Liz and Kris UK

Nursing the differences between Oz and the UK

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    Hi all

     

    I have noticed that there seems to be a lot of nurses who have just arrived or are about to emigrate to Adelaide and I thought I would share my experiences both positive and negative.

     

    Firstly I will start with my current working condiations. I work on the orthopaedic unit at RAH and have been there since june 08. I really enjoy where I work as I now only have 4 patients. This is great as you provide the full care and know precisely what is happening with your patients. In the Uk I had 15 patients with HCA's and was constantly chasing my tail. Another important factor is that sicknes is always covered and I have never been telephoned at home to cover a shift. Also the Ward completes a bulletin at the end of every shift, so if for example you had a lot of sick patients the nursing manager will get extra staff for the ward. My salary seems better here but this is all variable, as depends on experience and hours etc. I work full time which is a 40 hour week and this means I get a paid day off every month extra as well.

     

    The people I work with have been great and have really made me feel welcome and part of the team. I have found that nursing here seems very protocol driven, which can be very frustrating as I have been used to making my own decisions based on my knowledge. However I have found Australian nurses have a very simliar knowledge base to nurses in the UK.

     

    I had many extended roles in the UK such as male catherterization, Cannulation and venepunture that I am not allowed to perform until I have them accreditated although I did bring all my certificates etc with me:arghh:.

     

    This is just a personal opinion but I feel nursing in Australia is far better than in the UK, of course you have the same ward politics and problems as in the UK. However I have not had a sleepless night here that has been work related and I had plenty of those in the UK. I also found nursing in the UK to be constant fight against time and managers and here managers seem to listen to their nursing team.

     

    I am not anti UK nursing because I enjoyed my training and loved my old job but I have skipped across the world and the grass is certainly greener for me..

     

    Hope that this helps any nurses thinking of coming over.

     

    Kris

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    glad you like your job, mine itsnt so great. I find the lack of automomy very frustrating and suffocating. I also dont think aussie nurses as clinically competenant or as efficient as uk nurses. But im in a private hospital. The nurse patient ratio here is appalling and as for the infection control, its almost non existant. But then thats just my non fluffy personal view. On the plus side the manger is laid back and accomodating (a bit too much) and the staff are lovely to work with (apaperntly brits dont last long where i work lol):biglaugh:

     

    4 patients kris im in the wrong place , i have 4 in HDU which is appalling considering it was 2 in the uk:arghh:

     

    god ive painted a bleak view lol, i just wish id waited until i got here to get a job, im now on the hunt for a new one btw, but please dont let my experience put you off its all relative in the end, i just dont understand how they can go from having 5 patients in the day on a ward to 9 at night with no supportworkers and they can all be post ops on hourlies!! mind boggles

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    Guest happy feet

    Great thread, thanks Kris great to read others overview, good and bad!! Our the shift patterns the same? Can i also ask how long it takes to get to RAH from glenelg?

     

    Ozzieclare2be sorry it's not so good for you, but just keep plodding and i'm sure something else will come up. Good Luck

     

    Thanks again, keep it coming....

    Cara

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    I work at the same hospital as Clare and would have to agree that autonomy is non existent, like Clare said it is a private hospital and that does make a big difference. The consultant says jump and you say how high! The patient staff ratio is great though, I have never had more than 7 patients, it was not uncomon in the Uk to have 2 qualified staff on for 36 patients! My role is completely different here - I would say my role is that of an obstetric nurse not a midwife, the caeserean section rate is horrific, but again it is a private hospital.

     

    The staff I work with (on the whole) have been great and as my hubby says (he is a nurse too in a private ICU - he loves his job but I will let him write about that later when he gets up from his night shift) the power really is with the nurse here. I started work part time and decided I would rather work less, they knew I liked nights so gave me a night contract, now have decide I want to work casual so start casual in 2 weeks! All that said for you midwies out there the breast feeding rate is much better here and there is very little comping!

     

    All that said if anyone was looking for a job on a nice unit and didn't mind accepting the role of an obstetric nurse, I would recommend working there. The manager is great, the staff are nice, they are very accomodating, a lot of my issues and the reason that I am going casual is that due to me having to work around Andy's shifts which means a lot of weekends and that is affecting my ability to do what I came to Adelaide to do - work to live. By becoming casual I do get 20% loading on top of my hourly rate, but loose sick and holiday pay. I have never denied that financially here we are much better off - we have savings, the only thing we had in the UK was an overdraft! Agencies pay good money too!

     

    Hope this helps

     

    Andy will post later

     

    Lindsey

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    Guest Trakki

    Great thread thanks. I am due to start at the Women and Children hospital on Tuesday so will be able to add my views soon. I think they may be expecting too much from me, think I painted too good a picture in my interview as they keep gping on about my experience and learning from me!!! oops. Keep the experiences coming.

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    Great thread, thanks Kris great to read others overview, good and bad!! Our the shift patterns the same? Can i also ask how long it takes to get to RAH from glenelg?

     

    Ozzieclare2be sorry it's not so good for you, but just keep plodding and i'm sure something else will come up. Good Luck

     

    Thanks again, keep it coming....

    Cara

     

    Hi cara it takes between 20-30 min depending on traffic, I usually leave 45 mins before strat of shift to allow time for parking etc.

     

    kris

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    Hi all , intersting to hear all your views , all in all my experience sounds same as Kris ,very positive. I too started work June 08 at The Childrens ward at Flinders Hospital .I was a band 6 in the Uk and managed a ward ,had to co-ordinate the ward and have a load of patients ,short staffed ,very stressfull etc... here ive been put on RN1 /9 which i think is a good wage [im full time] and have no stress whatsoever ,to me its back to basic nusing care ,patient ratio 1 to 3 [2 yr old and under] and 1 to 4 for older children .The ward co-ordinator has no patient load and basically runs the ward , all issues such as staff sickness is sorted out by the hospital co-ordinator so none of this ringing around for staff cover etc ..and magically extra staff appears !! The main thing ive noticed a lot of things that were nurse led in the uk is more Doctor lead here ,so i find that difficult sometimes and as you said Kris you have to be accredited here all over again !! Staff are very friendly and have made me most welcome ,managers too . As for things like infection control ,it is a little behind but i think starting to catch up eg ,no aprons worn with kids with bronchiolitis ,drs dont wear gloves to cannulate etc. Drugs ,treatment of illnessess pretty much the same so no change there. Perks of the job is that we have a FREE neck and shoulder massage 3 times a week [she comes up to the ward to do this !!] and we actually have our breaks !! No going home after a shift with no food and drink in your tummy !!.....All in all i love it here and wished id done it sooner , sorry about your experiences Lindsey but im sure youll find somewhere else and good luck Tracey at WCH ,let us know how you get on....

    Haf xx

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    i have a job interview next thurday for community , really excited, sorry i hope ive not put anyone off, thats just my own experience, so its time to move on x

     

    wish me luck lol :)

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    Guest Jen & Did

    Hi to all,

     

    Thank you for all your comments as this has reassured me. I have a job offer in surgical at the RAH and to hear the patient ratio sound bliss compared to my current patient ratio of nine but that can change when I can have at least two patients through the shift in the same bed.

    I now think that i am doing the right thing. Again thank you. Please if you can continue updating us all.

     

    Jen

     

    P.S. Sorry Clare should have added to wish you luck with your interview but was in the middle of writing this when my 13 year old daughter having major tantrums due to hair not going the way it was suppose too and having to leave for school within five minutes.

     

    Again Good luck

    Jen

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    i have a job interview next thurday for community , really excited, sorry i hope ive not put anyone off, thats just my own experience, so its time to move on x

     

    wish me luck lol :)

     

    Good luck with your interview next week clare.

     

     

    Kris

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    Guest happy feet
    i have a job interview next thurday for community , really excited, sorry i hope ive not put anyone off, thats just my own experience, so its time to move on x

     

    wish me luck lol :)

     

     

    Good luck with your interview.. You certainly haven't put me off, there are bound to be up's and downs till you finally find your feet and settle.

     

    Cara

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    It's always good read other peoples experiences whether good or bad, I've just signed my contract for the QEH and very occasionally think OMG what have I done, then I go into work and it's me and a newly qualified staff nurse and 30 acute surgical patients and no surgical doctor on after midnight. Things can only get better when I get to Adelaide and am able to get back on days and do the job I love. Keep all those experiences coming.

    Good luck Tracey when you start Tuesday, and also Clare with your interview.

    Jo x

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    Hi there I know that Andy hasn't added his two penneth worth (he's till on nights) but just thought I would add - He has done agency at the majority of hospitals that have ICU's in Adelaide and he really likes the RAH and QEH (in fact QEH is probably his favourite after Wakefield where he works full time!)

     

    Lindsey

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    Very nice and informative thread, guys and gals:)

    As a (former) Band 7 Recovery sister; gave up in June to sort out the move....; I can hardly wait to get back to the reason i chose to do my job!

    I didnt sign up to bail out the wards/ Icu/HDU (having done both in my time), support the anaesthetic staff for breaks when i lived on diet coke for 3 years (BURP) and a fag break of 15 mins to substitute for a meal! I didnt want to attend meetings 3 times a week, an hour before or after my shift, or when on a day off.

    I didn't get overtime, and had to justify taking any time owing to the boss, even though she was the same band!!! I didn't sign up to work as a porter, a cleaner or a whip cracking maniac:goofy: but that was what was expected.

     

    I am heading to the private sector in Oz; where even if i do have to toady to the medics, i will get a break, i might get overtime, i might even get a boss who, on hearing you have a terminally ill parent will give you more than 1 days compassionate leave!!

     

    I am not bothered about the IV's, cannulation, i had to re do all of that moving region!! It ain't a bother to me.

    I doubt it will be sweetness, roses at the door type of working, but it beats the H out of the inherent bullying that besets the NHS workers!!

     

     

    Have a nice day y'all

    Jane

    :)

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    Hey the deal that nurses get in the public hospitals here is pretty good.

    I have never been expected to stay beyond my finishing time otherwise they will pay me overtime. I am expected to take my meal break of half an hour and they give you a paid tea break of 15 mins. My leave is 42 days a year and my sick leave which accumulates is 120 hours a year. You can use this for parenting leave, carers leave, moving house day, urgent pressing need etc as well as your own sickness. I only have to produce a med cert if i am off sick for more than 3 days in a row. Don't overlook the public system here too early. Plus you'll only have a max of bout 6 patients unless you have an EN working with you. In Paeds it's 3-4 per nurse.

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    Not knocking it Rachel; I have served 21 years in the public sector, good and bad times had by all i think!:)

    I had interviews with RAH, Flinders and 3 private hospitals; and was impressed with all of them.

     

    I chose the particular hospital because;

    a) they got the day wrong, woke me at an ungodly hour, and had the decency to apologise (didn't get that from RAH!);

    b) they actually asked about my family, what they would be doing; and provisionally offered my husband a job, should he want it!

    c) they asked what i did for relaxation, and when i said a bit of golf, the boss lady invited me to play a round with her; i am sure she meant golf,lol.

    d) they liked the fact i had done anaesthetics, hdu/icu, but actually wanted me as a Recovery practitioner; and needed my managerial skills. The boss didn't seem threatened by my experience (more than the Flinders interviewer could say!)

     

    I see the pro's and con's of both providers; i know some haven't had the best of experiences whichever route they took; i just wanted a change.

     

    XX

    Jane:wubclub:

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    Not knocking it Rachel; I have served 21 years in the public sector, good and bad times had by all i think!:)

    I had interviews with RAH, Flinders and 3 private hospitals; and was impressed with all of them.

     

    I chose the particular hospital because;

    a) they got the day wrong, woke me at an ungodly hour, and had the decency to apologise (didn't get that from RAH!);

    b) they actually asked about my family, what they would be doing; and provisionally offered my husband a job, should he want it!

    c) they asked what i did for relaxation, and when i said a bit of golf, the boss lady invited me to play a round with her; i am sure she meant golf,lol.

    d) they liked the fact i had done anaesthetics, hdu/icu, but actually wanted me as a Recovery practitioner; and needed my managerial skills. The boss didn't seem threatened by my experience (more than the Flinders interviewer could say!)

     

    I see the pro's and con's of both providers; i know some haven't had the best of experiences whichever route they took; i just wanted a change.

     

    XX

    Jane:wubclub:

    jane can i ask which hospital your headed to? BTW english nurses are thought of very highly here, and good luck xx

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    Hi Clare......

    how'd the interview go?

    I just re-read my post, God i sound a right nark, sorry everyone:wubclub:

    Calvary hospital. I am wise enough not to expect too much tho'......after all it's a money making outfit!! No different to BUPA or NUFFIELD hospitals; well the accent maybe:biglaugh:.

    I am so disillusioned with the NHS, the (y)UK, the credit crunch, long hours etc....

    rant over

     

     

    j

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    Do the same here Rache!

    Ah well, i can see for myself when i get there; who knows? in 2 years the public sector may win me back, or maybe not......time will tell.

     

    End of day, the vocation is turning into a J.O.B.......sad for a trad trained nursey poppet like moi.

     

    B good now y'hear?

    J

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    Guest FlyByNight

    Great thread Kris. I have read it with great interest as I am (hopefully) Adelaide bound with my family this New Years Eve to a job on the burns unit at RAH - so interested to hear of yours or anyones experiences / advice on working there. I went for what I thought was an informal visit there on our recce last year only to come away with a provisional job offer - which has now gone firm :).

     

    I spent over 20 years nursing in the British Army, leaving on retirement in 2006. I have been working in the NHS since - well that is one of the main motivators for going to Oz. I see the wastage / bueracracy / crisis management on a daily basis (sound familiar) and there is no light at the end of the tunnel. It is gratifying to hear all the above views / experiences because it reinforces my sincere belief that we have made the right decision.

     

    I got used to having to re-prove my competencies with the closure of the Milltary Hospitals in the mid-nineties. After that the Defence Medical Services were posted into civilian hospitals (when not going to sandy / snowy places) and we had to satisfy each trust we were posted to (usually around every 3 years) of our declared competencies. So that doesn't phase me at all.

     

    The salary sacrifice scheme seems appealing as do many of the incentives which they seem to be ignorant of over here:huh:.

     

    I am coming over on an independent visa so will have flexibility to move around if needed, but from what I have heard so far that seems unlikely.

     

    Can't wait:jiggy:

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    Guest almost there

    Hi I am currently in the Uk and we got our perm residency visa granted this week. I am a nurse in a NHS hospital and work in Oncology and palliative care. I love my job but am totally fed up with staff shortages, targets and stress at work so it is good to hear about your experiences in Oz.

     

    Can anyone tell me if there is an Oncology department, hospice or palliative care ward in the hospitals that you work in. I am looking aroung halletts cove and flagstaff but have not made a firm decision on area to settle yet.

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    If you do Paeds there is the oncology ward at the Womens and childrens. There would be one at RAH and Flinders. There is a hospice annexed to Calvary I think called Mary Potter Hospice and Ashford also has oncology/hospice I think.

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    Guest HALT

    To clare - when you are interviewed for community - presume it is the RDNS - they give you a drugs calculations test which involves having to put how you worked the answer out. Also fairly long interview, almost 2 hours. Just thought i would give you a heads up. PM me if it is RDNS.

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