“I started working in the operating theatres at Guy’s Hospital in October 2017. Before that, I worked on the ICTUS ward at Princess Royal University Hospital, which is part of the King’s College Hospital Foundation Trust. The things I like most about it all are that when you start a new job, they give you a lot of support, and the fact that they assign you to a tutor who guides you in your new role. I also like the nurse-patient relationship a lot, and they place a lot of importance on a good therapeutic relationship here.”
Fátima Zaldua finished her Nursing studies at CEU Cardenal Herrera University in June 2015. After completing an internship at King’s College Hospital, she now works as a nurse in London. In this interview, she shares her experience with us and offers us the key to following in her footsteps: train well, work hard and “maintain enthusiasm in what you want to achieve“.
PATIENT CARE AND TEAMWORK
– What is your job at Guy’s Hospital?
I’m a theatre nurse, in the surgical team. In some operations I act as a surgical technician, help prepare the operating theatre, maintain the sterile field, prepare the patient for the operation and assist the surgeons. I also take on the role of circulating, maintain the field that is not sterile, assist the surgical technician and prepare the associated documentation. In all roles, patient care and teamwork prevail.
– What is nursing like in London?
The things I like the most here are that when you start a new job, they give you a lot of support, and the fact that they assign you to a tutor that guides you in your new role. You do not feel lost and you can always ask for help.
I also like the nurse-patient relationship a lot, and they place a lot of importance on a good therapeutic relationship here. For example, I have observed a lot of stressed nurses on shift, and they still find the time to be with the patient and help them in the most difficult times.
Also, at the hospital where I work, they take good care of their employees. They hold workshops to promote self-care, and they also offer resources to promote good mental and physical health.
– Do you like life in the UK?
At first it was difficult to adapt in a new country, with a new culture. It was also the first time that I became independent from my parents. I had to find a house, manage the responsibilities involved and do various paperwork, something I had never done before. I also had to find a way to manage my time in order to balance working, studying, finding time for my friends, travelling and returning home to Valencia.
But now I find myself more settled. I miss the food, the time and the company in Valencia but now I am very happy with work and my life here. It is a very good experience and it is helping me grow as a person and as a nurse.
– Are you still in contact with others from the University?
Yes, I made very good friends at the University and we see each other each time I return to Spain. I also have a friend, a classmate from the same year, who works with me in the operating theatre. It always helps to have someone who knows you and with whom you can share the experience.
TRAIN WELL AND WORK HARD
– You were the first Nursing student who secured a placement at King’s through the agreement with the University, what is the key?
Study, maintain good grades and be enthusiastic about accomplishing what you want to achieve.
– What advice would you give to Nursing students who want to follow in your footsteps?
It is very important to spend your time studying well, not only just to pass the modules. It is very different being a Nursing student to being a nurse in the workplace; you have to be very sure of yourself. And for this you have to train well, work very hard and find a way to be the best professional that you can be. And if you want to work in England, learn English very well.
– Will you stay in London?
There is a very good possibility that I will.
Congratulations Fátima and good luck!