Meet Julita Mangaoang, who has been a Registered Nurse at our Watlington & District Nursing Home in Oxfordshire for over 10 years. Here Julita talks about her experience working for Sanctuary Care and why she is so proud to have pursued a career in nursing.
Julita, who is originally from the Philippines, has worked for Sanctuary Care since 2003 – she is very proud to be the first Nurse we ever recruited from the Philippines.
Talking about how she came to work in this country she says: “My husband Mario and I worked in the Middle East as Nurses. We worked in Kuwait’s Al-Hadi Hospital, Abu Dhabi Hospital in Jazeera and in a military hospital in Saudi Arabia. Whenever we returned to the Philippines I taught as a Professor in Nursing at the Benguet State University where I shared the responsibility of Associate Dean.”
After struggling to come to terms with a family tragedy, in 2003 a representative from the UK came to the Philippines to recruit nurses and after an initial meeting, Julita took a leap of faith and never looked back.
Although she had originally wanted to work for the NHS Julita says: “I initially wanted to work in a hospital but after a little adjustment, the working conditions and accommodation were so great I didn’t consider working in a hospital anymore. The environment at the homes was so nice and the staff were very supportive, we easily adapted and really enjoyed it.”
Julita says the financial stability she and Mario have working for Sanctuary Care gives them security and a greater quality of life. “What I earn in one month is equivalent to my yearly salary in the Philippines,” she says.
The couple have a daughter who they left behind in the Philippines, 23-year-old Mauwen, who they miss terribly. Mauwen was 18 when they left - she was determined to graduate and become a nurse independently in her home country.
Julita says: “It was very difficult to leave our daughter but she is amazing and I’m so proud of her. It’s the greatest gift that we have that she graduated all on her own.”
When Julita arrives at work in the morning she goes through a handover with the night staff and assigns duties to the Care Assistants. She ensures that all her residents take their correct medication and helps those who need support eating their breakfast.
After this she makes sure her residents are all into the correct positions so that they don’t get bed sores. She says: “I am very proud that in all the years I have worked here, we have not had any residents with bed sores.”
Activities have a big part to play in keeping her residents stimulated. She says they really enjoy creative activities such as singing and painting.
Talking about the most rewarding part of her job Julita says: “When I go home, I go home smiling because I’ve done my best. All my residents are safe, have eaten, are clean and comfortable and well hydrated.
“Our residents’ relatives also really appreciate what we are doing. My inspiration is when a resident doesn’t want to eat – if I can sit down with them, talk to them and they have a little food I feel fulfilled. If you can feel their happiness and fulfilment that is wonderful – and when they give you a hug and we hug them!”
When asked what qualities were important for a Nurse to have she adds: “You must be conscientious and hard working. Being organised is very important and you must be calm all the time. If you are able to make your residents smile it’s very fulfilling as you are like their second family.”
Julita has some final words of wisdom for anyone considering a future in nursing. She says: “Don’t label people and accept your residents for who they are. Try to live in the moment they are living in if they have dementia.”
She says although the role can be both physically and mentally demanding, if people pull together and work as a team they can achieve their ultimate goal – providing high quality care and ensuring their residents are happy.