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Teaching to NHS - bad move?

(26 Posts)
JenniferYellowHat1980 Mon 25-Jan-16 22:25:05

I'm considering retraining for one of a couple of band 5 jobs in the NHS, but I have my reservations. I suspect the constant criticism from on high and the pressure to meet unattainable targets might be the same in health. That said, I find the thought of a completely new discipline appealing. At any rate, I will only retrain if I can do so without it costing me £27k + to do so.

I do have an opportunity in the pipeline that will enable me to work flexibly from home for a while, and maybe that could go somewhere. Otherwise, I live in a rural area and there are few opportunities within an easy commute, which is something else to consider.

Any thoughts/success/horror stories?

smellysocksandchickenpox Tue 26-Jan-16 12:59:46

I did the other way round, and then went back to NHS.

Yes the NHS is target driven, but it's still workable.

I have never seen so many smokers and sickness due to mental health as I did in teaching, I think the occupational health in NHS is better. Moral is better in the NHS from what I've seen. It's not always brilliant, but better.

Yes it's stressful, but it's not impossible.

Just look at the retainment for new band 5 staff in NHS VS retainment for new teachers - almost half of the latter leave don't they?

I always thought that my move from NHS to teaching would have an element of "out of the frying pan into the fire" as they're both high pressure, but I though they would be comparable - I did not find this to be the case, I think teaching can be prohibitively stressful, which is different to stressful but doable.

smellysocksandchickenpox Tue 26-Jan-16 13:06:57

If anything, what I think you might find challenging moving from teaching to band 5 in NHS is the level of in service training required just to get on wiht the job. Your hands are tied with regards to so many tasks until you are signed off as competent. You simply cannot do a lot of the tasks your job involves until signed off. Frustrating for a while but once signed off it's a good thing because you have that training/support/competence/confidence. And a lot of those competencies, even for fairly simple things, need to be regularly updated.

The only caution I would give you is that I would not advice working as bank or agency staff unless alongside a permanant post - it's very difficult to build up and maintain competencies unless you have a permanant department.

Safety is very important, so in most cases if you do feel you have to say that your workload is too much or beyond your competency, you will be supported, particularly at band 5. Which is a nice change from teaching where I think there's a lot of people working till they're burnt out. Burn out does happen in the NHS too of course, but nowhere near at the levels I saw in my colleagues in teaching.

LaPharisienne Tue 26-Jan-16 13:12:15

Are you the same person who was thinking about switching to law, out of interest?

LadyWithLapdog Tue 26-Jan-16 13:15:52

I'd keep to teaching if you have DCs, still better hours than in a hospital.

JenniferYellowHat1980 Tue 26-Jan-16 13:43:03

No, not law (mind you, I'm flitting between a few ideas at the moment).

JenniferYellowHat1980 Tue 26-Jan-16 13:44:06

I'm not teaching. It will take me years to get back to my current salary, if I ever do, but I'd rather work NMW.

smellysocksandchickenpox Tue 26-Jan-16 13:49:12

I disagree Ladywithlapdog

Yeah I do some evenings, weekends, nights.. and then I have days off, often 4 in a week, where I have NOTHING at all work related to do! My days off are all mine/my kids!

When I was teaching, believe me I was working evenings, weekends, late into the night.. I just wasn't getting paid for it. My days off and weekends were never really mine - there was always some work to be done from home!

smellysocksandchickenpox Tue 26-Jan-16 13:53:41

I arrive at the hospital 20 mins before my paid shift starts to have a coffee and chat to whoever else is on shift with me

Vs arriving 2 hours before our paid day started in teaching (because we couldn't get into the building earlier) to do prep/computer work

My hours are most certainly better and more family friendly/sociable in the NHS, even though it's "shift work", and my PAID teaching hours were between 9-5, mon-fri

CountryLovingGirl Wed 27-Jan-16 14:51:02

This is quite interesting for me to read as I am considering a move from NHS to teaching (science). I am shocked to read that NHS comes out best!

Anyone else have any experience of both?

Lottapianos Wed 27-Jan-16 15:01:04

I'm an NHS clinician. We are woefully underresourced, ridiculously under-staffed, drowning in paperwork, and there is no prospect of the situation improving because our commissioners don't seem to think that early intervention for children under 5 is a priority. We are very much target-driven but without the resources to come close to meeting those targets. I often find my job very depressing and demoralising and I do think that things are getting worse, not better.

That said, I still think I have it easier than teachers though! I work with lots of teachers in my role and don't envy them for a second. Expectations of what they should be doing for children and parents are becoming ridiculous and they all work dreadful hours. I work a standard 37.5 hour week and never take work home with me - I have colleagues who do, but if you're strict about it, you can leave work at your finish time every day. I never have to work evenings or weekends or work shifts, although of course there are clinicians in the NHS who do all of those things.

So life is certainly not rosy in the NHS but compared to teaching, it may have some benefits for you.

smellysocksandchickenpox Wed 27-Jan-16 15:09:57

I thought I knew stress.. I thought I knew paperwork.. coming from the NHS background I did

But teaching I would liken to the week before you submit your dissertation but EVERY WEEK without ever letting up.. ever.. not even during your annual leave (planning was expected to have been done by the time you get back). Running on caffine, sugar, little sleep, and no time for stress busting hobbies or activities in your down time.

I don't think it was just because I was new. The senior teachers I worked with were smokers (more than I've seen in one work place since the 90s) and dropping like flies on long term stress leave or quitting - they were also all in work way outside of paid hours to get things done and doing tonnes of work from home. So I didn't even have the reassurance that it would ease up with experience, because my experienced colleagues couldn't cope with the work load

JenniferYellowHat1980 Wed 27-Jan-16 21:46:33

This is looking reassuring (which I'm pleased about having already signed up to Access to Health Sciences!) I've spent more hours that I care to think about in hospitals this last month with my DM, and it's given me a pretty good idea of what nurses are up agains - and one of them this afternoon told me all about the new requirements for renewing registration. I do like the buzz of it. I'm not sure how well I'd cope with rude patients and their families, poor behaviour being something I really detest about teaching.

I'm planning to train for an allied role though, and I like the idea of contributing to a patient's treatment rather than being on the front line of having to actually deliver care on the wards, day in, day out.

smellysocksandchickenpox Wed 27-Jan-16 23:07:25

A lot of the time if people are "rude" it's because they're scared, confused, in pain etc. So it's not the same or as personal as if some perfectly fine person is rude to you in a supermarket etc.

The key is to quickly figure out why they are angry, and don't jump to the defensive. Most people who are angry/frustrated are relatives who are scared that their concerns won't be listened to, so as soon as you actively listen to them 90% of them calm down and apologise and explain why they were frustrated

MaybeDoctor Wed 27-Jan-16 23:14:30

What is a band 5 job, just out of interest?

smellysocksandchickenpox Thu 28-Jan-16 20:27:56

Its the lowest payband for the professions like newly qualified nurses, radiographers, physiotherapists, Occuptational therapists, ODPs… anything that requires uni (but not doctors, they start a bit higher)

band 4 would be like a senior care assistant or therapy assistant with extra skills or responsibilities

smellysocksandchickenpox Thu 28-Jan-16 20:30:05

(salary at around 21-27K range outside of London depending on whether there's extra for nights/weekends etc)

JenniferYellowHat1980 Fri 29-Jan-16 22:27:18

smellysocks, good point. I just find it depressing that every NHS institution needs to display posters stating that abuse of staff won't be tolerated (mind you, maybe schools should be displaying said posters instead of just camouflaging the problem).

ggirl Thu 11-Feb-16 22:35:12

well I'm a band 5 community nurse and never ever finish on time ..always work at home in the evening and never get a break so not all NHS jobs are like smellysocks

Headofthehive55 Thu 18-Feb-16 07:47:34

Worked as a science teacher and as a nurse.

Couldnt stand poor behaviour of students. Constant targets. Never good enough. Workload.

I'm busy, yes, as a nurse but it's achievable and I don't take work home. No real poor behaviour. Interesting things to learn, can move into completely different jobs I.e. Ward, itu, clinic, all very different. Can do research as part of your job, have done some, get articles published, ditto, opportunities for teaching too.

wonderpants Thu 18-Feb-16 07:59:22

I'm leaving the NHS to train as a teacher. My experience is that it is being cut, run to the ground, restructured, constant threat of job changes (with no hope of redundancy) and bullying is endemic.
I'm looking forward to teaching!

Headofthehive55 Thu 18-Feb-16 09:17:04

wonder I was a nurse first then left to teach. (Returned to nursing) Are you doing primary? That might be better than secondary.
There is lots of bullying in schools also.

Teaching is the one job where I've had little thanks or appreciation.

Teaching itself is lovely, the other bits are grim.

Badgerncub Sat 12-Mar-16 08:50:44

I'm a teacher and find myself repeatedly reaching crisis point. Mentally I'm fairly resilient but have found the last four year utterly soul destroying. I'm a good teacher but to try and remain so is draining all my resources. I am about to go off on mat leave for first baby and the only thing I have in my sights at the moment is and end to the stress, targets, late nights and totally unrealistic expectations. I always wanted to nurse before I trained as a teacher but stupidly (it would seem from these posts) believer it was the better option in terms of time/holidays/pay. I feel I'm paid well for what I do in school but the additional countless unpaid hours are desperate! I can't honestly say that I can return to work and teach to the standard I currently do and then come home to look after a baby. I'd love t retrain but don't know whether I could meet the costs. I feel trapped in teaching. I've NEVER voiced this to anyone- feels good!

JenniferYellowHat1980 Mon 14-Mar-16 20:24:26

I've got an interview for a job which seems to be a partnership between NHS and council later this week. It's FT and I faintly hoped to go PT but realistically I need to be FT. I don't expect to get the job but this is the second interview I've been offered out of three applications, which seems quite positive (I decided against the first; it was very short term).

JenniferYellowHat1980 Wed 06-Apr-16 20:00:43

I have the ultimate dilemma now. I have an interview for a teaching post at my local school, which I know they want an NQT for so they'll find a reason not to appoint be. I'm thinking about lesson planning but frankly it's leaving me cold.

I also have an interview for a really interesting NHS post two weeks later. It would be much lower pay at band 3 and part time, but it seems there is a work based route to qualifying as a practitioner, and it does have links with my teaching experience.

I think I'm going to have to bite the bullet and withdraw from the teaching interview. I also withdrew after the interview mentioned in my last post - lots of responsibility for very little pay.

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