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Let’s not talk about OSCE

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I signed a confidentiality clause prior to taking the exam so I am not allowed to share what happened during my OSCE, so, I can only share the details before the exam.
Me and my room mates went to Northampton the day before the exam and it was cold and gloomy. We were all nervous but we tried to put our brave
faces on. When you’re in Northhampton, you are not allowed to discuss the exam at all, so we avoided talking about it in public. We did some
practice on our hotel but it was just a quick memory drill. We didn’t go out of hotel until dinner at Nando’s with our batchmates who are also taking the exam and were staying at the Ibis hotel. We checked in at Travelodge. If you are taking the exam at Northampton, these are the affordable hotels near the innovation centre. After dinner, we went back to our rooms and slept.

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The next day we had breakfast at Mcdonalds and my roommates went to the exam centre afterwards because their schedule was earlier than mine. I
went back to the hotel, showered and prepared for OSCE and checked out of
the hotel a few hours later. I went to the exam centre early, so, I was asked if I would be agreeable to take the exam earlier than planned. I agreed…And the rest is history.
All I can say is that the entire experience is nerve wracking. I dont
want to go through it again. It was a stressful week for all of us and I’m just glad that’s over. Not everyone were fortunate enough to pass the
OSCE. Some will do a partial re-sit and others will do a full re-sit. I wish them all good luck.

For the nurses who are still in the early process of their application to the UK, prepare yourself as early as possible. If you have a Royal Marsden Manual, try to read it whenever you have the time. Early preparation and good study habit is the key!
Have a great day ahead everyone!

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I Passed!

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Today I finally got the result of my OSCE and I made it! Thank God I passed! I couldn’t have done it without His guidance. Thank you Lord, Jesus Christ! Thank you St. Joseph, my patron saint. To my family and friends, thanks for your support and prayers, I love you all! 😭❤

Breaking News: OET now accepted for NMC Registration.

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Two days ago, the Nursing and Midwifery Council made an announcement that they will accept the Occupational English Test (OET) as an alternative test to prove the English proficiency of nurses and midwives trained outside the UK, starting on November 1, 2017. You can check the full article here. It is noted that many nurses that are trained outside EU are struggling to pass their IELTS. This sounds a very good news indeed for aspiring UKRNs, they now have another option should they find it difficult to pass IELTS.

A friend of mine who took both OET and IELTS in the past told me that OET is easier than IELTS. I can’t really prove this, but, just knowing you have another option aside from the IELTS, makes the nurses breathe a little easier and less anxious. Of course, you still have to prepare yourself well before taking the OET. I was told that the exam is worth more than twenty thousand pesos. That’s like two IELTS exam fees combined.

Another thing to consider is that when you apply for your UK visa, you will still need to secure a UKVI IELTS exam. At this very moment, it is unclear if the Home Office will accept the OET for visa purpose. If it will be accepted, that’s good news. If not, then you’ll pay another thirteen thousand for your UKVI IELTS test. On the brighter side, you will only need to get an overall band score of 4 for Tier 2 visa application.

I still think it is best to take and pass the UKVI IELTS exam, because it is cheaper and can be used for both the NMC registration and visa application. But, if you can afford it, go for the OET.

Novel

Morning Reflections

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Good morning! I woke up at 2:00 am today. No matter how bad I want to get back to sleep, i couldn’t. I browsed Twitter and read some emails until 5:00 am, had coffee and started writing this blog. While sipping my coffee earlier, it made me reflect about what happened to me these past months. I mentioned on my previous posts that I left a 6 -year nursing career in Saudi Arabia and currently preparing for a new challenge else where. Guess what, I just got my visa yesterday and I’ll be travelling to the UK soon. Looking back, it wasn’t an easy process to get hired and get to this point where I am flying to London and be able to practice my profession there. It makes me smile remembering those days in Riyadh where I’m so bored with the routine and find my escape on hundreds of books. I will definitely continue reading once I’m settled in the UK. Right now though, I had to reduce my Goodreads reading challenge from 100 to 60 books. Anyway, I just find it amazing that things are working really well right now and I hope that this good fortune will continue. I am incredibly grateful to all the people who supported me all through out my application, specially to my family who have been patient and took care of me when I am going insane while studying for my exams. Exams aren’t really over though, going to the UK is just the beginning. I still have OSCE’s coming up, but I promise to maintain my positive outlook on any challenges ahead.

Above all, I’m grateful to the Lord for always guiding me and giving me strength when I needed it. For protecting me and loving me despite my flaws. Thank you so much.

I originally planned to blog about the entire visa application process, but I had to get this out of my head first. I’ll be posting about it shortly.

 

Novel

Binge – Watched: Hospital Ship (Korean Drama)

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I was bored the other day and I decided to watch a new Korean Drama on my VIU app. The last Korean medical drama I watched was The Good Doctor which I enjoyed so much. FYI, The Good Doctor is now being produced by Sony Pictures TV and ABC Studios starring Freddie Highmore. Anyway, I was looking for a good medical drama and came across Hospital Ship. I just loved it! I finished it in one day. It’s a mini-series (each episode lasts for only 30 minutes) and currently have 16 episodes. It’s still an ongoing series which you can watch online or via the viu app.

So, what is a hospital ship? It is what it actually is. A ship that boards medical professionals and they serve people who live in remote islands in a country. They provide medical and dental services as well as medicines. I have no idea if we have one in the Philippines. Anyway, in Korea, they also have small islands that doesn’t have access to health care so, a Hospital Ship is what they use to reach these islands. However, in this drama, not many Public Health doctors like to work in the hospital ship. So, when Public Health doctors enlists in the military, their posts are being raffled. Two “unlucky” doctors (Traditional Korean Medicine Doctor and a Dentist) picked the hospital ship during the raffle. Once they got there, they found out that one Internal Medicine doctor volunteered himself to work at the ship, which baffled the other two.

On one of their “emergencies” in the hospital ship, they had an appendecitis case that immediately needs an appendectomy. Unfortunately, the hospital ship is not equipped to perform surgeries because they don’t have the equipments needed and most of all, they don’t have a surgeon. Cue the protagonist who was hired to be a part of the Hospital Ship team. She is an extremely able surgeon but was kicked out from the prestigious hospital she used to work for due to a matter that she refuse to disclose. She performed the surgery successfully with very little resources.

I was immediately hooked by the premise. After graduating from nursing school, it was very difficult to look for a nursing job and I briefly entertained the idea of working in a ship as a nurse first-aider. It was only for 5 minutes, but I realized i can’t do it because I don’t know how to swim and I might get sea sick. LOL. I think it takes a lot of guts and skills to work on a Hospital Ship.

The actors in this show is commendable for being able to portray the medical professionals really well. Ha Ji Won, who portrays the protaganist, went to a lot trainings to be able to learn how to become a believable surgeon on screen. Also, the ridicule that the Traditional Korean Doctor receives was on point. In the last medical center I worked in, they also provide traditional treatments like Accupuncture and to this day, I still have doubts about the medical benefits of the said treatment.

Overall, Hospital Ship is a pretty good medical drama. It focuses on the patient care and their rights, hospital politics, scarcity of funds and resources, as well as the daily struggles of the medical professionals. There isn’t any romance YET, I think that’s something we can look forward for on the next episode.

KSA Files: SCFHS Certificate of Good Standing

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Hi everyone! I just got back from a week-long vacation and I’m stuck at home today because I’m sick. Anyway, I want to be productive today so, I will be writing about how to get a SCFHS Certificate of Good Standing.

If you are going to apply for a job overseas, whether its a GCC country or somewhere else, it is likely that they will ask a copy of your Certificate of Good Standing. So here’s how you get one:

First, go to the SCFHS website. Then, click e-services.

Next, click Additional e-services list.

Then, click Registration.

A list will appear, just click on Request a certificate of good standing.

Then, fill out all the information the system asks. First, it will ask for your registration number. This is the number that appears in your registration certificate and ID. Example: 11RN1234567 Make sure you type it without spaces or hyphen.

Click next. The system will ask for your e-mail address and mobile number. Make sure you write the correct e-mail address because once paid, the SCFHS will send your Certificate of Good Standing on your e-mail address.

After typing your email address, and valid KSA mobile number, click Next. On the new page, there will be a drop down box, Select Good Standing and then choose Add Service. Click Next. On the next page, click Confirm.

Upon confirmation, the invoice will appear on the screen. You may or may not print it, it’s really up to you. However, you NEED to keep the Account Number. You will need it to pay for the certificate. You can pay it on any ATM that accepts SADAD payments. The cost of the SCFHS Certificate of Good Standing is 300.00 SR. I paid via NCB, it’s actually very easy. On the ATM, choose SADAD payments, then look for SCFHS payments (there are a lot of government agencies and we hit the next button plenty of times, make sure you keep your eyes glued to the monitor). Lastly, the machine will ask for the Account Number.

Once paid, you will receive your Certificate of Good Standing within 24 hrs. It will be in PDF form and will be sent to you via email. The certificate is electronically generated and is already in English. No need for English translations unlike the Saudi Police Clearance and the SCFHS Registration Certificate. *More info about this papers on the next blog post*

If you find any incorrect information on your certificate you can contact the SCFHS and they can investigate the problem for you. They will fix the inaccuracies and send you an updated certificate. you can contact them on the following channels:

Call center: 920019393

E-mail: care@scfhs.org

Hope this helps!

Novel

The Pearson Vue NMC computer based test (CBT)

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How does one prepare for the Pearson Vue NMC computer based test (CBT)?

Fear of the unknown.

In my experience, after a brief relief and elation from passing the IELTS test, I felt a different kind of fear and panic in preparation for the NMC computer based test (CBT). Compared to the IELTS, there are very few information you can get online regarding the CBT and that usually causes the panic for test takers. When you go to the NMC site, there is a “blueprint” that the Nursing and Midwifery Council encourages CBT takers to read and study. Also, some people on the internet advised to read the Royal Marsden Manual. I found a small comfort in that, but when I downloaded the files and opened them, the fear took over the comfort I felt. It’s lengthy and it also have lots of links to other sites. Who has the time to read all of that?

Calm the f down.

Breathe in, breathe out. Relax. After that, figure out a time table that will enable you to read the blueprints, the links, and the entire Royal Marsden Manual. In my case, I only had two weeks to prepare. If you are planning to take the exam too, make sure you have enough time to study. The exam is worth One Hundred and Thirty pounds, if you don’t want your money wasted, you have to study.

Know your enemy.

One of the requirements before you take the NMC CBT is the IELTS score. Once you go to the NMC site to register for the CBT, they will ask you to put in some information regarding your IELTS. Then, they will send you an email if you are eligible to take the exam. The email will direct you to the Pearson Vue wesite. Book and pay for the exam, and make sure to read the Candidate Information Booklet. This contains all the necessary information regarding the exam. Knowing what’s going to happen will lessen your anxiety. The booklet will tell you the do’s and don’ts as well as what you should expect on your exam day.

Plan.

I created a two-week review guide that allowed me to read almost all of my study materials. I divided the Royal Marsden Manual by chapter and tried to read them according to my time table or until my brain is fried. Seriously. I read the Blueprints first, then the Manual, and I checked out the links last. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to read all of them because of time constraints. Time is your friend, you have to use them wisely. Again, when booking your exam, make sure you have ample time to study.

Read. Read. Read.

Aside from the the NMC Blueprint and the Royal Marsden Manual, try to look for other review sources such as the NMC Site, NHS, RCN, etc. These sources are available online. Comprehension is important when you read the review materials. If you come to a point that you cannot absorb anything that you read, you have to stop. You are just wasting your time. You need to clear your mind a little bit, and try to make learning fun. I used flash cards to help me remember some stuff. Also, don’t read on a place where your bed is visible, because you’ll likely end up reading in your bed and eventually, fall asleep. In my experience, I find reading at the early hours of the morning more conducive for learning than on the middle of the day. Read as much as you can.

Pray.

Regardless of your religion, pray anyway. It will bring you comfort and peace when you take the exam.

If you are an aspiring UKRN like me, I wish you luck on your exam! You can do this!

For more information, visit the Pearson Vue for NMC site here.

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