anyone else lives near to you and has kids the same age. I managed to team up with another mom for a while, who lived in the same street as me. We both worked at the same hospital, and manage to set our schedules so that we worked opposite days, and the mom who was home had both kids. She worked Monday Wednesday Friday and I worked Tuesday Thursday Saturday, all 12 hour shifts. It makes a huge difference when you have free childcare, and your kids enjoy being with others as well. Also, figure if you can manage without a car. I've never owned one, I've always chosen my jobs based on transit options, so that I can get a bus or train to work, and ride my bike in the good weather. Not having a car payment, gas, insurance, etc makes a big difference. I currently pay $100 a month for transit and thats it, no other travel expenses at all, and my hospital has a scheme where transit is paid pre tax, so I even save on taxes too! Meal planning can also help to cut costs. Plan a week of meals, then convert the recipes to grocery lists and go buy it all for the week. Make double portions of meals and freeze the second one to use the next week. I make soup in large quantities, (Panera recipes are online and they are great!), and you can freeze it into tupperware pots and just take a couple of pots out the freezer each day. Living with kids on a budget can be done, but it takes planning and organization. Sign up for netflix instead of paying for the movie theater, and cook your own popcorn!
  4. skylark

    Active Shooter Training

    This is an issue that concerns me as an ER nurse. Not only are we the "front door" to the hospital and therefore the first people a shooter would encounter, but also an ER has few places to hide. We have curtains instead of walls, and nowhere to go. I have raised specific concerns several times with our in-house security staff, but nothing changes. We don't even have doors that could be locked or barricaded.
  5. OK, so the rules have changed, and CPD is no longer enough. I'm wondering about how to achieve the "reflective discussion" part when there are no UK registered nurses where I work. So, all expat Brits, please let me know how you plan to maintain your NMC registration. Is anyone agreeable to contacting me, with a view to maybe planning an email/Skype discussion that we both can document? I'm in Chicago btw, so if there are any other UK nurses here, we can meet in Panera instead : )
  6. skylark

    Those Kind of Tears That Make Your Throat Burn

    I have to ask this question - why are we as nurses so bad at allowing each other time out to decompress at times like this? Why is it always expected that we just move on to the next patient without any need to take a breath? I'm thankful that my team is good at this, if one of us says we need five minutes and please cover, then that is what happens. But I'm thinking that is rare, we've been a team a long time and I don't think other nurses always get that space and respect for their emotions.
  7. skylark

    NHS financial crisis

    It seems that right across the country, A&Es are being divided up, and the minor side is being handed over to Care UK. There have been problems in that they have a very specific criteria for the patients they will see, and therefore a larger proportion have been shifted to majors unnecessarily. Care UK runs a seperate computer system, so for example anyone requiring bloodwork or xrays has to go to majors, to get a hospital number for their investigations. They also refuse all drunks and also psych patients, which is some areas of London is a big part of the caseload!! So minors gradually evolves into a GP walk-in centre, unable to manage injuries, and the work for majors piles up. Then after a while someone at the top of the food chain decides there are now too many breaches, the nurses are no good, majors is unsafe, and they close it down. THen of course the next nearest A&E has to pick up the slack, then their breach numbers go up as they cannot admit to a full hospital, and there is nowhere to divert to. So they get investigated for the breaches, Care Uk gets brought in to "help", and so it starts over . . . . . Maybe I'm a conspiracy theorist, but I'm seeing this pattern being repeated, and I'm wondering what its all about.
  8. skylark

    NHS financial crisis

    There are a lot of decisions being made that just dont make sense. One London hospital - closing A&E, unable to state if/where they can redeploy the nurses, but STILL advertising vacancies, and also actively recruiting in the Philippines, there are 70 new starters flying across at the start of December. In Cambridge the first NHS hospital to be completely run by the private sector, I think its Huntingdon / Hinchingbrooke Hospital. Most hospitals have private input, such as hotel services, portering, linen, etc, and this year a lot of minor injury units have been taken over by a group called Care UK, but this is apparently the first hospital to be completely private. Doesnt look good at all.
  9. skylark

    NHS financial crisis

    I think the unions have been slow generally. Unison has made a lot of noise but has not been very pro-active in actually negotiating or supporting, and the RCN just seems to make vague "We will represent you" sounds. : (
  10. skylark

    NHS financial crisis

    Cutbacks continue to undermine the service and destory morale. Just this week, one London A&E has been cut back to a 12 hour day, shutting at night, and completely closed from December, and another is likely to close in April. Does anyone care about the patients? For those that will continue to turn up at night, not realising it is shut, the delay when searching for another hospital could be disastrous. Hospitals that are already struggling to meet targets will be even more challenged when trying to absorb the workload of the newly closed A&E, (which btw was the one that they used to divert ambulances to when they were full). Staff morale is already rockbottom, and just piling the pressure on is unlikely to fix that. I think the only word that can be used now for the NHS is implode . . . . .
  11. skylark

    NHS financial crisis

    Sadly I feel that this is not entirely a political issue, a huge part of the problem lies within the service itself. Its top-heavy with management, and there are just to many short-sighted decisions being made, I think anyone who has worked int he UK in recent years can think of a hospital that had money spend on updating it, only to be closed within a couple of years. Certainly I can think of 3 straight away where I used to live, and its probably a pattern being repeated across the country. What exactly do all the "project managers" do? Apart from command huge salaries, it seems to be that they exist to fix things that ain't broke, and throw money at schemes that don't work. One example - How many computer systems and new software systems are there in use now? And yet we still don't have joined-up access, between sites and services? Still have to put stuff onto a CD rom and find a motorbike courier to take it across town. A&Es still can't access GP records to get info when that lovely patient comes in and describes their meds as "white tablets, four of them, you know the ones . . . " This is just one trivial example. I could list dozens more, but my point is that no matter how much money is thrown at the NHS by politicians, its bad housekeeping and lack of joined-up thinking is what will destroy it.
  12. skylark

    Silly question about pregnancy!

    I agree with that, also don't work in a transplant area, as the anti-rejection drugs will be harmful. Some areas are just too heavy when pregnant, ER is one because of the CPR . Its also risky because of the 'pyrexias of unknown origin', especially in places with a high immigrant or tourist population. I do know nurses who work in downtown ERs with patients from abroard with malaria, TB, and cholera, but personally I would not take the risk.
  13. I wonder how these terrible students manage to pass, after all it's the clinical teams and the sign off mentors that have the responsibility for educating and confirming their fitness to practice, are you failing these students as a sign off mentor or are you guilty of passing them even though you are so critical of their practice. Additionally if you have such great concerns that your local nursing school is failing to turn out nurses who are fit to practice then you have a professional duty to report this to the school and if they are still passing these would need need to the NMC as the school is not doing it's job. But then you would need significant evidence to prove your claims wouldn't you. Since you ask, no I don't sign them off, neither do the majority of my coworkers. We have been in dialogue with the university for a long time, and given evidence as to the standards we witness, but it has little effect. I will say no more, its off topic, but if you recall my original point was to partially answer why there are so many Filipino nurses in UK hospitals, and I have done that.
  14. "Bring this to the attention of the tutors" - No offence, but we have been doing that for years !!!!!!! :crying2: Nothing changes, we still see final placement students with the knowledge and skills that I consider appropriate for a first year student. They qualify about 2 months after this placements. I would never want any of them looking after my family. My son was in hospital just this week, and I could not fault the care the (filipino) team gave him, it was nursing at its finest. Sorry, but that is how it is. Come and see!
  15. You obviously haven't met my current students : ) We have final placemnt students, who are about to qualifiy. They have never heard of the GLasgow Coma Scale. OR that there are other antibiotics besides penicillins. Never heard of supra-pubic catheters. Or how to measure blood glucose. What is an arterial blood gas? One had not even heard of Multiple sclerosis. Their essay skills are second to none, but nursing is not a creative writing type occupation. Patients want to know that they know about analgesia, not about plagarism and learning styles. These students are in the greater London area btw. I'm here until October, come see for yourself: )