International nursing case study - Louisa Afful
We spoke to Louisa Afful, a mental health nurse from Ghana currently working at Bluebird House, a Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) unit within Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust.
Hi Louisa, what made you consider a new nursing job in the UK?
"I was keen for a new experience. I had practiced as a nurse in Ghana for almost a decade and so I wanted to be exposed to mental health nursing in the UK; a fresh challenge.
How do mental health services differ in Ghana, compared to the UK?
"The main difference is the huge variety of services here in the UK; there’s CAMHS, eating disorders and older adults to name a few.
"You’re not limited when it comes to selecting a mental health specialty.
"There are also lots of training opportunities, which I really appreciate.
"I love it here; I have the opportunity to learn new things all the time, both professionally and personally.
How did you hear about Migrate?
"My friend referred me to the service.
"There were other agencies offering positions within the UK private healthcare sector, but I was just really keen to work for the NHS.
"My friend said that Migrate could help me secure a great mental health nursing role in the NHS, so I got in touch with the team.
What relocation challenges did you face?
"The main challenge for me was opening a UK bank account.
"Back in Ghana, you can just walk into a bank and open a new account, providing you have the required documents.
"But here in the UK, with the COVID-19 restrictions, you have to do a lot of it online via an app.
"Once your application is complete, you then need to book an appointment in-branch etc.
"It’s a bit of a complex process, which has now been sorted out, thankfully.
What was the support like from Migrate?
"My dedicated consultant was great, phenomenal really.
"The Migrate team are very busy, but their support was continuous from start to finish.
"Everything, from a few issues I had at the interview stage to the visa application process, to then sorting out pay with my new employer; they’ve been there.
"I see them as my ‘first family' in the UK, as we’ve been on this big journey together.
"The only thing I would’ve changed is having more support at the latter stages of the relocation process, when I was getting used to my new surroundings in the UK.
"A few more check-ins, as I found my feet.
"I’d highly recommend Migrate – in fact, I have already to several of my nursing friends back in Ghana!
"It’s a great agency because the process is smooth and any queriesI’ve had along the way, the team has been there to help. Keep up the brilliant work!"
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