Sunday, 12 February 2017

Hanging Up My Stethoscope!


My work retirement documentation arrived in the post yesterday.
There is a whole booklet of things to complete....it's bureaucracy overload!

I aim to leave intensive Care around my birthday which is in June.
By then I would have been a nurse over 35 years!
35 years!
Bugger Me!

Recently a colleague asked me if there was much difference between the nursing of today and that of thirty years ago, and Without much pause, I said no
Caring is caring whatever the decade.

What has changed is the system itself. Pressure on the system by increased demand. Pressure on the system by more complex care needs and pressure on the system by patients who are living longer and who are expecting more.
The system is now dominated by quality control measures, audits, specialist managers and all of the paperwork that goes along with ticking a box. The nhs monster is so big that great swathes of the supportive services have been contracted out and balancing the books will now never be a possibility no matter what Hospital Trust you work for.

Like I said the caring  part of nursing hasn't changed.
But almost everything else has.

I was a good ward manager and dare I say a very effective rehabilitation nurse that often ran things by the seat of my pants. Now I am a safe intensive care nurse, but I can see that the management side of nursing has become harder and harder. The burn out of senior staff is a sobering fact of modern day nursing life......nursing management is more fire fighting now, fire fighting and juggling!

After I retire, I still intend to nurse occassionally. After all I will be 55 and not ready to fully hang up my stethoscope for eternity! But it will be nice to officially leave a system that asks so much of
you...

73 comments:

  1. Thirty-five years in a profession which requires so much is a long, long time.
    Bless you for the work you've done, for the care you've given.

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  2. I'm sure you will enjoy it so much John. Good luck. Anna

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  3. I'm sure you're a wonderful nurse because you're such a good and caring man. It would be a shame if you gave it up completely...I'm glad you're not! After all, 55 IS really young to retire! :)

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    1. If I was a nurse manager still, i may well of stayed longer. The physicality of hands on nursing is a young persons' game!

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  4. Congratulations on hanging into a very demanding career for such a long time - and still able to laugh about it! You are made of strong - and soft - stuff m'lord!

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    1. I like my gallows humour!

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  5. Exciting! I think from things you've shared here that you will enjoy retirement completely. And be able to get more sleep:)

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  6. I am sure that you will be missed by your colleagues and all those that you care for John.x

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  7. I know your caring for others will never retire, John.
    Greetings Maria x

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  8. I hope you enjoy your retirement and thank you for all of your wonderful work and dedication. The nurses I've had here could learn a lot from you.

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  9. How exciting ! Hope all goes smoothly. What plans then ? x

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    1. Who knows? Depands on the prof and where he wants to go

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  10. My experiences in hospital have shown me amazing people doing a fantastic job under very difficult circumstances. You're to be congratulated and admired, John!

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  11. John please do not leave entirely as it is my senior retiring workforce in midwifery who keep the wheels on the bus. I encourage as many as I can who 'retire' at 55 to do some bank shifts to ensure the good old care values are passed on to the newbies.
    Ps I have clocked up 35 years this month in nursing and midwifery but still need to slog on for now - part time senior managers post not an option :-(

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    1. I guess i am lucky...but it is too limiting too! I work part time and generally am rostered most weekends......it dies bugger up your sicial life

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  12. I am sure it won't be long before you're back in something else akin to nursing xx

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    1. Yes you are probably right but on my terms and not nhs roster needs

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  13. Retirement is a magic word for many. In June you''ll be able to start a new phase; more time to focus on yourself, to have a dialogue with your mind and body, to develop and practice some interesting hobbies. Good Luck!

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    1. It will give me the flexability to move with the Prof when he moves on jobwise

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  14. I'm going to be 67 by the time I'm allowed to retire. I don't think I'll make it to be honest.

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    1. When did you start nursing dan?

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    2. You must be Desperate Dan!

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  15. I would be happy to have you as a coach and wise, warmhearted adviser for all those younger nurses that race blindly in to that wall of lacking resources, bad schedules and bad planning. It's comforting to know you won't stop working entirely, but I can understand how the system can suffocate the caring. Just don't let it!!! Good luck with this new part of life!!!

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    1. Yes.....old nurse managers dont retire they just provide psychological support x

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  16. Congratulations on devoting 35 years of your life to nursing. Good nurses are universally respected even though "the system" frequently takes them for granted.

    Judging by the top picture, you were fairly pretty when you were younger but those glasses simply did not suit you.

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  17. I always tell people, it's your life, make yourself happy.

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  18. my spouse's cousins retired from nursing (oncology and neonatalogy) at age 60. the word "retire" is not in my vocabulary. more power to ya, john.

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  19. Wow, I commend you on staying with nursing for 35 years! I think it is probably one of the most demanding jobs, both physical and emotional. And as a former patient, I would like to thank you for being a caring individual. It does make a big difference for patients. -Jenn

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    1. Upon reading this, it sounds like I was your former patient. That's not what I meant. I just meant that when you have kind, caring nurses looking after you, when you are a patient, anywhere, it makes things less scary, less painful, just better. -Jenn

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  20. What a 35 years packed full of experiences! Time to get out the catalog for Mediterranean cruises and start thinking about fancy drinks with little umbrellas in them🛳🍸

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  21. Your caring stretches further than you may be aware, John. When you recently wrote a blog about the elderly Welsh neighbour who was admitted to your ward I commented that I thought everyone in ICU was unconscious. A couple of weeks later my dear cousin was admitted into Salisbury ICU on a ventilator as an emergency. I thought of you, and nurses like you, and it made the whole event slightly less frightening/worrying. Thankfully after a week (some of it conscious!) she was transferred to a ward and is making good progress. Have a wonderful retirement.

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  22. Loved the comment about the retirement paperwork. In three years I'll be leaving a government job, and the paperwork is daunting. On a lighter note, good for you, not to be enticed for another tour.

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  23. It's heartening to know how dedicated NHS staff are to giving patients the best possible service despite all the administrative obstacles. If only the government would stop muttering "Crisis, what crisis?" and give the NHS the extra resources it desperately needs.

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  24. Time to move on to greener pastures....so to speak, John.

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  25. You will love it...life on your terms. Retirement is the bomb!

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  26. Tell me about it. I was only NHS admin, but I crashed & burned. Quit because I didn't want to have to deal with the pressure, micro management & unrealistic expectations without the resources or the staff to help reach them.

    If I'd stayed any longer I think I'd have had a repeat of the previous year's mini stroke or worse.

    Yes, it's been hard getting by on one salary, but it looks like a chance has arisen for me to get back into freelance work, and in the summer I'll be able to cash in one of my pension schemes, and start researching a really hare brained plan.

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  27. they were all so lucky to have had you!

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  28. That's a long time in the same profession! You are fortunate to be able to retire at 55. Most folks here can't retire until 67 now, here in the states. Gawd, you must be tired! DH wants to retire now, but we can't afford it. He's only 58, but he's tired - tired of the whole game and red tape.

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  29. What made you choose nursing for your career? If you had not been a nurse, what profession might you have enjoyed instead?

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  30. Congrats to you. Enjoy. I retire end of august. Cant wait. Have fun and carry on..you have earned it

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  31. Congrats to you. Enjoy. I retire end of august. Cant wait. Have fun and carry on..you have earned it

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  32. Wow, congrats to you!!! I love what you said, 'caring is caring no matter the decade'. So true. Technology changes, bureaucracy gets worse, but you'll always be the giver that you are in that profession.

    My boss told us he will probably retire in about 7 years. I've been thinking that in 7 years, the farm should be "DONE" and ready for full time occupation, might be time for me too. We'll see.

    Congrats again, so how long until the Prof can retire and be with you?

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  33. Once you decide to retire, don't ever look back. It's wonderful...everybody should be lucky enough to do it!

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  34. Welcome to the ranks of the happily retired. Hey..now you'll have time to write that book.

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  35. Congratulations! I am 10 years older than you and will probably continue to work for another five or so.

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  36. My congrats on many years in a demanding profession. My brother is a nurse and I can honestly say I could not do it.

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  37. Excellent decision. Retirement is bloody fantastic!

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  38. Ah - soooo jealous. My own Magic Date is two years and one month out. I've decided to think of the intervening time as something on the order of 108 weekends.

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  39. I was able to retire in Dec. when I turned 65. Was supposed to wait till the next year but physically could not do it. (Arthritis and very bad neuropathy)
    I have been an LVN for 42 years and could not have survived the last six months without the help of the really wonderful young people on my floor. I have always worked nights, ICU/Cardiac Surgery, agency nursing, and the last 21 in cardio/thoracic oncology surgery. The physical demands just got to be too much. The paperwork? It can drive you cuckoo, I was doing mine and my husband's at the same time and while I read all the legal stuff it got confusing even for me. It has taken 2months for me to readjust and hopefully start getting things done. And I will probably have to do some part time stuff soon but it will have to be daytime and closer to home. Enjoy yours when you get there.

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  40. I hate to see good people leave professions where they are desperately needed, yet I can understand why.

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  41. Just think of all the people who remember you with fondness ... from so long ago, when they felt their lowest and you were there for them .. From personal experience, a dreadful time often brings back bad memories, of course but it also can have amazing memories of that one person who kept you from just laying down and never getting back up.
    And I am so sure you are one of those persons ..

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  42. Golly, you will be missed John. You're right though, the caring is still the Gold Standard. What a shame it is about the only thing the pen-pushers cannot measure. What's happened to the little cat?

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  43. Congratulations on your 35 years . . .
    No doubt about it . . . you are the best!

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  44. Mrs. Rhymes's nursing career spanned 41 years but she took a 13-year hiatus in the middle to be home when the children were small. When she returned she worked only 11p to 7a (until it became 7p to 7a) to be available to them in the mornings and afternoons. Altogether she was an active-duty Registered Nurse for 28 years, but now jokingly says that her RN stands for Retired Nuisance.

    A happy retirement to you, John! You deserve it.

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  45. I retired at 53 after 34 years. I had planned to work for another 2 years, but that old problem of nurses of my generation got me: the bad back, so I had no choice.
    My big problem was that i had worked at so many hospitals by then, so couldn't claim against any particular place. And since it was a gradual problem... Never mind, I have coped.

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  46. Whoops, completely forgot to say you will enjoy retirement, John, and you have my best wishes that it be long and happy. ☺

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  47. I retired from nursing after 36 years (11 as nurse aide, 25 as RN)then decided to be a writer and went back to college at age 55. I am so happy being a poor poet. What is it that you are dying to do John? GO DO IT!

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  48. Congratulations!

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  49. Well done John. The nursing fraternity has my utmost respect.

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  50. 35 years is a milestone in any profession and career. Congrats on your achievement and I'm sure there are many persons on your career that appreciated you 'caring'

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  51. Good for you, John. Wishing you a very happy retirement - you've earned it. I'm sure the Prof, and all the animals, will enjoy having you at home too.

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  52. The most common words spoken by retirees in my experience are: I don't know how I ever found time to go to work.

    You have been warned.

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  53. I call that early retirement. Lucky you. I'm the same age and have 10 years yet to go. And I'm a woman. How have you managed this? Jammy I call it, haha.

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  54. Time now to write your memoires ?

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  55. Fantastic John!.
    I totally agree with retiring from nursing at 55.
    I intend to do the same in 2 years 299 days😀.
    The 12.5 hour shifts, working weekends and nights take their toll!.along with the added stress and pressure.
    Enjoy!.

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  56. How exciting. Congratulations on getting the process started. How lucky you are to be able to continue to work when you want to, also.

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  57. Congratulations 35 years of caring is magnificent, especially as like you say these days it's all crossing the t's and dotting the i's on everything you do.

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  58. Well done, 35 years is a lot of caring!

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  59. Congratulations to you, John, on making this decision. I remember resigning from my over 21 years in paralegal work when I was just about your age. I gave myself a 4 year sabbatical and completely enjoyed being able to draw and paint every day...I put those law firm days and nights behind me.
    Then...the stock market swooned and I decided to try out a completely new form of employment in the fashion retail world. It was originally just sort of a lark to learn more about that world, but I was promoted several times into management levels, and then as I went past age 66 decided to begin to step back from that involvement, first changing to a four day week, and then to a three day week...and then, last March finally really and truly retired at age 71. I hope your retirement will be as enjoyable as mine is every day.
    Best wishes.

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  60. Well congratulations John you deserve to retire after that many years in nursing. If you could only slow down the rest of your life but some things will never change.

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