Here are some thoughts from an Australian nurse who chose to work her entire travel nursing time at London's St. Thomas's, the oldest teaching hospital in the world. Bianca shares her feelings about the work she did there for two and a half years.
The ITU at St. Thomas's is the busiest ITU I have ever worked in and I have to say in terms of work load it is also the hardest I have worked in. But if you are willing and very keen to put your hand up and put your best foot forward you will learn so much. I miss ITU at "Tommies" so much. I made great friends and learnt so much -- so much more than I ever imagined -- but I worked bloody hard and put in long hours.
When I first started it was difficult to settle in as a new member of staff. I think that's because they don't know you and have so many untrained ITU staff that they want to check you out first. It's very stressful [for them] not knowing if a new member of staff is going to need to be carried or not, especially with how busy it can get sometimes. I personally found it great once I settled in, which didn't take too long for me.
From my point of view, if you're willing to work hard and potentially be used a little, maybe not intentionally but occasionally miss one of your breaks -- which I often chose to do as my patients were often the sickest on the unit -- you will enjoy your time there. It is frustrating, but so are all jobs. The main thing is to not go there thinking the work is like home, because it isn't. And that is probably the main key point to stress. The nursing union in OZ is pretty strong and has done a great job to get the working conditions we have. But the working conditions in the UK are not so great. The thing i liked best at Tommies is the working relationship with the Medical team; I felt my opinion was valued slightly more over there.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts Bianca and giving nurses a realistic portrayal of working at St. Thomas's. That's what you can expect from Continental Travelnurse: straight talk, informed advice and a tremendously fun and rewarding experience.
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