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I’m a student nurse – the NHS exploits us as cheap labour - News - Nurses Arena Forum

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I’m a student nurse – the NHS exploits us as cheap labour by Idowu Olabode : July 08, 2017, 02:45:07 PM
I saw the article about nursing (I’m going to have to leave my job as an NHS nurse – I just can’t take it anymore, 5 June) and wanted to send you my story.

So I’m currently studying an Adult Nursing degree, which takes three years to complete. I have to attend university for some of the year and then placement the majority of the time. I am training with the NHS full time, this means working a full 37½ hours a week. The NHS pays me £450 a month. This is barely enough for me to pay my rent, which is overpriced, even student accommodation is unaffordable, unless you have rich parent of course.

I wouldn’t mind the NHS paying me this if it wasn’t for the fact that every day I go to “train” I feel as if I’m used as a cheap way to keep the NHS running, I feel as though I’m just cheap labour to them. The nurses do not get allocated time or pay to train me and therefore are totally unenthusiastic and impatient. I’m only in my first year and feel like quitting already – however I keep the fact in mind that once I’m qualified I can move out the country and get paid properly.

The NHS is a great idea, however the way it’s run is diabolical. I have recently moved back into my mother’s house due to my financial circumstances, which means I am over an hour away from home when I come to work. Right now I am currently on my break of my third night shift and I know I’m going to have to drive home. I already feel anxious about this as I’m overtired as it is. This is extremely dangerous and the risk to myself and people around me is high.

I feel completely and utterly let down by the NHS.

Tired, fed up and depressed student nurse
Address supplied

I’m leaving nursing as well – the NHS has been ruined

I’m a male paediatric intensive care nurse who’s becoming frustrated with everything that’s going on. Recently I sat down with my wife who’s also in the NHS working as a midwife and discussed what our options are for the future. Do we leave and try something new or grin and bear it?

Between us we have witnessed so many amazing moments that our NHS can deliver but we have also seen how it’s being destroyed, torn apart and what it can do to your own lifestyle and essence to stay positive.

Does it come down to poor pay? Yes.

Are shortages making the frontline staff overstretched and put in tough situations? Yes.

Does this affect care? Yes.

Does the Government care what happens to the NHS? I don’t think they do.

Will the NHS ever be the same again? NO!

Something’s got to give and if the Government and the powers that be don’t listen to the NHS workers then we can all say goodbye to our healthcare system.

As a paediatric intensive care nurse I sit low on the pay band 5, my pay is poor for the amount of training I’ve had to do. I work 12½-hour shifts with a 2½-hour round trip commute. So my days are long and tiring. I work with some of the sickest children in our region. Yet a 1 per cent pay increase is all I deserve? I deliver first-class care always and put my patient and family first before myself and work extremely hard every shift, yet this never gets recognised. I say it doesn’t get recognised – it does by the families but never by the seniors or the people that hold the purse strings.

OK, I chose this career but I didn’t expect to struggle day to day with money, have to work extra shifts to pay the bills. I also didn’t expect to feel so underappreciated by everyone who just sees nurses as handmaids wanting more respect or money.

Fortunately I’m escaping the NHS and leaving nursing. Do I want to keep my pin? I’m not sure. Do I want a normal life again? Yes. Will I get the job satisfaction? No but I’ll have a chance at progression and money in my pocket to live.

Step into a healthcare professional’s shoes, then tell me we don’t deserve more than 1 per cent!

Name and address supplied

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