Episode 10: Helen


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In this episode we are introduced to Helen: a woman who has, in her own words, “one of the best jobs ever.” Helen’s job is to recruit nurses from abroad to work in the NHS. She describes her job as being very busy, with a daughter and three step-sons, she also has an extremely busy home-life, yet, she describes herself as being blessed: “I get to meet people with so many wonderful stories to tell from all parts of the world.”

Helen’s NHS career did not begin in recruitment, she started in marketing before finding her calling and making the transition into her current role: “everything came together for me”. She describes the joy she feels at being able to not just secure the movement of foreign nurses to come and work in the UK but also her ability to keep families together.

One example of this was when Helen was recruiting a nurse who was a mother of five children, she also had a partner and it was Helen’s job to ensure that she could find a hospital who would be able to accommodate such a large family. Helen was able to do this, an achievement she described as being a “perfect situation”.

Another recruitment story Helen shares is when she interviewed a nurse who had given birth only four days previously. Helen describes being in awe of the nurse and the fact that she had shown such determination and resilience in being able to attend her interview and to contemplate moving countries so soon after having a child. When the nurse was successful in her application, she requested to meet Helen in order to thank her. She also asked whether she could take photos with Helen alongside her new-born baby. Clearly the nurse was extremely grateful for Helen’s support but Helen describes that she herself looked at the nurse as a true inspiration.

Helen describes the key traits of her role as being able to empathise with prospective recruits and having the ability to discuss potential issues that could arise during the recruitment process. The fact that she is a “people’s person” is what allows her to be successful in her role. She revels in being able to “talk to people”and to “help and guide them… It can make somebody feel so safe and secure and reassured.”

A final recruitment story she shares is of recruiting a nurse who was able to light up the room with his smile “his smile came in that room first… I’ll never forget him and I can still picture that smile now.” Helen describes how she would feel so reassured if this nurse had been looking after her own child: “he had that personality where you just felt safe.”

Helen concludes her story with some final words of encouragement for those who have been trying but have not yet been successful in achieving their dreams of working in the NHS: “do not give up because you will get there… we’ll support you and stand by you… think about where you’re trying to go and picture that…hopefully that will be the motivation to get you through”. Hopefully so, as the NHS works best when it is able to recruit the best and brightest whether that be from home or abroad.

Also, if you’re a medical professional who is looking to work in the UK, and you need to pass either IELTS or OET, go to www.swooshenglish.com .

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