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Practice nursing and family life

33 Posts

Posted:  24-Mar-2015 17:14
Hi all,

I worked in practice nursing for just under a year and due to a change of location I had to return to ward nursing. Anyway I am looking to start a family and everyone I've talked to in the hospital said they have found it hard balancing work and having a young family, I just wanted all of your advice on what the work-family balance was like in practice nursing. I do miss the work greatly and would definitely love to return.

Looking forward to hearing from you all [:)]

KetchupKitty 08 :)

5368 Posts

Posted:  24-Mar-2015 22:27 Log in to like this post
Personally found working nights in hospital most family friendly option for us.
Don't forget the rubbish maternity leave in general practice

Please be informed that the above is personal opinion only.
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33 Posts

Posted:  25-Mar-2015 00:16
Okie dokie, my only thought is my husband may be moving to a career where he will be away from home and I won't have any family near by to collect children from child care so I thought practice nursing may be more viable.

What is the maternity leave like in general practice?

KetchupKitty 08 :)

2504 Posts

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Posted:  25-Mar-2015 18:10
I've had 2 children whilst in GP land - I stayed put for a long time because where I had 2 lots of maternity leave (6 months) they were pretty child friendly - it did not stay that way! The main problem was when my kids were sick and one parent had to stay home. It was always my husband (also a nurse) who stayed home as he worked in NHS and had 6 family days per year and also had far less patients to cancel!

I'd rather be knitting![applogo=iPad]

11999 Posts

Posted:  25-Mar-2015 18:49
Some practices don't even pay sick leave never mind decent maternity leave? Totally depends on the practice. Practice hrs have also changed and while weekends off and evenings did not used to be required the future is different

Agree with Nak .... Part time nights on ITU is how I made it work

Please be informed that the above is the opinion of the author and is in no way meant to be taken as instruction.

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1297 Posts

Posted:  25-Mar-2015 20:59
weekend agency worked for me at the time, husband took over wheni went to work. Not sure if i would recommend though as we didn't have a family life at weekends. But without family support it was a way of doing it without having to pay for childcare. once school age it was district nursing, childrens were never late for school!

1405 Posts

Posted:  26-Mar-2015 09:37
A friend of mine had a 9-5 band 7 role in the community 30 hrs a week and went back to band 5 bank work in hospital as the community hours were so inflexible. She now works an average of 12 hours a week bank (often a long night shift) and has a lot more money in her bank account from that than she would have if she went back to her 30 hrs a week band 7, as she can fit around her husband's shifts and does not have to pay for childcare.

Please be aware this is my opinion only based on the evidence I have seen, and not meant to be taken as direction

459 Posts

Posted:  26-Mar-2015 15:37
I found nights fitted in best whilst the children were preschool, and I could work less hours for more pay. It wouldn't work for me now as most wards rotate days and nights. I started practice nursing when my second was nursery age and finds it fits in well now they are all at school - with set shifts I can book them in at after-school club and I love having the weekends off with them. 

528 Posts

Posted:  26-Mar-2015 20:25
Days on a ward whilst they were pre-schoolers.
Evenings in the district whilst they were at primary school.
Practice nursing whilst they were at senior school.
Range of hours throughout 8-37.5 per week.
That's the good thing about nursing, it's very flexible, however each move has involved a down grade and then work to build back up again. <10 years to go so it's a good job I'm not aiming for the top :-)

Hanging on in there
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1666 Posts

Posted:  26-Mar-2015 20:44
Child number 1 worked as a midwife 2 days or 2 nights a week in a local hospital. 30 miles away so left at crack of dawn to get him to hospital crèche. I liked doing nights and found it easier but husband found it hard to cope. Child number 2, 15 hrs a week practice nursing. Much easier as nearer and finished at 3pm. Downside is stressing about cancelled patients if children are ill and I have to be at home. we are a small surgery and no other nurse cover. Pros and cons whichever depends on childcare and partner support I think not just nursing post

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50 Posts

Posted:  22-Apr-2015 17:10
Hi guys, I am about to start a PN post next mth. I am leaving the district after over 10 years there, 5 years wards as an SN too prior to the district. I currently work 20 hours, but will be doing 24 hours as a PN (as a band5) Despite the increase of pay due to the extra 4 hours each week, I will lose my working tax credit. I have worked out that over the year I will be £198 worse off, but not working weekends currently, or BH's I hopefully will have a better work balance.
However, I had booked holiday's with my current employer for the school holiday's- one I have booked and paid for, the other it my children's Birthday wk. I did tell them prior to accepting the post that these holiday's were booked. They are now telling me that they may not be able to let me have them! I contacted HR who basically said that they do not have to honour any previously booked holiday's. I have asked them if I cannot have the week my children's birthday is on, could I have their birthday day off as the ex has them then from the afternoon until the following day.
They also asked me about my hours and could I work anyday of the week. As a single parent I do have day's were I have more flexibility than others, though I did not mention this at the time of interview as I wanted a firm offer. The only day that is a problem is a Thursday if I were to work a late as my children have music lesson's. This cannot be moved due to Brownies and Cubs which they have done for years on other days. The ex has them wed night and alt weekends and would not take them for their music lessons, hence why their Brownies and Cubs have been moved so many times.
What would you guys suggest is the right approach to take with my new employers to say that I am flexible and can be more flexible at other times, without highlighting the inflexibility of the access regime ( i say that as my ex will not be flexible) The last thing I want is for them to see me as a hinderance, rather than a hard working and flexible individual.
I am having doubts as to whether this is the right move for me at all :(

11999 Posts

Posted:  22-Apr-2015 18:00
Probably best to be up front about when you can and cannot be flexible. Sorry to hear you could not get both sets of your annual leave honoured but in truth most practices plan their nurse leave a year in advance and have set rules about who can be off at the same time etc... Guess that's the price of guaranteed no nights /weekends/BH which is more family friendly than many nursing posts.
Plenty of PNs are single parents and get by. Most practices would be harder hit by you suddenly needing 10 months maternity leave than saying you can't work Thursdays?
Expecting any employer to accommodate after school activities several days a week might be pushing it though?
Can you not work with other mums regarding brownies and Cubs taking turns?
Are you able to accommodate all of this more easily with your DN post?

Please be informed that the above is the opinion of the author and is in no way meant to be taken as instruction.

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155 Posts

Posted:  22-Apr-2015 18:40
This won't be a popular thing to say, but I don't have children and if I had another nurse in the surgery who was wanting their hours around after school activities for their children I'd be really annoyed, even more so if the employers allowed it!

You say you didn't mention at interview that there are days you have more flexibility than others, can you therefore blame your new employer for asking you to work any day of the week? If you didn't give them this info to start with then how were they to know? I echo what Karen said, be up front with them straight away and explain your situation and constraints.

It is unfortunate that your annual leave cannot be honoured, but when there is a small amount of nurses in a practice it all tends to be agreed in advance as you can't have everyone off at the same time. These are the realities of practice nursing, there isn't a group of 20 nurses who can absorb each others shift requests etc.

But having said all of that, they offered the job to you so they obviously like you and want you as part of their team :) Use this to your advantage.

50 Posts

Posted:  22-Apr-2015 18:57
Thanks guys. Re music lesson's that is the only activity that requires transport to the location. My Dad works on a Thursday as a teacher 9-5, he's retired and he is the only other person who could drive them to their lesson. Hence that day may be difficult. The other day's I can do, they're not the issue as the activities they do then are local and can walk to.
I didn't mention my situation at interview as I wanted to be given a fair interview. Does anyone else work 24 hours as a pn, if so what kind of hours per day each week do you do. Is it the same day's ech week or different. Thanks in advance.

11999 Posts

Posted:  22-Apr-2015 19:17
It varies but if you only have problems with the time you need to finish by on a Thursday I am sure that most surgeries could accommodate that one.

Some surgeries have set days /sessions when they need cover and you often work those sessions regularly. However you may have to do additional hrs or move your hrs during times when other staff are sick or on annual leave. I expect most contracts nowadays will avoid including set sessions/ days because of this even if in reality you end up working some set sessions.

Most nursing teams will have regular meetings looking at shifts and organising covering the services in advance but occasionally there are sudden needs which arise as well.

The front desk on the computer is usually set up three months in advance which gives you a good idea of the advanced planning that can be in place

I would suggest that you are unable to work past a certain time on a Thursday but offer flexibility on other days . I do not believe it is too much to expect to know what you are working three months in advance while still showing willing to be flexible in extremis? This is as important for anyone with a life children or not

Those with children cannot expect to get all the same school holidays off etc but this can usually be done fairly with give and take

The only other way of avoiding these issues is bank/agency work

Please be informed that the above is the opinion of the author and is in no way meant to be taken as instruction.

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50 Posts

Posted:  22-Apr-2015 19:30
Thanks Karen, I feel a bit better. I have all the holiday access re kids with ex and week day access with him in my diary. I am more upset about their birthday week. I only hope that I can at the very least have the morning off/whole day before they go to their fathers on their birthday.
I am not sure how agency/bank would work with applying for a mortgage as I need regular hours. Something to look into later down the line though.
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