Happy Monday! Happy blogging to all pretty Mommas enjoying their quiet time whilst finishing their hot drinks during this cold morning. I’m feeling way better now compared to last week’s ordeal. I’m finally back to the normal me who loves to express my chatty side through my writing. Today’s blog is all about me sharing my experience here in the UK as an immigrant for three years now. Yikes! Three years was just like one snap of my finger, time was so fast.😂
Here’s me enjoying my three year anniversary as an immigrant.
I got employed as a registered nurse last February of 2019 and with God’s grace I did pass my exam to be officially a UK registered nurse. Fast forward, I managed to bring my family after a year as my dependents. Then after two years, thy Lord blessed us with our forever home in here, Mon became a regular software developer employee and our Akyn is enjoying his newly found peers in his new school. In a nutshell, our family of three is happily settled as an immigrant in this country.
This is my little family.
Knowing our progress in our journey of stay here sounds so easy and inspiring to all of my fellow nurses who wanted to practice their profession as a nurse abroad, isn’t it? However, in between those success details, there are so many challenges we’ve got to overcome to reach where we are at now and that is going to be the meat of my post. How it is really to become an overseas Filipino worker?
Let’s start to get real into my ladder of everyday struggle. I’ll enumerate each of my adjustments pretty Mommas to present my ideas more organized or else my discussion will just be all over the place. (LOL)
- Learning to be a UK RN– Coming here to be a nurse would also mean embracing their own kind of nursing practice. What might be acceptable to our country’s method in nursing may no longer be suitable in here. I did loads of reading, attended lecture of how a UK RN should be since I was still in the Philippines preparing my papers. Read, study and learn! Prepare yourself as much as you can because when you arrive here, it will all be new things to grasp. I Always ask if I am uncertain. I don’t care if others will laugh at my silly questions as long as I clarrified if I am doing the right thing. Call me dumb or whatsoever, I wouldn’t mind. I will continue to ask and learn to be good in what I do. I’ve cried several times pretty Mommas during my first few shifts in my work even until now. The pressure to be working abroad carrying the Philippine legacy of Filipino nurses is so heavy. Many will always assume if you are a Filipino nurse you must always know what you are doing. Well, sorry but that’s not me. Don’t be scared to show you are a novice in your field dear aspiring nurses wanting to be here. All I can say to you once you’re here is to continue to learn but don’t let others dictate you where you should be at in your learning process. We know our learning curve more than ANYONE else. I’m still learning a lot of new things in my workplace. Every day is a surprise of knowing new things😀
2. Racial discrimination, Bullying– A sensitive topic to discuss but a very interesting fact. The truth is wherever you go in any part of this world, we will be prone to experience these horrible racism and bullying as foreigners. Surprisingly, even our own race can do this to us. Sadly, in my three years of stay here, I have worked with some who aren’t that nice to work with. I can clearly remember this line, “You don’t know that?” Then they’ll start questioning your experience back home. Oh Please! If you happen to meet these kind of people, STAY AWAY from them. Know your line of commuication who to report them in your workplace. We have what we call here as nurse labor union that we had to get our membership as we practice nursing. They are the one’s that we can call if we are having a hard time at work and nobody seems to listen. We are not ALONE as we work here which makes UK a better choice to practice nursing.
3. Finding your true circle- It’s easy to make friends as we all know Filipinos are a diverse group. We are all over the globe. There is always this small community of Filipinos everywhere. I didn’t have a hard time looking to where I can fit in when I came here. Saying hi’s, hello’s, attending parties, they are so easy to do to blend in. But in the long run, soon we will start knowing people better. Choosing who to go with or not. Lucky if we can find some of those who are real. I found my second family in the UK. Apart from Tatay Anton and Ate Ester, the Regino’s are always checking on us everytime. When we had Covid last week, Ate Susan came in to bring us some fruits and calling us every now and then to check how we are. I’m super thankful to have found genuine people like them. The older we get, we tend to value the quality of friends we have over the quantity.
Our fruits of love.
4. Language Barriers- Speaking and writing English is mostly not an issue for us nurses. Our problem comes on carrying out a conversation especially when my English workmates are starting to throw in some humor on a topic I can’t even relate to. It’s frustrating in our part because we always wanted to connect to them but because of language barrier we can’t. The UK accent is not just like the Harry Potter film we used to watch. They got different accents depending on the region just like here in Hull. They also got a different way of speaking. I’m getting used to it how they talk here but when I went to London for a holiday, I kept on saying,”Pardon?” I’m having troubles understanding them. My six year old though has no issues blending in speaking English. Our concern with our boy is for him not to forget our mother tongue, the Visayan Language. Our IELTS exam is definitely of great use for our survival skills abroad.
5. Job for our Dependent- Please click the link for Mon’s journey in looking for a job. Loads of job opportunities are available for our dependents in here if they don’t have any specialty they wanted to pursue. Mon’s journey has been quite challenging though because he wanted to work as a UK software developer so he had to submit himself to several tries just to get his dream job. With a determined heart to get one,viola he’s finally enjoying the love for his craft.
6. Childcare- It’s one of the main concerns of OFW’s in here when both parents are working. I’m super glad my place of work is making some considerations for me to put me on rest day when Mon is scheduled to report to office during Mondays and Tuesdays. While the rest of the days he is working from home with his line of job. For others may be a different arrangement. Couples should discuss this matter prior to immigrating if one needs to sacrifice being stay at home first or whatever decision both of you may decide. After all, It’s only going to be you and your partner alone who can make things work whilst away from our homeland.
I hope the bare truth I’ve shared to you about my real struggles here won’t make you change your mind to chase your dreams. I aimed for this post to be of use to prepare my fellow nurses on what to expect to the new life we all going to be starting once we press the GO BUTTON.