It’s been a long time coming this post. And my apologies for the wait my dear family, friends and readers.
Last you heard I had finally achieved my goal of obtaining my nursing registration meaning that I could actually work as a nurse within the United Kingdom, and then moved down to the seaside city of Brighton in the south of England. This goal took a long time to achieve over a stressful eighteen-month period. And from what I hear about the recent and planned future changes that the British Nursing Council have made in order to ‘improve’ the process (what a joke), with the changes in fact making it even more impossible and expensive to get registration for future foreign nurses, I am not left laughing. But I finally made it. The homestretch being the most difficult part, as I almost felt on the point of collapse with the extreme stress of fatigue, depression, and sheer hopelessness of being able to see the finish line, but not knowing if I would make it. I wish luck to any other foreign nurses reading this as getting UK registration is an exhausting battle that you need a lot of sheer determination and grit to make it through.
My first night in Brighton I slept on my own bed within an apartment in a sleeping bag with a borrowed pillow from my new flatmate all alone within my very own bedroom. And you may laugh to hear this, but I actually struggled to sleep with the lack of noise that first night. It was too weirdly peaceful and quiet. No snoring or squeaky bunks, or people talking loudly on Skype. For the first time in a couple of months I didn’t sleep with my valuables on the bed with me. The next few days involved starting at work and beginning my contract along with settling into Brighton. For privacy reasons I am not going to include the name of hospital or its location in this blog. This is to protect the hospital itself and to make any stories I share with you anonymous. All you need to know is that there are quite a few hospitals within the Brighton region, any of which I could be working at. The same goes for where I am living as I need my privacy too.
It’s been a month now since I started my contract and I am still feeling ambivalent about the job. On one hand, my workmates and the management all seem really lovely and friendly. After-work drinks seem to happen on a regular basis and the principle of team-work automatic. However I struggle with the differences in the British and the NZ health system. Or perhaps I was really spoiled/pampered with where I used to work in Christchurch. All I know is that some of the set-up, design, equipment and workloads of the hospital seems to be a joke compared to Christchurch. If any of my old Christchurch UK workmates are reading this, you’ll know what I mean. Or maybe it’s just the particular English hospital that I’m based at which is hard to know until I’ve worked in a few different English hospitals. But this post isn’t meant to be a moany one. I want to show you some of my settling in process and my delight at being in such a beautiful spot. Check out some photos.
I do love living in Brighton in such a beautiful spot with the ocean so close. It’s very refreshing and the city has such a funky vibe to it. What I’ve really struggled with over the last few weeks is homesickness and feeling a little lonely. It felt very easy to make new friends in the hostel atmosphere as I think travellers are much more relaxed and in ‘making friends’ mode especially with their dorm room-mates. But now it’s a lot more work and making an effort to get to know my workmates. Every shift at work does get easier as I start to remember the names and faces of my co-workers. But with having over one hundred new workmates just within my department alone, it’s taking a while for names to stick.
The other exciting thing is being able to relax my shopping impulses a bit and actually buying stuff! As I plan to stay working here in Brighton for a good six months, I figure I might as well be comfortable and try not to think about the moving part at the end of the contract. Admittedly that would be my only gripe so far about my nursing agency employer with living in the provided apartment, that although all the furniture and crockery is supplied, bedding and linen is not. I understand the reasoning of a hygiene principle, but do feel that it does undermine the idea of being a travelnurse company. Possession of sheets, towels, pillows, and a big fluffy duvet doesn’t help with minimising baggage as a traveller. But otherwise I’ve loved being able to buy a pair of slippers and some new outfits. I’m more than little bit sick of wearing the same four tops and pants for three months straight.
And now it’s time to go relax on the couch and watch a bit of Netflix (I’m quite addicted now). Au revior readers! xx