I am writing this post to help/ encourage ladies specially mums with little kids who are struggling to survive in nhs with so many other things on their minds to look after.I decided to write on this forum because on and off I keep coming across different girls who face same situation as me so I thought I should make my contribution of little help by sharing my experience
Let me start with little intro about myself first…I came to UK in april 2016, got registered with GMC in December 2016 n started job as SHO in November 2017. I cleared mrcp1 in June 2018 meanwhile doing job changed my mind from going into CMT to GP training so I took GP entrance exam in August,cleared it got selected in interview and I will start GP training in coming feb inshaAllah. I also intend to complete my mrcp so I took part 2 in October n awaiting result.
So when I joined job last November my baby was only 8 months old. Before joining, I had all type feedback from people around me regarding childcare. Some scaring n telling horrible stories about childminders n daycare while others directly or indirectly mentioning how good they feel sacrificing career for kids n Only few very few who encouraged to go ahead with job. Now looking back, i am happy I listened to the later ones. We decided to send our son to daycare centre within our hospital premises. Initial few days were hard but now rayyan is running ahead of us to enter his nursery n Alhamdulillah he is very wellsettled there.
I started first job in neurosurgery. My husband was in same department. It looked easier initially I thought I have his support mostly people knew me with his reference already so adjusting into job won’t be an issue but safe to say I was wrong in my judgement. There was so much time pressure, so many expectations, like every job needed to be done there n then along with all other issues every new comer in nhs faces. I continued somehow for 4 months n then decided to quit for good because job was getting stressful with each day and I was finding it very hard to cope.
I then moved to neurorehabilation unit, again there were all sorts of opinions. Many people think that rehabilitation ward is not a good option for starters in nhs but to me it was a blessing. Reasons: there were no calls so I could give time to home n baby, on the ward there were no critical patients n or many jobs so I reopened books n started studying for exams. I had not done any audits so I discussed topics n ideas with educational supervisor. I undertook first audit on my own and then second audit with my registrar. My supervisor knew I have interest in medicine so he talked to one of medicine consultants so I started doing ward round with him once a week in AMU. So while staying in rehab unit, I started taking exams one by one which I have mentioned above in detail.
Point of telling my experience is to help out young mums who at one point or other are going to be in same shoes. What I have gathered in this one year NHS experience is
1 :There is no right time to study after kids/marriage, so just study whenever you get a chance even if it means reading one mcq in entire day. Little learning is better than no learning. Whichever exam you intend to take, subscribe its questionbank online months ahead so that you have plenty of time to prepare. Dnt put too much pressure on your mind if u register yourself for an exam, prepare well but expect anything. Dnt be harsh on yourself.
2 : Don’t let other people bring you down if u decide to start/resume job with a little kid. Nobody would like to leave the comfort of home to get exhausted, we need job that’s why we have to take this tough decision. Let me reassure you nurseries here are expensive but very good in terms of care, your child will love it once he is adjusted.
3 : If your ward/trust allows, opt for 9-5 with no calls if you have kids under 2 years age with you or your spouse being the only carers. Pay will be less but you will be mentally n physically relaxed. Again you will have enougj time for study n additional stuff like audits/appraisals as well.
4 :Dnt worry too much if you feel you know nothing compared to others or feel being targeted at job I learnt this hard way but I have stopped bothering about irrelevant opinions of others about me .Just do your job honestly, thats what we are hired for.We only learn with experience n experience comes with time. Try your best if things dnt go right there’s always a chance to correct. Know your superviser n keep him/ her in the loop. They are your most firm support in NHS.
4: Lastly take very good care of yourselves…your family n children need you most… take rest when you are tired so that you don’t burn out, arrange get together with close friends once in a while, go out for shopping on your own even if it’s for an hour. All these little things will help us relax which ultimately have positive impact on our family n work life.
May Allah help us all and make things easier for us…ameen