Work in the UK

WP_20141019_011Today I will share some information about work in the UK so please feel free to comment and share any tips or experience you have had related to the topic. To find a job in the UK you need to be motivated and hard working. The minimal requirements to get hired are actually quite simple:

  1. Work permission, unless you are UK or EU citizen
  2. National insurance number 
  3. UK Bank account
  4. Disclosure and Barring Services (DBS) certificate which is basically a criminal record check and usually the fee for having one is covered by your employer
  5. English language certificate (e.g. IELTS, TOEFL, FCE, CAE etc.)
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In addition to the requirements mentioned above you need a CV, sometimes a motivational letter explaining why you want to do a specific job, and one or two references from previous employers if you have had previous work experience. Often you would have to pass an interview and sometimes employers give tests on interview days. I remember when I applied for a job in a big supermarket they were asking questions about the history of the supermarket, number of supermarkets in the UK and around Europe etc. That is why always expect the unexpected. Sometimes you might think that applying for a job in the local shop would be easy, however, they might give you a maths test on the interview day. If you are applying for a job that requires a degree then it is likely that the process might be a bit longer as there could be additional requirements. For example, if you have a degree from abroad in Pharmacy and you want to work as a Pharmacist in the UK then you need to register on the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) Register first. Some of you might need to get a working visa if you come from outside the EU. But don’t lose hope. It’s possible to get a job in the UK as long as you are determined to be successful and not give up.

Once you have passed through all the requirements, interviews, exams and you have got the job, you might wonder about the pay. Well, the minimal pay per hour can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/national-minimum-wage-rates

P.S. Today I had my first day working as a First Aider on the rugby pitch. I had to assist casualties with some minor injuries and make sure everyone is alright. The weather was very cold, however, the game was great and UEA women’s rugby team won the game. Congratulations UEA!

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First Aid

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Recently I had a First Aid training which I passed successfully. Hurray! Now I am officially an employee Events First Aider working for my university. My main responsibilities are to preserve life, prevent the situation from worsening and promote recovery of all casualties. Of course, such an opportunity comes with great responsibility and legal accountability. Anyway, there are four main steps in first aid:

Step 1: DANGER? Is it safe for you to provide first aid? If everything is safe then you can provide first aid, however, if there is any risk for your health then remember that safety is your number one priority. For example, if the casualty is bleeding profusely you must put gloves on, otherwise, you put yourself at risk.
Step 2: RESPONSE? Shout and gently tap the shoulders of the casualty. Are they conscious?
Step 3: BREATHING? If someone is talking to you then they are obviously breathing, however, if there is no response you should open the airway by tilting the head back and lifting the chin. Look for chest movements, feel for warm air on your cheek and listen for breathing sounds for 10 seconds.

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Step 4: PROBLEM? What’s the problem?
Responsive, Breathing -> Find out what the injury is and treat the casualty appropriately. For example, if they have a broken wrist you should tell them not to move it, put an ice pack on it, and elevate it in a sling until an ambulance arrives.
Unresponsive, Breathing -> Recovery position
Unresponsive, NOT breathing -> CPR (chest compressions), and call an ambulance (999 or 112). Closest hospital to the University of East Anglia is the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

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A trainee nurse at hospital!

Have you ever heard of the saying ‘There is always a first time’? Well, you will hear it often when you are having your first clinical placement as a student.

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At the moment I’m having my so called ‘taster placement’ at a local hospital. This is the time when I am able to feed patients, give bed baths, administer drugs, make observations of vital signs, clean hospital equipment, communicate with patients and their family members. However, it was also my very first time to work 12 hour shifts, deal with patients who are aggressive, deal with stress, be spit at, shouted at, get used to all sorts of smells, see patients naked, and be on duty all day. I am glad I paid attention during all my lectures and did all my homework because the knowledge I gained from university boost my confidence to apply my skills in practice. Although, being a nurse is a challenging job, I absolutely love it because every day is different and you never get bored of it. Furthermore, seeing patients recover is very rewarding.

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It is important to point out that my mentor is a great example of a highly-skilled nurse who is also a kind and cheerful person. Her encouragement and support helped me expand my knowledge and gain new skills, for example, taking out a surgical drain bag, using a bladder scanner etc. She does everything to help me gain as much knowledge and experience as possible. In addition, she gives me quizzes and examines me to see how I progress. I feel lucky that I met her because she inspired me to give the best out of myself.

Here are my top tips for students going on their first clinical placement:

  1. Wear comfortable shoes
  2. Bring your lunch box and drink
  3. Don’t do anything if you don’t know how to do it
  4. Don’t be scared to do something if you know how to do it
  5. Take notes and reflect on your experience

Student Life @ UEA

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It has been more than a month since I started my Nursing degree. My parents and friends often ask me if I like it, if it is too difficult, if there are any problems or challenges, if I have made new friends etc. So I thought it would be nice to reflect on my experience as a student so far. So here are some bullet-points on different aspects:

• Nursing degree – The course is demanding, the study load is challenging and the responsibility is great. By the end of Module 1 I need to write at least 9100 words in total in the form of assignments and essays. In addition, we make presentations about patients with various diseases. To be honest, I love everything I learn and I find my course extremely interesting. However, sometimes deadlines and academic requirements make things a bit scarier than they actually are. Either way, I just deal with it. -.-“

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• Friends and social life – With such a great variety and diversity of people around you there is no way you will be lonely or bored. There are plenty of events, parties and social events to chose from and people to meet. I made friends with people from different nationalities and backgrounds which makes life so exciting. It is amazing how easy it is to make friends with people and enjoy even boring things like cooking, studying, shopping or cleaning. Going out or celebrating together is the best way to let the steam off. Movie nights, for example, are a great way to release stress and relax. 🐱

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• Finances – If you can’t cook for yourself then you’re in trouble. An average lunch costs 5 pounds so spending 15 pounds a day for food will easily make you go bankrupt. Some of my flatmates can’t cook and neither can I. That is why I’m learning how to cook. Another thing to consider is your accomodation costs. If you’re living on campus then sharing a twin room is the cheapest option. However, privacy and having your own bedroom is best in my opinion. Lastly, instead of calling a taxi or taking the bus it would be nice to buy yourself a bike so you could go wherever you want and keep fit for free. 😀

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• Relationships – If you have a boyfriend/girlfriend who lives in a different town/country then you could experience additional stress by missing him/her or even get depressed if you don’t get the chance to meet him/her often. Communication with your loved one is vital if you want to make your relationship work out well. Furthermore, being separated from your family might not be as great as you have thought it would be. The independence you gain brings responsibilities which you might struggle to face on your own. Stay in touch with your mom, dad and siblings. Remember that they miss you as well.

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