The Escape to Edinburgh

So, after ages I am able to write and sit with my laptop and type for you guys!

How are you?

I hope this blog post finds you in a great and awesome place!

Well, this post will be about one of the wonder cities of the United Kingdom. And it is none other than …. EDINBURGH!!!! (pronounced as like Edinbrugh)

I cannot explain my excitement in writing and sharing to you about this fantastic trip to this fantastic city!

This trip has changed my life tremendously.

So this trip happened because my cousin all the way from Austin, Texas came all the way from the US of A to tour Europe for a business trip to Italia and guess what, she loved me so much that she and her dad, my uncle came to London just to see me! Ain’t that sweet?

But I overestimated her stay and I literally consumed 4 days to Edinburgh leaving her 1 day to savour London!

But no worries, London will always be accessible enough so, Edinburgh it is!

Ah. Where do I start? HP? Whiskeys? Hairy coos? Lochs? Highlands? Whew!

Let me take you to lovely Edinburgh!

IMG_8984

Traveling to Edinburgh can be done through plane, train or by bus. Guess what we took? Bus! Yes. The dreaded 8 hour night bus we took!

And it was horrible to be honest because when you arrive in your destination you’ll be completely knackered. But hey, we saved great deal of pounds for this so I am okay. Haha! But next time I’ll come back I’ll probably book and plan earlier and take the train. ūüėõ

So, for those of you that doesn’t know, brief geography lesson. The UK is a sovereign state with countries in one England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The capital of Scotland is Edinburgh!

On our first day, we searched for our Airbnb and we eventually managed to find it. Scotland was so cold! Even the sun was there we were totally freezing.

The view of a hill stood outside our place and little did I know that was the hill where I will get a picturesque view of the city.

We started exploring the city by going to a Sandeman’s free tour of the city. We waited for the leader and he will walk us around the city and guide us for free but the premise is he will want tips from us, he was a lovely chap, our tourguide.

20170422_135457

He lead us to different sites. So here is our tour guide.

20170422_143120

I will update the rest of this travel later! I have to get ready for a hearty dinner with my loves! See yah laters! TTFN!

London on my Filipino eyes

London.

When you hear that word, what comes to your mind?

Big Ben?

West End?

London Eye?

River Thames?

Or the Queen Perhaps?

img_8706
Enjoying the Big Ben

I have been in London for a year now and in this short time I have been here, I was able to immerse and get to know Mr. London a little bit deeper than the usual.

Well, maybe let me introduce Mr. London to you in a Filipino nurse perspective. I am a Filipino or as we Filipinos call ourselves, “Pinoy” Nurses.

Pinoy¬†nurses in the UK don’t earn as much as in the Aussie, Canada or the US.

Nurses in the UK belong to the average class of people. Far far from the social status the american nurses have. Well, correct me if I am wrong but from the stories I hear, nursing in other countries sounds very lucrative.

With that in mind, maybe it is safe for me to say that being a nurse and living in the UK more so me, living in CENTRAL LONDON, isn’t an easy peasy thing to do. Well, nothing in life is easy anyway but yeah. As a Filipino, living in the third world country, many first world country people wouldn’t understand the pain seeing your family live in poverty. So a typical Filipino would send a big chunk of hard earned money to the family being left with a meager amount of money to spend, which is a bit sad. Haha

However, I am not the type that makes a martyr out of that and I know how to rock and roll, work and party, and set goals for tomorrow, maybe? haha

DCIM100GOPROGOPR0483.JPG
St. Pancras Hotel

So, now that you’re wearing a share of my lens, let me show you how London looks like.

London from a Filipino perspective is..

A city of chance and opportunity..

London is amazing in many ways. Look at the Big Ben. Amazing is an understatement. Feel the breeze of the River Thames, feel and reimagine the history of London. Relish the fact that you, a soul from a countryside third world country in Mindanao, Philippines, is standing in the greatest City of Great Britain.

DCIM100GOPROG0090209.JPG
London Over River Thames

Although London is expensive, I never would ever trade this time of my life living in this marvelous City. London has always left me in awe. Let the photographs guide you and justify how I would express my feelings for this City.

img_6435
With Ate Laarni and Ate Mich in the British Museum

As Filipinos, we survive anything, we know how to live in almost nothing, so living in London, although it is, I admit stressful, living in the epicenter of Europe’s hustle and bustle, London will always be an amazing city that offers the opportunity to a kid from a town in a third world country.

img_8691
The London Eye

Sometimes, I feel I’m unwanted, personally, as you know, you can feel that, as understandably, this country belongs to the Britons who live here, but London has always been welcoming to foreign talents. Filipinos come here to work, helping the NHS to continue running, and in turn Filipinos earn money to sustain and help the family back home.

img_8757
London New Year 2017

London is very accepting and open to foreign people, has an amazing tube for transport and the double decker buses and black shining taxis around, all the iconic places London have. It simply is London, classy and calm.One good thing about London is that it is very accepting and liberated.

I also got close to venues the famous people go, so concerts and premieres are just within the neighborhood. The latest concert  I have been to is with Jojo. It was in Heaven, London.

DCIM100GOPROGOPR0206.JPG
Jojo’s concert in Heaven, London

I have also seen some celebrities and experienced firsthand lining for the artists in premieres. It was tiring wrestling with all those die hard fans but in the end all is worth it.

Was able to see Ezra Miller in Fantastic Beasts, See JK Rowling, Eddie Redmayne in person in front of me, signed my Timeout magazine, ¬†and shake Will Smith’s hands on Suicide Squad Premiere.

So far this is what London and the UK has given me and I couldn’t thank UK and God more of all these blessing showered upon me. Life here is hard especially when your parents demand so much from you but in the end, you just have to rock and roll in life and keep swimming.

20170102_140547_richtonehdr
The Victoria and Albert

Let me know your thoughts about Filipinos in ¬†London or in the UK, or if you’re a nurse in the UK or anywhere in the world. Who knows who might read this?

London is amazing, share your experience, will be happy to hear from you!

Cheers!

My Parisian Experience

As a nurse in the UK, travelling to Europe is a sure fire bonus.

Paris is such a wonderful and romantic city, it is indeed the city of lights, and I believe it is so much much more.

I guess you’re here to find out how Paris is, or maybe you’re just bored, or maybe you are looking for information how to apply for visa, well that’s if you’re not from the EU.

Okay, well this post will be brief as I am just writing this to practice my blogging haha. I am a newbie so bear with me.

Let me narrate my  Paris story.

So, initially, I wanted to travel solo to Paris on my birthday, that is on my 24th birthday in October 12, 2016. But my friends wanted to come with me which is even a better idea, so we applied the visa beforehand.img_7496So these are my co Filipino friends who went with me in Paris!

Don’t tell them but these guys are crazy haha!

So, we went to the visa process which is straightforward, you just basically go to this site.

That is the TLS contact and in that site you will find all the requirements. Prepare 70 pounds and you’re good to go! They gave me 6 months Schengen access visa which means i can travel in any Schengen country. After Paris we travelled to Prague in Czech Republic, which will come in a separate post. And soon, I’ll be solo travelling to Italy. (Yeah baby!)

Moving on, we went to Paris, rode in a Eurostar to the city center and we arrived in the train station.

 

Look at the architecture in Paris, notice how sunny it was, we were really blessed to have great weather when we arrived. Paris is lovely. London has crap weather but otherwise lovely too! Lol.

 

We then went to our booked bnb. It was my friend who booked our accommodation and it was so amazing, cheap and close to the city center, I definitely recommend that place. You can cook and is close to a Lidl shop in Paris which makes your trip a little less expensive.img_6588IMG_6546.JPG

Just be careful with cooking, on a morning in Paris I was cooking an omelette and burnt oil in the burner which eventually activated the fire alarm.. IN PARIS!!! Oh my gosh I will never ever ever cook with too much oil in the burner next time or maybe an omelette perhaps? Lol.

Well, the rest is just marvelous, we went to the Louvre, but didn’t manage to see Mona Lisa. I will pay a date with her next time I come back ‘coz I sure am. Went to the iconic Arc de Triomphe, Eiffel Tower, Moulin Rouge and Sacre Coure, and Versailles of course! Let the pictures tell how lovely Paris, France is! Enjoy!

Let me know if you pay Paris a visit, and tell me how did you find your Parisian experience, would love to hear from you. Merci!

 

The NMC CBT Exam: Things You Might Want to Know

img_6377
Skygarden in London, UK

So hello there!

First of all I want to introduce myself.

My name is Michael and I am a Filipino Registered Nurse from Bukidnon, Philippines but my second home is The Queen City of the South, Cebu!

I am 22 years old (when I first wrote this). This is my first post and I am not a writer whatsoever and I am not good at blogging but here I am writing not sure about anyone might read this but if you are then welcome!

By the way, in case you’re wondering, the photo above features me, taken in Skygarden. Along with this post, I have decided to put pictures so that while you are browsing you take a breather and have a look what is in store for you in the UK. I started of literally with nothing but my dreams.

People looked down on me and the profession I chose. And people never believed in me. I just want you to know that you are close to your dreams, you can do it and you have the power to change whatever plight you are in right now. Never listen to people who know nothing but to lift their ego by lowering your self-esteem and self-worth.

And that all of these places I show here, is very achievable and very easy to access once you arrive in the UK. This is not to brag but to tell you that this is an opportunity that comes once in a lifetime.

I am now a registered nurse in the UK, and I work in London.

I bet you got here accidentally maybe because you are now applying for nursing registration for the NMC (Nursing and Midwifery Council) and getting ready for the CBT Exam.

This post will basically discuss tips that I personally learned from self reviewing and from reading blogs, articles and write ups about this seemingly new exam system of the NMC. The tips are for the Adult type test only because there are other tests like Mental Health Nursing, Pediatric, etc.

This is to pay the kindness of people who encouraged and wrote articles to concentrate on and to forward to you who may or maybe do not have much idea how this works. So hop on and enjoy.

DCIM100GOPROGOPR0141.JPG
Chinatown, London

The Exam

So I presume you have asked people you knew who took it, asked what it is about and like what is the nature of the exam. Maybe, you have already read blogs and comments about the exam.

If you did, job well done! Most probably, the case will be that all the things I write here, you already know. However if you belong to the ones who haven’t, well, I suggest you do continue reading and searching for more. Congratulations for taking the first step in actually reading this. This is so that you will have a vibe of what the exam looks like. To make these shenanigans¬†short, here is my summary.

How long is it?

4 hours or 240 mins.

What are the question types? 

MCQs (Multiple choice questions) and you just answer with a regular computer then, you click on one answer only unless told to click multiple answers. So far there are no multiple answer requiring questions. Do not worry because there will be a short tutorial before the 4 hours time of answering.

How many questions are there in total?

 120 questions.

The questions will be presented individually.

You can choose not to answer and skip it if you do not want to or answer and flag it if you are unsure.

By the time you reach the 120th question, there will be a review page. All unanswered questions will be listed as well as all flagged. The point here is you can review. You can even go back or go next.

In my case, I answered for 2 hours and reviewed my answers for 1 hour and did not finish the last hour. (I felt nauseated reading all the questions that I don’t even know the answers. HAHA)¬†

Cost: 130 British Pounds

How to Book: You have to have an ATT (Authorisation to Test) Register via NMC website.

How difficult is the exam?

Personally, Moderate.

Let me expound on this.

I found the exam generous to give 4 hours for a 120 item test. Majority of the Questions are as I can say easy but tricky. Read the Questions carefully as well as the choices. What makes me die are 2 things. First, I hate to tell you this but there are objective questions but not many. And Number 2, there are so called “E” or Essential questions that you have to answer correctly. Yes, according to what I have read, all must be answered correctly without you knowing whether it is an E or not. I am not sure of this but when you read the NMC Blueprint, there are columns right? Like there are Y, and Es.I believe the Es are the essential guides that you have to focus on. I will discuss where to focus on in my personal experience. Hope that helps.

20170102_140547_richtonehdr
Victoria & Albert Museum, Kensington, London

General Tips

1. Read Blogs, comments, experiences and stuff on the internet about this exam.

It gives you a bird’s eye view of what the exam is in a larger and broader view. I suggest go to this¬†site. The article of this fellow Filipino nurse helped me a lot prepare.

2. Envision yourself that you will pass the exam.

If passing this is a part of your dream then do it! Work on it! I have heard a lot of stories that they failed and you dont want to fail an expensive exam. It is expensive both on your pocket and your self esteem. But if you fail, do not stop. Search quotes about success and motivation, read your bible and you will see that God’s idea of success is different. I won’t tell. You have to go search for it. Never ever give up on yourself and your dreams! Do not do this to please other people that do not like you. Do this for you. Intense? Haha

3. Get the recommended Review Materials and know what to Prioritize.

I have only 2 guides to tell you frankly and it helped me a lot. I do not know how it works for you but for me, it kinda worked coz i passed the exam.

To start this with let me tell you first my story, so I resigned from my work to concentrate on IELTS (I will write a blog about this maybe If i find the motivation to do so, hehe) and after was for this exam, so I told myself I have no right to fail the exams because I had all the time studying and thank God for blessing me his graces.

Anyway, I was also glad because I have a senior nurse from my Alma Mater in CNU that already passed and told me where to focus my review. He let me borrow his notes with his readings, and a print out of the NMC Blueprint, the 4 Domains and other stuffs that are helpful.

20161227_170158-1
My First Ward in the UK in London, UK

Remember, your goal is to digest the Healthcare practice and scenario of the UK practice in Nursing. You have to memorize the Code by Heart. Read it 10 times. I read it too and printed it out. Then what I did was I concentrated on Royal Marsden Clinical Guidelines Book, you can purchase it online. To tell you honestly, I regetted I prioritized  reading this book because less topics were from here but this book has opened my eyes a lot on UK practice. So I owe this book a lot too. Many Es are discussed here to be honest. So I suggest focus on the blueprint, read the links, yes, all the links, the working links at least, by heart. Infection Control, Leadership, Safeguarding, Pressure Ulcers, Acute Care for Adults, People with Disabilities, Consent, and basically all the suggested focus the people in the internet says because it is really true.

One good thing is that, you do not have to memorize medications, but you have to know the ‘how, where, what, whom’s” about medications and its administration, the analgesia ladder and one tip, study also on basic IV and drug calculations. I believe these are Es. I wish I could tell you more but I cannot because the NMC will not allow me to do so. Hehe

In conclusion, have faith in yourself and reach your dreams whatever it is. Study well, do not memorize only by brain but by heart more importantly. Read the articles well do not stress yourself on memorization.

And I thought I was gonna fail, like honestly, all objective type answers I searched were wrong, I cried inside but when i saw the email arrive 5-6 hours later, I passed! I pray that you too can. God bless you.

If you have more questions about the exam, UK application, about life and living in the UK or maybe in London itself, feel free to comment or mail me at mltsabijon@gmail.com I wouldbe happy to respond.