A team of international nurses are rising to the challenge of working in a highly specialised ward at Walsall’s Manor Hospital and really making an impact.
Four nurses from Nigeria have spent the last seven months learning new skills and processes on the Chemotherapy Unit.
More than 180 nurses took up roles at Walsall Manor Hospital in 2021/22 thanks to several initiatives to support and develop staff.
For Precious Nkemakolam Chigozie, aged 40, technology is one of the biggest differences she has noticed.
She said: “It has been a unique experience working on the chemotherapy unit. The training we have been given so far has been brilliant.
“The staff are very supportive and the information we have learnt has been great.
“It is completely different to back home – chemotherapy care is given by doctors in Nigeria so to learn all the different processes has been great and something we would not have done at home.
“There is still a lot more to learn but I am looking forward to it. It is very interesting, and I am doing things now I never thought I could. Before coming here, I was a nurse for 14 years in Nigeria and now I am learning to use the different equipment.
“I came over here for career advancement and to learn the culture – and that is something I am doing every day so that is great.”
Precious came to the UK without her husband and three children (aged six, eight and 11) but hopes to bring them over soon.
She added: “When everything is sorted my family will be joining me – I miss them very much.
“But time has gone very quickly; I can’t believe I have been here seven months.”
Her colleague Oluwatoyin Adeniji, 37, said the move had been a big challenge.
She said: “I love travelling and challenging myself which is why I wanted to move to the UK.
“Some of the biggest differences are the technology and the different names for medication, machinery and so on. There is a different way of doings things here as well.
“I had done a little bit of work with oncology patients before but not directly working in the department, so I have found it very interesting.
“The support has been fantastic, and I look forward to advancing my career here.”
Mandy Yapp, Senior Sister, has welcomed staff on to the ward and says they have made a real difference.
“The nurses have fitted in really well into the team,” she said.
“They have come with different skill sets but chemotherapy is a totally different area – it is highly specialised.
“They have learnt these skills very quickly, however, and are doing a brilliant job. We would be lost without them.”