Zimbabwean nurse who works in Kewstoke speaks about UK nursing

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By Amber Hill/The Weston Mercury

SOMERSET, England – A Zimabwean nurse, who now works in Kewstoke, has spoken out about what nursing is like in the UK as part of International Nurses Day.

Edith Gwata trained in Parirenyatwa, one of Zimbabwe’s biggest hospitals. She is now based at Cygnet Hospital Kewstoke, which has a specialist service for personality disorders.Edith told Cygnet Health Care: “I have had good examples to aspire to. My aunt was a Matron and used to carry herself in a professional manner even at home or family gatherings, and I envied her uniform when we visited the hospital.

“Then when my mum died in 2003, I vowed to help and save other people’s mums.”

Having two years of psychiatric nursing experience is part of Cygnet’s international recruitment policy. The company sponsors nurses for three years with the option for them to apply for another two.  After five years a nurse can be eligible for indefinite leave to remain.

Any nurse put forward to a site will have a minimum score of 7 in the International English Language Test. All nurses have Occupational Health Checks during the screening process.

Here are some of the benefits for international nurses:

A £2,000 welcome bonus at the end of their first week.

Visa, Immigration Health Surcharge and Certificate of Sponsorship for three years paid for.

Flights and transfers to accommodation paid for.

A house deposit/first-month rent paid for.

OSCE training and exam.

Edith adds: “Clearing the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) was a bit of a challenge. I feared the OSCEs. It created an immense fear of thinking if I go back home today how will I be perceived?

“In my case, the biggest challenge was separating from my kids. I would sometimes break down and cry on bad days just by looking at their pictures. I was scared of making any mistakes or saying the wrong things. The amount of new systems that I had to know within a short space of time felt overwhelming.

“A big difference is the system, although care remains care and has the same principles, the systems we have to navigate here are more complex. Not only are we practical nurses, but we also do administrative roles which might be a challenge for hands-on nurses.”