Sarah, Senior Staff Nurse on Bumblebee Ward, shares her experience moving from Northern Ireland to work at GOSH in London.
“I completed my training at Queens University in Belfast and while on my final placement I met a nurse who had trained at GOSH. She talked about the experiences she had had, and it sounded like a great opportunity! I trained in general paediatrics completing various placements in different hospitals so coming to GOSH allowed me to work in a specialist paediatric hospital. GOSH is well known for research and innovative treatment and it is exciting to be part of this.
Working with international and private patients within an NHS setting is unique and different to anything I would have experienced as a student. The mix of specialities and the different culture and language barrier is also a challenge but has taught me to be adaptable to a range of situations. I love the diversity working with international patients, learning their cultures and facing the challenges it provides.
The staff on my ward made me feel very welcome and went out of their way to make me part of the team. They are very supportive and always available to help with any problems I may have. Leaving your family and home and starting a new job in a different city can be quite daunting at first, thankfully I settled in well and am working with people who are not just my colleagues but my friends. We are all a big family unit on the ward. The opportunities for progression and development has been excellent, and I have progressed from an NQN to Senior Staff Nurse.
I lived in the UK and moved across water from Belfast in Northern Ireland to London. For anyone coming over from a foreign country, involve yourself in the community as much as possible. Do your research before you come as London is an expensive city and you can only stay in accommodation for a certain period of time and private renting is expensive. You need to be clear about what kind of accommodation your hospital has to offer; I wasn’t aware that the GOSH accommodation would be like student halls before I came.
Nursing is a very satisfying job, one that requires a lot of your time. It's not a normal job, it's a vocation that will be with you for the rest of your working life. Working in the NHS is challenging and comes with a lot of pressure but to see a patient you have cared for, for a prolonged period of time, being discharged is so rewarding. There is no other feeling quite like it and a reminder why we do the job we do.
The rest as they say is up to you. Enjoy the journey.”