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NHS nurse who quit after one year says she now makes more money serving ice cream

Emma Guinness

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| Last updated 

NHS nurse who quit after one year says she now makes more money serving ice cream

Featured Image Credit: Kennedy News and Media

Healthcare professionals have one of the hardest jobs in the world, and it's been made even harder in today's climate.

Former nurse, Mailu Turner, 22, said she was left 'very stressed' when she worked as a nurse for Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber Foundation Trust - so much so that she quit after just a year in the profession.

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Now, just months after quitting, she's now moved to Melbourne, Australia, and has a job selling ice cream - and is earning more money doing it.

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Her ice cream café assistant job is paid the equivalent of £17 an hour, which is £4 more than the salary she received as a staff nurse.

Turner said she ultimately has been left feeling 'cheated' and 'sad' that she put so much 'time, effort and money' into training for her nursing career.

She explained: "For eight hours a day, I serve ice cream to customers. It's a lot better here and I get paid more money.

"The hours are more relaxed and people seem to be generally happier at work.

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"I was doing my shifts [as a nurse] feeling very stressed, not getting enough support from staff members or management and finishing my shift with no nurse arriving to take me off duty.

"I'd start work at 7am and by this time it'd be midnight and there'd be no one to take me off the shift.

"All this time, I was on £13.86 an hour."

Turner said nursing was so bad that there was no one to take her off shift. Credit: Kennedy News and Media
Turner said nursing was so bad that there was no one to take her off shift. Credit: Kennedy News and Media
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After leaving her job, Turner went travelling and ultimately decided that she didn't want to go home.

She said: "I quit my job in England and went travelling around South East Asia. I decided that I didn't want to go home even though I love my job as a nurse.

"I started working [in an ice cream café in Melbourne] and when I found out how much I was getting paid an hour, I was mind-blown.

"It was $30 AUD an hour and when I converted it it was £17, which is more than I would have got paid an hour in England - even on a Sunday or Bank Holiday."

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Turner said that she passed a key part of her nursing training, her preceptorship, in January of last year, and this was when she was left to work alone with large numbers of patients.

She claims that when she was left with the care of '15 or 16' people, and had explained that the workload was too much, she was apparently told: "Where do you want me to pull staff from?"

The nurse said patients were being put at risk by understaffing. Credit: Kennedy News and Media
The nurse said patients were being put at risk by understaffing. Credit: Kennedy News and Media

This ultimately put her into a position where she felt like she wasn't able to do her job well - or even safely.

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She said: "I passed my preceptorship really quickly and what should have happened is I should have always had another nurse with me to help me through my shift.

"That didn't happen and straight away I was left alone with 15 or 16 patients as the only qualified nurse, or only qualified staff member, at some points. I raised it to management I was getting 'oh, you're a young nurse. You can handle it'.

"The second time I raised it and said there wasn't enough nurses and I was so stressed, I got the response 'where do you want me to pull staff from?' I know it's not her fault - there is not enough nurses in the UK.

"If I'd have made a mistake, my PIN would have gone, my licence."

Kate McCandlish, Director of Nursing at Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust, told Manchester Evening News: "The safety of our patients is paramount and we work hard to ensure that our wards are safely staffed. We always actively encourage our colleagues to speak up if they feel something isn't right in their place of work so that immediate action can be taken.

"We follow safe staffing processes, with the safety of our colleagues of utmost importance and we have robust health and wellbeing support on offer which our colleagues can access at any time. We are very sorry Mailu feels this way and we will be looking into the claims she has made."

Tyla has reached out to Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust for further comment.

Topics: News, Health, NHS

Emma Guinness
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