Next Challenge? Bring it on!

Now that I’ve done the Return to Nurse practice course and got the job in the bag it’s time to get on with the next challenge, operation ‘Get Hasan to the UK’.

I fear my quest to bring my hubby to live with me could be a bigger job than getting back to work. There seems to be so much red tape and hoops to jump through to prove that we are a proper married couple.

My first task is to nurse my bank account back to health, after 7 years of starvation it desperately needs to put on some weight. Then I need to get all the paperwork and evidence together up together to satisfy the UK Border Agency that we didn’t just marry so that Hasan could get a visa and that we can live without relying on benefits.

The key to a good application is the letter of invitation and support from me. So I have done a fair bit of research into writing an effective letter, but if anyone out there has any advice for me it would be greatly appreciated.

I think it’ll probably take at least 2 to 3 months to build up a decent bank balance, then we can submit his application. I just hope the process won’t be too long winded and expensive.

I just want Hasan with me here, at the moment I feel like I’m having a holiday romance with my husband.

united nations

Can only get better

I’ve nearly finished my first 2 weeks in my new job on my old unit and I must say I’ve coped really well. Although after each 12 hour shift I’ve felt very tired, once I’d had a good nights sleep I felt refreshed. I was worried that I would feel dreadful the following day but so far that’s not been the case.

I have however been finding my first few weeks very frustrating. I finished the Return to Nurse Practice course in November but our results have only just gone to the external awards board and we don’t get our registration numbers, (PIN), until sometime in March. This means that at the moment I am not allowed to check and give any medicines and be responsible for all my patients’ care until I receive my PIN. Before I became ill I worked on this unit as a senior staff nurse and I just want to be a fully functioning member of staff as I used to be.

I’m hoping that any day now my letter from the Nursing and Midwifery Council, (NMC), will drop on my doormat with all the paperwork I need to complete to get my PIN.  I don’t like doing anything half-baked, but I know there’s nothing I can do at the moment but wait…….that’s another thing I don’t like.

 

nurse

Into the frying pan

Today I went into university to talk to the new cohort on the Return to Nurse Practice course. On our first day 3 nurses from the previous group came to talk to us. I couldn’t tell tell you exactly what they told us and what questions were asked and answered, but I do remember that I felt much better about the course after that session.

So when our tutor asked if any of us were willing to come and talk to the newbies I didn’t hesitate to volunteer,  because I knew how invaluable it was for me to hear about other people’s experience of the course and returning to practice.

There were 33 in the group and they all resembled scared rabbits in headlights! I couldn’t help but wonder if our cohort looked that petrified and whether we fired questions at the panel as quickly as they did.

Hopefully we managed to help calm their nerves about the coming months and that they all went home feeling a little more confident that they had made the right decision about starting the course.

 

 

nurses classroom

 

New Year New Life

I had a job interview today at Bristol Children’s Hospital on the Bone Marrow Transplant unit.

This is where I worked for many years before I became ill and where I did my practice hours for the Return to Nurse practice course. Consequently I know a lot of the staff on the unit and I was interviewed by 2 managers that I have worked with for at least 15 years. I have to say that was really strange because they know me so well, but obviously had to ask me the same questions as the rest of the candidates.

Less than 2 hours after the interview I had a very pleasing phone call……I got the job!,(subject to references), I am so chuffed and excited about getting back to work again, doing the job I love.

When I first applied for the job I did worry that I was taking a step backwards, the job is a band lower than I was working at before I got ill, also it’s on the same unit. I did wonder whether I should have gone for somewhere new, a new speciality… a new challenge after completing the Return to Nursing course.

But my aim is to get back to work so that I can help Hasan get a visa to come and live in the UK. As I haven’t worked for a number of years I figured it was better to stick to what I know for now. The job is a fixed term for one year so who knows where I will go after that and what new challenges I can take on.

 

Go with the Flo

They think it’s all over….it is now

This week saw my last study day at university, I have finished my Return to nurse practice course and I’ve passed!

I am so relieved that it’s all over and I’m immensely proud of myself for what I have achieved. I still can’t believe how well I’ve coped with going back to nursing and I’m now convinced that I’ve finally recovered from Chronic fatigue Syndrome.

We don’t get out registration numbers until March next year so I can’t work as a qualified nurse until then. But if I do get a band 5 job before then, if the management agrees, I could work as a band 4 until my registration is confirmed. There may be some band 5 jobs coming up on the unit I did my practice hours on, so watch this space!

At long last I’m off to Turkey to see Hasan and I can’t wait, I’m flying out on Monday and will probably stay until just after Christmas. I will be taking my laptop with me as I will need to keep up with Strictly Come Dancing online, so I will hopefully find something interesting to write about for the blog. Actually does anyone know what online TV website is the best for watching TV in Turkey?

At the end of our study day on Thursday our lecturer showed us this video that has been created by the Royal College of Nursing for nurse recruitment, I think it’s really well done and I thought I would share it with you all.

Nose to the grindstone

My blog has been sadly neglected over the last few weeks.

All of my efforts lately have been concentrated on my Return to nurse practice course. I have done 4 shifts so far on the unit and it all seems to be going well, if not a little exhausting. But thankfully I’m not as fatigued as I feared I would be.

At the moment I’m working on my reflective assignment, I’m sat surrounded by articles on my chosen subjects and I’m desperate for a break. So I have decided to add to my posts for a bit of light relief.

Before I felt able enough to return to nursing I started reading about creative writing. So it’s been difficult trying to get out of the habit of writing creatively and subjectively, and start writing in an analytical style again. The last time I wrote a University level essay was about 9 years ago and I’m very rusty.

The submission date is looming and I’m conscious that I’m running out of time, but I know that I work better under pressure. When I was studying with the Open University I was up very late still writing an assignment the night before I was due to go to New York. I posted it, a day before the due date, at Heathrow Airport just before checking in.

I’ve tried so hard over the years to be more disciplined in my studies but without success. But as the old adage goes,  ‘If it ain’t broke don’t fix it’, every assignment I’ve written has achieved a pass mark in varying numbers.  So I’m not losing too much sleep over it………yet!

The week that was

I have survived my week of induction and I have come through it very well. I expected to feel like I’d been run over by a bus this morning but apart from needing a short nap this afternoon, I’ve felt ok all day.

Most of the week was interesting, I met a lovely bunch of people and it felt fantastic to be part of an organisation again. I really loved having a purpose to my life again, I’ve even enjoyed catching the bus and people watching on the way.

But the best part of the week was finding out that my CRB clearance had arrived. So at last after months of waiting I can finally start my nurse practice hours for my return to nurse practice course. I am working a late shift tomorrow and I can’t wait to get stuck in.

I am now feeling very optimistic that I will complete the minimum hours by November and I will get my assignment written by next month.

After the last few months of waiting and stressing about being able to complete the course, I can now see an end in sight. I am getting closer to getting Hasan over here so that we can be together.

 

 

Sweet and sour

In the week I had a phone call to inform me that my occupational health clearance was ready and my last reference had been collected and verified. So I was officially offered the healthcare assistant position on the  nurse bank at the new South  Bristol Community hospital.

I start an induction week from the 3rd of September, to do all the mandatory training such as manual handling, fire safety, health and safety and lots of other exciting stuff like that. Then I will be let loose on the wards to work when I’m able and when they want me.

At least then I’ll have something to do as I still don’t have my CRB to enable me to start my nurse practice for my Return to nurse practice course. Last week I found out the reason why I had not received it…. the form was never sent!

I phoned the CRB helpline to discover that they had no record of me. A call to the recruitment department told me that all my paperwork for the honorary contract was handed over to the person doing the checks for the hospital job. Unfortunately the urgency of time was not handed over and the importance of the CRB check for my honorary contract was lost.

So what now? well I wait. Apparently, at the moment, the checks are taking on average 9 days to be returned. In the meantime I have been liaising with the management team on the unit to meet my mentor to go through my objectives and competences. I’ve identified any competences  I can achieve without being on the unit and will get my teeth into those.

If the CRB comes back within 2 weeks I’m confident I can fit in the hours I need to do before the beginning of November.

I live in hope.

It’s a miracle

I’m beside myself with happiness and relief today, and what I hear you say could have brought on these feelings of joy?

Well I decided this morning today was the day I was going to tackle the online numeracy test that I have to pass as part of the Return to nurse practice course.

Doing any kind of maths has always put the fear of God into me, I only got the minimum requirement needed to do my original nurse training and have bluffed my way through ever since then.

Luckily for me, we get 2 hours to do the test and 5 attempts to get a mark of over 80%. So not an impossible task unless, like me, you have a non-aptitude for figures and then it’s like a mountain to climb.

So imagine my surprise when I passed first time with a mark of 88%! I could not believe it.

That is another thing ticked off the list and I’m glad it’s out of the way.

 

So close I can almost smell it

I had a phone call yesterday from Human Resources and my occupational health clearance is now ready.

So now the only thing standing in the way of getting on with the practical part of my Return to nurse practice course is my CRB.

I have to admit I’m fed up with saying I hope it doesn’t take long to come through, because I’ve been saying that for weeks now. At this rate I’ll be squeezing in all the 100 hours I need to complete in a couple of weeks, and run the risk of a relapse of my illness.

It’s very difficult at the moment to remain positive.

But I am encouraged that yesterday I helped my friend move out of her house, we were very busy cleaning, moving things and making many trips to and from the car. I was very tired when I got home last night and this morning when I woke up, but I didn’t feel like I was going to slip into a post exertion coma like I would have done normally when I overdid any activity.

So when my CRB is eventually ready I’m sure that I’ll be able to work without feeling like I’ve died after every shift, which is always a bonus!

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