Almira Basso Northern HSC Trust
I arrived at Belfast International Airport on 6th December 2002, and after a warm welcome and dinner, I was shown to the nurses accommodation, where I lived for three years - it was clean, warm, comfortable, affordable and only a few minutes’ walk from the hospital (no travelling expenses!).
The biggest challenge was homesickness, but I now have internet access and can chat to family via the web.
Antrim is a family orientated town with all amenities that anyone would need, including an outlet shopping centre! I feel very welcome and part of the community. There are also many beautiful walks and it is close to the famous North Antrim coast.
Schools in Northern Ireland offer a high standard of education and extra-curricular activities and my son attends St Comgall’s Primary School. Also, there are many different churches and we easily found one that allowed us to freely practice our faith.
Both hospital and GP care are free - including care dental for children and our prescriptions. Public hospital care is of a high standard and resourced to meet all your family’s medical needs.
Both Belfast International and Belfast City airports are near Antrim. Belfast is 20 minutes drive away and Dublin only 2 hours. Generally, the cost of living is more reasonable than the rest of the UK but the standard is the same.
I now work as an Assistant Clinical Sister and I had wonderful mentors when I first started. Both managers and colleagues have supported me throughout my nursing career, and I have had the opportunity to continually develop.
Northern Ireland is now our second home, and I would truly recommend it both from a personal and professional perspective.
Geraldine Tinto Belfast HSC Trust
I arrived in Northern Ireland with 96 other nurses from the Philippines, the majority of us coming from the island of Mindanao.
It was my first time this far away from home, and I had no experience of being in a different country or working anywhere else.
The Royal Victoria Hospital recruitment team made my transition an easy one. They made us feel at home and have continued to reassure us from the start.
It is a privilege for me to work with this multi-disciplinary team and in such a professional manner. I still enjoy living here after 14 years.
At Altnagelvin, I work in a welcoming and supportive environment and have the chance to work with people from diverse backgrounds. There are plenty of colleagues from countries like India, China, Iran, Nepal, Pakistan, Sudan, Poland, Spain, Lithuania, Greece, Great Britain and more.
Protocols, standards and policies to guide me in my practice are readily available in the office and intranet and much more just a phone call away to a relevant office if unsure. Mandatory training is funded by the hospital to keep the staff updated. There is a practice educator who keeps track of our training needs. Altnagelvin is a teaching hospital that has direct links with three Universities.
The working week is 37 ½ hours, which is shorter compared to back home and the times are flexible and family friendly. I work 4 days a week and I have 3 days off for myself and my family. Annual leave is very generous and I am able to go home every year to see my family to combat the feeling of homesickness. I also earn a lot more working here because of the exchange rate, so I’m able to provide better for the needs of both my immediate and extended family.
The main thing I noticed between Filipinos and the people of Northern Ireland is that we both have strong family ties. My colleagues know the names of my husband (and how good his cooking is!), my three children, and the names of my mother, sister and two brothers back home. People ask how you are and smile at you in the streets even if you don’t know them.
I know not everything goes well in real life, there are ups and downs. But I get my strength from my family and my work colleagues. There are forms of social media that I can access to communicate with my relatives back home. And much more there is a charity organisation called Kabalikat (pronounced as ka-ba-leek-at), which, in Filipino, means solidarity, arms in arms, “you’ll never be alone”).
The organisation is comprised of Filipino community, representing the Filipino migrants and their families to promote Filipino culture and in turn work with the statutory agencies to help resolve issues of its members and promote integration within its members and with the wider communities. There are around 130 members so far. I have founded this organisation with seven other individuals and it is entirely a voluntary organisation to give support to the growing Filipino migrant community in the North West.
Originally from Makilala, Cotabato, Philippines I commenced my nurse training in 1992 in San Pedro College Davao City and gained my Bachelor of Science and nursing degree in 1996. I successfully passed the nursing licensure examination provided by the Philippine regulation commission in 1997 and applied for a post as a Registered Nurse in a local hospital (Madonna General Hospital). In September 1998, I moved back to Davao City with my husband and daughter and took a post in a general medical ward in San Pedro Hospital.
An opportunity arose in 2002 to apply outside of the Philippines to work as a registered nurse in Northern Ireland and I was offered an interview in September 2002. I was absolutely delighted to hear that I was successful and left the Philippines in November 2002 to embrace my new life in Northern Ireland. It was with a heavy heart that I left the Philippines as I had to leave behind my husband of five years and my five year old daughter.
Coming to work in the opposite side of the world is a big challenge. One of the challenges we face is the communication. Even though English is our second language, it can be difficult to understand the way local people pronounce the words! But as the years go on, we learn it and we become part of the community.
I started my adaptation in the Stroke Unit at Lurgan Hospital for 3 months. In March 2003, I got my NMC pin and transferred to Medical Admission Unit. I was one of the first staff to open the new unit. I have been working in the unit as a staff nurse for 12 years and was promoted to the Clinical Sister post in February 2015.
I have developed excellent skills, knowledge and confidence through my experience in the Acute care setting and have enhanced my management skills. From November 2015, I became part of the Patient Flow/Clinical Coordinator team. Now, I have three children and my two boys were born here in Northern Ireland. It has been a great privilege to work here in Craigavon Hospital; it has given me the opportunity to grow and I’m very happy to be here.
Stephen Cluskey is a young Irish entrepreneur on a mission to raise awareness in Irish society of what daily life is like for the 600,000 people with increased access needs across the country. On Friday night’s Late Late Show, Ryan Tubridy spoke to Stephen, along with TV presenter Kathryn Thomas and former Irish soccer international Kevin Kilbane, about Challenge Access Week – a campaign with which TTM Healthcare is proud to be partnered. A to B: Not So Easy Kathryn and Kevin - each confined to a wheelchair - were tasked with getting from one location to another in Dublin City Centre on a typically busy afternoon. They had one hour to get from their point A to point B – for a fully mobile person, more than ample time. Kathryn ran into a number of obstacles along her way: Footpaths not properly adapted to allow a wheelchair to ramp up with ease Large wheelie-bins belonging to local businesses blocking the footpaths Cobbled streets with no smooth areas to accommodate wheelchairs Meanwhile, Kevin was hindered by: Difficulty getting on the LUAS easily A broken elevator blocking his access to street level from the train A Dublin bus with its on-boarding ramp not functioning A Dublin bus which did not stop for him A 30-minute wait for a wheelchair taxi .@kdkilbane77 on trying to get to the Aviva - broken lifts, faulty bus ramps and buses flying by him #latelate #challengeaccess pic.twitter.com/Fdo7y1XLgG — RTE One (@RTEOne) April 7, 2017 Both found the experience frustrating and disheartening, concluding that even the simplest journey would require precision planning - anything spontaneous would prove very difficult. One Simple Change Stephen Cluskey himself is no stranger to the challenges of navigating a world not designed for wheelchairs. This was the impetus for founding his latest venture Mobility Mojo – an award-winning user-generated website in the same vein as TripAdvisor, but with a focus on access. “As a wheelchair user myself, I know that people with higher access needs can be unwittingly isolated in society. Barriers in our physical environment can be more disabling than the disability itself but small changes have the power to make a world of difference to people dealing with mobility, visual, hearing and cognitive challenges. Imagine trying to meet friends for dinner but there isn’t enough spac.e between the tables for you to navigate your wheelchair around. Imagine trying to decide what you’ll order if you can’t see the menu. Things that many people take for granted as being simple can become major barriers for people with higher access needs, so small changes can make a huge difference.” Everyone deserves to live the most independent life possible. By raising awareness and making simple but valuable changes in our local communities, we can contribute to a better, more inclusive society that benefits us all. Register your business as an accessible location at https://mobilitymojo.com/ How Can You Help? Every individual can make a difference, no matter how small. How will you challenge access this week? Check out the Challenge Access website for lots of great ideas! Suggestions less than €200 Suggestions between €200 - €2000 Suggestions more than €2000 Change the Conversation Missed Stephen, Katherine and Kevin on Friday’s Late Late Show? Catch the segment on RTE Player until May 7th http://bit.ly/2nx1Uwx Contribute your two cents at #challengeaccess on Twitter and Facebook Make one simple change at ChallengeAccess.ie Writer Evelyn Moriarty, Content Specialist Evelyn Moriarty is a Content Specialist at TTM Healthcare, based in at our Irish headquarters. Joining the company in 2016, Evelyn specialises in both on and offline content creation for the health and social care market. Company Bio TTM Healthcare is a specialist health and care recruitment company established in 2002. Now recruiting highly skilled medical professionals from all over the world, TTM has offices in London and Preston, as well as Ireland. A leading framework supplier to the National Health Service, TTM Healthcare was the ‘UK Recruitment Agency of the Year’ finalist (Recruiter Awards 2015), Public Sector Agency of the Year (Recruiter Awards 2016), and Professional Services Agency of the Year (Recruiter Awards 2016 & 2017). We are also proud to be recognised as a Recruitment International Top 500 company.
TTM Healthcare (TTM) is now accepting applications for the Academy@TTM 2017. Designed for ambitious individuals with no previous recruitment experience, the Academy@TTM is a full time, paid, permanent position based in TTM’s Headquarters in Ennis, Co Clare. Successful applicants to the Academy benefit from bespoke training and hands on experience with Ireland’s market leading healthcare recruitment company. About the Academy@TTM Academy recruits work across TTM’s dynamic desks, trying their hand at temporary and permanent recruitment, compliance, resourcing and account management to discover the position that best suits their talents. They attend masterclasses with TTM’s experienced consultants and have the chance to study with the company’s in-house Learning and Development Department. Former graduates of the Academy@TTM have gone on to become Recruitment Consultants with TTM’s Medical, Social Care and Nursing Divisions and to hold various roles across the company’s Shared Services Teams. “The best career choice you’ll ever make” Speaking about the Academy, TTM Healthcare CEO, Brian Crowley, said, “These new recruits get unrivalled access to the best and brightest minds in recruitment, and the benefit of our team’s experience. We want ambitious, energetic people who can hit the ground running and learn everything about the recruitment industry from the inside out. TTM is growing bigger and better every day, and for those with a will to succeed, I believe the Academy@TTM will be the best career choice they’ll ever make.” Don’t miss out! Deadline for applications is Monday 20th March Eight successful applicants will be selected to take part in the Academy@TTM. To apply for one of these sought after places please complete the official application form on www.ttmhealthcare.ie/academy by Monday 20th March. Shortlisted applicants must be available to attend an Academy Entrance Assessment Day in TTM’s Ennis Offices on Thursday 6th April 2017.
“This isn’t a Brexit scare story. If we don’t do something soon, the gap is going to get too big to fill.” Barry Pactor, Managing Director of TTM Healthcare speaking on Channel 4's Dispatches programme. In Brexit: Crisis on the Wards, Dispatches, Channel 4's award-winning current affairs programme, has turned its investigative sights on the NHS’ staffing struggles and on how leaving the EU could be about to make things infinitely worse. Startling statistics With 24,000 nursing vacancies across the UK, our health system has become increasingly reliant on European health workers in recent years. Dispatches revealed a 90% fall in European nurses registering to work in the UK after last June’s vote and, of the EU workers at 271 trusts surveyed by the programme, a worrying 42% are considering leaving in the next 5 years. A litany of challenges The dramatic statistics revealed by Dispatches may have shocked many but they confirmed the reality that TTM Healthcare’s international recruitment teams have been grappling with daily. Working in an increasingly challenging climate, we remain convinced that the impact of Brexit is proving this detrimental because, as set out in How the UK is losing the race for healthcare skills , it follows a litany of changes in regulation for overseas workers, impossibly high English language requirements and mounting global competition. Desperate for change In conversation with Dispatches' presenter Morland Sanders, Barry Pactor stressed the need for change. "Companies like TTM Healthcare, together with the NHS, with the help of government need to make it clear to overseas nurses that the UK is open for business. Because, at the moment, the noises we are making as a country are turning away staff that we desperately need." Missed it first time? You can watch Brexit: Crisis on the Wards on the Channel 4 Play Back facility here. The episode will be available to view until 5 April 2017.