This page is a printable version of: https://www.iow.nhs.uk/news/Interview-with-Lina.htm
Date: 22 September 2021
As part of Equality and Human Rights week at Isle of Wight NHS Trust we spoke to Lina, from the Philippines, who works as a Hospital at Night Clinical Coordinator in our Critical Care Outreach Service. Lina joined our Trust in 2016 as a Band 3 nurse and earlier this year she was promoted into a Band 7 role.
So Lina, can you tell us a little bit about how you started your nursing career?
"My mother was a nurse so that really sparked my passion to become a nurse too. So when I was older I followed my ambitions and completed my nursing degree and went onto work as a nurse in a paediatric ITU for four years in the Philippines."
From Philippines to the Island, that is quite a change! Can you tell us how you first heard about the opportunity to work on the Island at St Mary’s?
"In the Philippines there is not as much progression opportunity as there is here in the UK. So after having worked four years I decided to progress my application to move to the UK so I could develop my career. The process was quite long and took around a year to complete. In May 2014 I was invited for an interview at Isle of Wight NHS Trust. I was really unsure at first as I had never heard of the Isle of Wight, I had to look it up on the map to see where it was. I knew where London was and some of the other big cities but this was the first that I had heard of the Island.
"I was a bit hesitant at first, in the Philippines I lived in Manila so was really worried what it would be like going from one extreme to another. However I decided to give it a go and I also did a bit of research of the Island and I was so happy to see some pictures of the island with all the scenery and I felt really excited about going. I got offered a job and eventually travelled over with 14 other Filipino nurses in February 2016.
"We were one of the biggest cohorts to come to the Island and we were met at Gatwick Airport by the Head of Practice and Education Development, Donna Parkinson and Jackie Humphries the Recruitment Manager. When we arrived the Filipino nurses, who had already joined the Trust, threw us a massive welcome party, which was so lovely and thoughtful.
"I joined the team in the Intensive Care Unit as a Band 3 nurse while I completed all the tests and assessments and six months later I was able to start my Band 5 nurse role."
You are now working in a senior nursing role. What support were you given to help you develop and progress at the Trust?
"Since arriving I have always felt supported by my managers and colleagues. I have always been listened to when I have ideas and really feel that my managers want to see me grow and they have always encouraged me to be the best I can be.
"I was working in my Band 5 role until February 2018 where I was then promoted to a Band 6 role. This was a really pivotal moment for my career as I realised that I wanted to be able to do more, learn new things and to provide the very best care to our patients.
"If there was anything extra that I needed for my personal development then I was given the time and the opportunity to pursue it.
"I recently attended Step into Leadership Programme for BAME staff, the programme has really helped me to understand how I can progress my career. It was also a really good opportunity to meet with other BAME staff in the NHS from across the country, so we also got to learn from each other too.
"I also feel that our Trust is more than a job, it really is like a family to me. I feel that we are all treated the same and we are all supported to be given those opportunities to develop ourselves."
What is it that drove you to develop your career?
"My main drive is being able to give the very best care to our patients. I am also really passionate about learning new things and developments in healthcare. As I have developed in my career I also feel that I have a responsibility to support my team and colleagues so they can reach their full potential and it also helps to have a unified team.
"I also love teaching and being able to give people the opportunity to develop and come out of their shells by showing them that they can achieve their aspirations and to not be content with staying where they are."
How do you think we could better support our BAME staff as an organisation?
"Coming from a different background and learning to adjust in a foreign country does not always come easy. There will always be cultural barriers but we would want those to be eased so we could have a more harmonious relationship in the workplace. Which is why free courses like the Stepping Up Programme should be advertised more and every BAME member of staff encouraged to attend.
"I would love to be able to support BAME staff in a more official capacity, maybe through a mentoring/coaching network that they can access locally so we can really help our people develop into those more senior roles.
"On a more positive note, it is really interesting to see a number of people from the BAME background stepping up and progressing in their respective careers especially in the last year. It is indeed a refreshing change and hopefully it continues."
Our Trust is already looking at ways to strengthen our staff engagement and one of these ways will be by introducing staff networks to help give us an insight into the experiences of our diverse workforce. This will help us to:
To find out how you can be involved, please contact our Diversity and Inclusion Lead, Hazel by emailing her at Hazel.Pither@nhs.net