By in Personal

Tomorrow I will put on my uniform for the last time

It's official, tomorrow is my last day as an NHS nurse. I'm not sure I can believe I am typing that but it's true. I haven't been well supported since coming back from my injury and I am still in so much pain I just cant take it any more - 12 hour shifts are far too much for someone who recently displaced their pelvis.

Its not just about my pain though, its about the culture change. Just a few short years ago the NHS was an amazing place to work, sure the wages were rubbish but you got to make a difference in people's lives every day and no amount of money can replace that.

Now though its all paperwork telling you how to do the job you spent years training to do, policies that make things that should be easy difficult and managers who are so stressed out their boxes that they take it out on their staff.

I don't belong in my work, I have never been a part of the team really, I simply don't fit in. Now I have been a happy outcast all my life I don't really want to fit in so it has never bothered me, but it seems to bother others. I am fed up of the place, fed up of the people and fed up of the pain.

I am fed up not having time to care for my patients because all that matters is moving them through the system to free up beds. I'm fed up of knowing I am not doing my job properly, not because I don't want to but because there is simply only so much that one person can do in twelve hours. Most of all I am fed up with the person I have become - I barely recognise her. I am this moody, grumpy version of myself who basically hates everything about life - this isn't me. I don't write anymore, I don't do anything any more. I don't sleep, I am exhausted all the time and I honestly cant remember the last time I could stand up without being in agony.

So next week I will start a private sector job - no more 12 hour shifts for me, no more nights, no more weekends, no more bank holidays and no longer fighting over Christmas off duty and being told my opinions don't matter because Christmas, apparently is only for folk with kids.


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Comments

MegL wrote on August 17, 2019, 6:20 PM

Sorry to hear about the pain you are in, I hope your new job will help you recover. Is that a private sector job in nursing? Or have you left nursing altogether (for now anyway)? How are the rabbits?

lookatdesktop wrote on August 17, 2019, 8:39 PM

This really makes me sad for you. I figure it is in fact about time you did things your own way and to heck with those people. You can still make a difference in the private sector. I heard a story recently of a woman who, if she lost her meals on wheels she would have absolutely no human contact with anyone and the friendly hand shake and good words just a few times a week makes all the difference. Kindness goes a long long way in making other people's lives better for it. Visiting nurses is something maybe you have considered. All the best to you, in hopes for yourself for finding new purpose, in your new direction in life.

VinceSummers wrote on August 18, 2019, 8:38 AM

You will find, if you look closely enough, everything is being made a chore... from the schools, to the payment of bills, to your employment. I'm retired, and even that's not as simple as it once was.

melody23 wrote on August 19, 2019, 5:19 PM

It's still a nursing job so I will keep my registration active and revalidate and all that so would be able to go back to an acute setting should I want to later on. Bramble wasn't very well again last night, but thats the first time in ages he has been sick and if you remember it used to be a regular thing so the bunnies are doing well, he is feeling much better today and Ron is happily munching all the extra treats along with him

melody23 wrote on August 19, 2019, 5:21 PM

District nursing as its called here (when the nurses go to the patients rather than them coming to the nurse) isn't paid enough, I would go down to my basic salary and lose all my unsocial hours enhancement pay which is basically the only way anyone could live on a nurse's wage here - to go down to my basic I would stand to lose around five thousand pounds a year give or take. I'm honestly not sad about leaving, I know I have done the right thing for my health at the moment in the hopes that I can recover and go back should I choose to (although I would probably go to a different hospital)

melody23 wrote on August 19, 2019, 5:26 PM

actually paying bills is easy enough here - they want your money afterall! I don't understand the American fascination with cheques, they are antiquated here, technically I do have a cheque book I think, I vaguely remember getting issued one when I changed banks in 2012 but I haven't written a cheque for at least ten years, everything just comes out my bank all by itself. The rest of life is definitely becoming more difficult though all this health and safety nonsense and people covering their backs so they don't get sued its really a pain

MegL wrote on August 19, 2019, 6:22 PM

So are you becoming a bank nurse? It's a shame that district nursing is not paid well. It's a very responsible job.

melody23 wrote on August 20, 2019, 1:11 PM

I'm going to stay on the bank so I have the option of doing shifts in acute setting if I want to but I know I probably wont do any, I will love my 9-5 office/homebased life far too much!

Problem is that nurses (and everyone else in the NHS) basic pay is rubbish, my wage has been ok but I do a lot of nights and weekends to get that if I got paid my basic then all my deductions (including one of the highest pension contributions going) I couldn't afford to live. Thats what district nurses get, and clinic nurses and any other nurse who works 9-5, most staff grade nurses who currently work 12 hour shifts cant afford the pay cut of going to 9-5

MegL wrote on August 21, 2019, 2:58 AM

Yes, austerity is keeping everyone on minimum wages, while the bankers who caused it are getting bigger bonuses!

melody23 wrote on August 21, 2019, 6:55 AM

Plus being a part of the lowest paid degree-only profession in the world, ironically a bachelors in nursing is also one of the hardest degrees to obtain according to research. If I had a degree in any other subject I would probably earn at least 10k more than I do

MegL wrote on August 21, 2019, 2:07 PM

That's terrible! It's not fair.

melody23 wrote on August 21, 2019, 4:57 PM

Nursing has changed dramatically over the years from not needing any real qualifications mostly on the job training with a little college, to needing a college course with 50% on the job training, to a diploma with 50% on the job training to now a bachelors degree plus over 2000 hours of on the job training, the wages realistically haven't changed. People probably don't even realise that most of us have university degrees (any nurse who qualified after 2012 must have a degree and most that qualified before will have done 'top up' qualifications to achieve one) I have post graduate education too and we are constantly doing training and updating things, although perhaps not formally. We have probably the most high pressured job in the world, lives in your hands constantly is a lot to take in. None of us choose nursing for the money but when you know that managers in supermarkets are starting on 10k more than you earned last year that is pretty depressing

Kasman wrote on August 24, 2019, 4:15 PM

I'm guessing you're going into a private nursing home? Speaking from personal experience you may find that it isn't all it's made out to be!

melody23 wrote on October 12, 2019, 10:35 AM

Oh no I couldn't ever work in a nursing home! Nurses in nursing homes are managers with drug trolleys and thats if they are lucky, I have no desire to be a manager. I also have no desire to sit in an office whilst letting all the poor underpaid care assistants do all the work, I couldn't take that I wouldn't be able to do it. On a side note the amount of nursing homes that have called me offering jobs that I am not qualified to do (mostly management stuff) shows how desperate they are to find anyone with an NMC pin to sit in the building so they technically have a nurse on shift. I was offered a job 44k a year to manage a nursing home, the guy couldn't believe I was turning him down and offered me more money thinking that was the issue - the issue was that I have zero nursing home experience so how the hell would I know how to manage one? Plus if they were so desperate to offer me the job after speaking to me on the phone for two minutes I can guess what their staff retention is like which tells you all you need to know really.