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  1. Phil-on-a-bike

    Payrise - well, not really

    Interesting post-script to this: our local Unison branch have distributed flyers to all departments 'clarifying' the figures. The text of the flyer says that they're doing this in response to the wave of enquiries generated by the RCN's misleading coverage of the subject. Wow. Just... wow. Our profession may have been - once again - bent over like the new boy in an Alabama prison, but let's not lose sight of what's important here... scoring points off rival professional organizations. Unbelievable. And this is a glossy, 3-page production, too. I mean, sure, somebody desktop-publishing savvy, with pre-existing publication templates to hand, who was prepared to drop everything and work on this as soon as the RCN's press release came out, could probably have produced this in response. What I'm saying is: if you told me they had this written in advance and ready to go... I wouldn't automatically dismiss that possibility. Just when we need our professional organizations to present a united front, they're squabbling like infants. If anybody needs me, I'll be playing Billy Bragg and listening with a mix of bruised idealism and rueful cynicism.
  2. Phil-on-a-bike

    Life in UK

    UK problems: 1: Country House murders. The NHS is stretched to breaking point by a constant stream of Dowager Duchesses who've fallen victim to cyanide or antique Kashmiri blowpipe darts during garden parties and soirees. 2: One's bowler hat falling into the wound cavity whilst performing debridement and dressing changes. 3: Working short-staffed on Sundays &/or Mondays because everybody's got sore fists from all the football hooliganism. 4: The horrors of Tea Withdrawal Syndrome. 5: Most cardiac arrest victims die while the crash team is delayed at doorways going: "No, I insist, after you..." 6: Hours of floor time lost while sitting on NHS Death Panels. 7: Living in a constant state of anxiety because of the lack of readily available firearms. 8: The insidious creeping menace of communism which is unavoidably inherent with nationalized free health care. 9: The smell of garlic and armpits when the wind's blowing from France. 10: The 'Benny Hill' saxophone music starting whenever you're in a hurry.
  3. Phil-on-a-bike

    How long have you been a nurse

    30 years as a British 'RGN' come September, and 24 years (I think!) since I took my US NCLEX. I intend to die in harness. Or have my consciousness uploaded into a robonurse. Either's good.
  4. Phil-on-a-bike

    Happy 70th birthday NHS

    WOOOOOH! Happy 70th, you wonderful, cantankerous, benevolent behemoth, from a graduate of the last-but-one nursing intake to be trained in the NHS itself. (rather than a university/hospital affiliation and the full concession to university which followed.) WHAT an achievement!
  5. Phil-on-a-bike

    Things Patients Have Taught Me NOT To Do.

    Never, ever.... do the housework naked. Because I saw so many patients in Accident and Emergency... with so many foreign objects in their orifices... ...and almost all of their stories began with the phrase: "I was doing the housework naked, and I slipped and fell on (insert object here)" (or rather, don't.) That's how it goes, apparently. You're enjoying the breeze and the sense of freedom... you notice a dusty picture frame, innocently fetch a cloth, and through no fault of your own, BANG: IT'S CUCUMBER TIME. So, yeah... avoid naked housework.
  6. Phil-on-a-bike

    Cartoon Caption Contest WIN $250! Nurses Week 2018

    The day was saved by swift administration of a Triple-H enema. Five minutes later, Mr Jenkins was far too scared to cough...
  7. Phil-on-a-bike

    My Colonoscopy

    [ATTACH=CONFIG]26398[/ATTACH] You're upholding a proud tradition, Davey!
  8. Phil-on-a-bike

    March 2018 Caption Contest - Select $100 Winner!

    What were you expecting when you opened the door marked "Corporate Planning and Strategy"?
  9. Phil-on-a-bike

    Specialty Poll for male nurses

    I'm a double-"other"! Full-time clinical research - which isn't one of the named options - in the field of Haematology - which also isn't one of the options. You can't pigeonhole me!
  10. Phil-on-a-bike

    Are you discerning with your "likes"?

    Confession time: I'm not a habitual frequenter of fora in general, and - despite the ease of AN's layout - it took me a while to realise what the whole 'like' business was about. And by that time... I'd posted on several threads! And not 'liked' any of the comments! What's the etiquette? Do you start 'liking' now? How does that make the people on whose threads I commented, but neglected to 'like' last week feel? Does one go back and 'like' retrospectively? It's so face-palmingly English. Give me a flooded cave system and a SCUBA tank and I'm in like Flynn. Present me with the prospect of a potential breach of etiquette and suddenly I'm Hugh bloody Grant.
  11. Phil-on-a-bike

    January 2018 Caption Contest - Select $100 Winner!

    "Someone called for a 'Lab' report?"
  12. Phil-on-a-bike

    Avoid the UK

    It was unjustified and unnecessary because... and this is not rocket science... those nurses who wanted to pursue an academic path already had access to further development. There were already existing degree paths in nursing science. Most Trusts already offerred financial support and study leave for their staff. The UKCC - as it was then - were 'addressing a problem' which didn't actually exist. The drive to academicize British nursing took one entirely valid career option... and tried to make it the norm for the career development of all RN's. In doing so, they managed to eradicate the State Enrolled Nurse discipline entirely - something that should have been entirely beyond their remit to decide. It's not just my opinion that this was a retrograde step: The re-introduction of non-RN para-nursing disciplines shows that the genuine, real-world need for clinically trained but sub-degree nursing staff still exists. I thought it was horrifyingly obvious right from the get-go that the workplace gap left by the needless discontinuation of SE-nursing would have to be filled. (Maybe I'm psychic...?) Of course, the concern remains that AP's, ODA's etc are unregistered. And the NMC stands ready to address that by floating ideas for registration of para-nursing staff! At which point, the wheel will have turned full circle, and we will start looking elsewhere for new ways to flush the NHS budget down the macerator. "Mopping fevered brows and giving out bedpans"? Really? Cheap shot, Madeline. But let's turn it around: Do you really think all nurses need to be able to identify in which respects their clinical area satisfies Kolb's defined paradigm of the 'Behaviourally Complex Learning Environment'? Yeah. That's going to heal a whole lot of venous ulcers. But make no mistake - I was, and remain, firmly in favour of genuine advancement of Nursing as a profession. In my opinion, however, academia was absolutely NOT the way to go. I think the profession, and our patients, would have been much better served by a drive to advance clinical skills. I'm happier working with nurses who may not be able to define levels of abstraction in interactions between concepts - but who are not baffled when confronted with a vacuum-dressing set-up. Less nursing theorists - more nurse prescribers! Thing is, though... clinical skills are hard. Hard to perform effectively, requiring regular practice to stay effective, taught and evaluated by highly skilled and experienced practitioners, and with actual, serious clinical repercussions when they go wrong. Who wants that, right? I mean, sure 'nursing wants to be taken seriously as a profession', but only insofar as we can achieve it by going and sitting in a classroom.
  13. Phil-on-a-bike

    Has anyone heard about the new movie called "Constipation"?

    You do realize what a constipated mathematician does, don't you? That's right. He works it out with a pencil.
  14. Phil-on-a-bike

    Avoid the UK

    Duly noted - I hunched over the keyboard well into the evening on Wednesday writing an Individual Submission to the Committee. Seven points: * 2015 NHS pension changes (from 'highest salary' to 'career average') led directly to the en-masse retirement of our most experienced staff - this was widely predicted and could easily have been avoided if the pension changes had been rolled out progressively. *The discontinuation of the bursary for nursing students makes it financially advantageous to choose almost any other career path in preference to nursing - the timing of this measure means that even if it were reversed immediately, we have already sufferred one vastly reduced intake of students, and will likely have another short intake before any remedial measure takes effect. This will result in a catastrophic shortage of RNs circa 2020/21. *The NMCs OSCE fees are prohibitively high and a deterrent to overseas-qualified RNs. (I compared and contrasted with other nation's fee structures, including the USA's CGFNS & NCLEX fees, to illustrate that other nations are now far more attractive prospects for overseas-qualified RNs) I pointed out that, unlike the previous system (Overseas-qualified RNs worked in a reduced capacity, at a reduced rate-of-pay, with support & supervision, for a probationary period, on completion of which their overseas licence was recognised) the NHS workforce gains no benefit from the OSCE system. *Concern about the deterrent effect of uncertainty about the post-Brexit status of EU-qualified RNs working in Britain is a problem without any possible solution, insofar as a degree of uncertainty is bound to persist until after the post-Brexit situation solidifies, and no amount of Pre-Brexit reassurance will change that. The Brexit timeline means that EU-qualified nurses seeking to work in the UK is likely to reach a low point at the same time as the numbers of UK-qualified RNs reaches its low point. *Para-nursing disciplines such as Nursing assistants, Operating Department Practitioners and Assistant Practitioners will play a far larger part in hands-on clinical care, and because said disciplines are not registered, 'sign-off' accountability for their practice will devolve to nurses whose role will change to accomodate this. RNs are likely to become managers for teams of para-nursing carers who will perform the actual hands-on care. I pointed out that the former system of two-tier nursing - State Enrolled Nurses and Registered Nurses - was superior to this, because it provided two tiers of registered, licenced practitioners, whist reflecting the reality that not all nursing care tasks require an RN to perform. (I also pointed out that this efficient and serviceable system was dismantled by the unjustified and needless drive to academicize British Nursing.) *Agency staff should be recognised for their contribution and not used as scapegoats for NHS Trust's failure to recruit and retain staff. At a time when zero-hours contract workers are being portrayed as exploited and deserving of protection, zero-hours contract workers in the health sector are portrayed as parasites. Disingenuous hospital management bemoan the higher hourly rates of agency staff, while failing to mention the saving they make in not having to pay for holidays, maternity, study leave, sickness, benefits and pension contributions. *The future of UK nursing is Scottish. The absence of tuition fees for Scottish students means that nursing remains a vastly more attractive career option in Scotland than it does in the rest of the UK. The implications are that well-staffed Scots hospitals will find it easier than their staffing-crisis English, Welsh & Northern Irish counterparts to acheive high CQC ratings, meet targets (and secure the funding which accompanies that) attract top clinicians, research projects and to acheive 'Centre of Excellence' status. That - in seven assorted nutshells - is what I submitted to the Enquiry Committee. If anybody's got any petitions they want signing now's the time to ask, because it appears I'm in concientious mood and that won't last.
  15. Phil-on-a-bike

    Permanent contract or full time bank nurse?

    Hi Rosmbre, The voice of experience here: I did this for eight years, and I loved it. BUT: there are a couple of points you might want to bear in mind. First, your reluctance to join an agency. Seriously - get over it. Why? Because - I cannot stress this enough - DO NOT GO ZERO HOURS WITH ONLY ONE SOURCE OF WORK. I was on the bank at my local NHS Trust - I was also on the bank at our neighbouring Hospital Trust - and registered with an agency. With those three sources of work, I was never once in the position of wanting to work, but without available shifts. With only one source of work, things are entirely out of your hands - you have to take what you can get, and go without when there's nothing available. That's like crossing your fingers and calling it a viable career plan. Second, your lack of interest in working other departments - get over it. A major part of bank nursing is the ability to walk in to an unfamiliar department - make a good impression - orient quickly - fit into the team and the system - and start contributing right from the off. It takes some front - but you're an A&E nurse - you've definitely got the bottle for this. I reckon it does wonders for your confidence as a practitioner. Plus - how are you going to find out what clinical areas and specialties you enjoy, if you don't try them? I guarantee you'll find other units you enjoy working on. You'll find others less satisfactory.... and you need never go back to them again! I would not worry about lack of access to training. Make enquiries - I'm sure your trust gives their bank staff access to training. (Ive never met one that didn't) And since you can pick and choose your hours, you can attend whichever training sessions are most convenient. Similarly, any agency will have training - usually via an independent training contractor - to keep you current with your mandatory subjects and your revalidation. And not all agency work is a last-minute night shift at St. Incontinentia's. I did my fair share of that stuff, but I also did shifts on a movie set, Occ. health shifts at shipyards, Steelworks and a Police training facility, nurse practitioner at a walk-in clinic, annual vaccination programs at a college and an army base, health promotion work at Uni Fresher's week, my first taste of clinical research - loads of fun stuff. Not just one-off shifts, either - six month contracts, I year contracts, holiday cover, maternity leave cover - it's not all "a day here, a day there". IF you're going to do this - and it's not for everyone - then forget working for one bank at one unit. You'll get nothing but crumbs from the table. Go big - register with multiple sources of work, and try different things. Hope that helps!