Friday 14 September 2018

My First Week As a Nurse in Australia - Friday

Wednesday and Thursday I was on a normal early shift, working 07:00 to 15:30. This automatically felt much easier, as I was able to start at the same time as everyone else on the shift, listen to the handover, and be available for the allocation of tasks. Being supernumary means I am still shadowing and not being allocated my own tasks, so I am overloading on eLearning and reading up on patient notes. I’ve used electronic documentation systems for the last couple of years, but I’ve got to say that the electronic system used here is far more efficient than anything else I’ve used. In some ways Australia are miles behind the UK in terms of nursing care and processes, but in other ways they are far more forward-thinking. It still surprises me that they only have registered nurses on shift, and that staffing is outsourced to another department. The ward manager takes care of planning the rota, but after that point, it is the ‘clinical admin’ team (senior register nurses) who manage the entire unit and coordinate the staffing. In some ways this is beneficial as they can move staff across the various units and ensure that staffing levels are balanced, however, they are members of staff that do not know the ward staff personally or the dynamics of the ward, so they are making staffing decisions based purely on figures rather than staffing abilities and suitability of stafff to an environment.

I’ve had my mind set on cycling to work, as this will save me time and also be a good way to get a bit of exercise into my day. The bike needed a few things fixing which I did before my late shift (13:00 - 21:30) on Friday, but I had intended to get the bus and take my bike on a day when I had more time to suss the route out. However, I got carried away sorting the bike out and before I knew it I’d missed the bus, and had no choice but to cycle! Probably the best thing for me, as I have a bit of a fear about cycling on the roads with traffic, and so I knew I just needed to do it. The journey took me around 45 mins when Google Maps assured me it’d take 23 minutes; I got lost on the way and took a few wrong turns, meaning by the time I got to work I was absolutely knackered, but thankfully I ended up being only three minutes late for the shift. It always pays to get to the hospital pretty early as it can take a while to get through security, what with the bag scanner and iris recognition, and airlock doors which mean only three people can be let through at once. On the plus side, the route to cycle is about 80% designated cycle paths, including past creeks such as the one above. It’s a really scenic and enjoyable ride, particularly so as the sun was beaming today. On the way back however I think I’m going to have to find an alternative route, as there is no lighting and it’s a little on the creepy side!

Friday was my first late shift, and it seemed to go much faster than my previous shifts. Perhaps this had something to do with the fact that I knew it was my last shift as a supernumary member of staff, as I am back on Sunday and will finally be in the numbers. I must say I’ve actually really enjoyed this week, as the staff have all been so welcome, and I would go as far as to say that there are more English and Irish nurses at the hospital than there are Australian nurses! I feel I’ve got to a reasonable level of understanding of the ward processes and rules, but am aware that the real learning will take place once I am actually part of the numbers. 

I’ve only got Saturday off this week (the working week starts on a Sunday, which means I’ve ended up with six shifts on my first week in the job!) but I’ve got a ticket to go with a handful of girls to go to a Great Gatsby-themed 1920s ball with food and drink included. Thankfully I am on a late shift on Sunday so I will thoroughly enjoy my only night off! 

I have been told by various people that I will very quickly notice the perks of working in Australia as opposed to the UK when it comes to pay rates and enhancements (known as ‘penalities’ here), so I am looking forward to my first pay to see how it compares and whether I’m going to be able to save some money for more travels. 

First week, survived!

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