Mary Margielin (pictured left) is one of four overseas nurses to join Sanctuary Care recently. The 26-year-old, who is from The Philippines and her colleagues, one from her home country and two from Nigeria, are undergoing an intensive training programme at our Watlington and District Nursing Home in Oxfordshire.
Training to be a registered nurse takes commitment and determination, something Mary certainly isn’t short of. In The Philippines she spent three months as a volunteer nurse, travelling with no travel or food expenses. Whilst Mary loved the work, financial restraints forced her to give up volunteering and seek paid work in an office. Mary missed having that connection with people and being asked “will we see you tomorrow?” When she really thought about it, nursing gave her a feeling money couldn’t buy.
Going back into the profession, this time as a dialysis nurse for 18 months, Mary found the patient turnaround high. People would come and go, staying for just four hours at a time, so it was hard to build connections with patients. Mary explains this is one of the main differences between nursing in The Philippines and here. With Sanctuary Care she’ll be able to build relationships with residents and spend quality time with them.
Mary chose to train to be a nurse in the UK because her mother lives and works in London.
She recalls the moment she passed her English proficiency exam as part of her training to come to England. She said that out of 20 of her friends that took the exam, only her and two others passed. She was absolutely elated because she knew this was the start of her career.
While she is excited to be joining Sanctuary Care, getting used to the weather and food here has been a bit of a culture shock. “In The Philippines I used to eat rice everyday, but everything here is potato based,” she says.
Training in the UK has been an eye-opener for Mary. She says she was taken aback by how privileged the students are here and how amazing the medical equipment is here. Mary and her colleagues recently spent a day at the Nurse Training Department at the St John’s Campus at the University of Worcester, where they had the chance to use high tech, life-like sensory dolls to practice on. Mary said at first it was so strange because they never had anything like this in The Philippines, but it was an incredible opportunity to learn in a more realistic environment. The dolls can blink, breathe and have a pulse. The ladies used them to practice wound dressing, delivering injections and changing catheters.
When Mary passes her final examination she will become a fully registered nurse and will move to Harrow to work in Sanctuary Care’s Rowanweald Residential and Nursing Home.