Manju Yadav, medical training initiative trainee in obstetrics and gynaecology
It's been almost a year and my journey so far has been a lot of ups and downs, from being lonely or sad to having fun times. Individual experiences can be different, but strongly depends on some factors:
1. Expectations from life in the UK
2. Awareness about the lifestyle in the UK
3. Short-term and long-term goals
4. Being with family and friends or living alone
Luckily, I had my MTI trainee colleagues who were working in different trusts and guided me to prepare for life here. I was strongly advised to work on junior/SHO level for a few months, so my expectations were realistic.
Cultural shock - after having worked in corporate hospitals in India with English as the major language of communication, my experience of the working environment in the NHS is completely different. It was a shock for me. Understanding British humour took a while to get to but I can tell you it's the best!
Cooking - you get to learn how to take care of yourself and learn the basics of cooking, laundry, and cleaning for example.
Managing time - the biggest struggle I had was managing time outside of work. Planning your days is very important, shopping and cooking in bulk helps.
Hobbies and making friends – this isessential to keep you happy. Sharing a meal and having a conversation will keep the blues away and support your mental health. For the first time in my short life so far, I realised that I am not designed to live alone. Making friends helped me, I highly recommend making an effort to do that. Working in the department has been challenging, I struggled with lots of things but am slowly getting used to it.
Working environment - I had very good support from my senior colleagues and consultants. I am really thankful to them.
New systems - learning new systems took me a long time and I am still learning new things every day.
Asking for help - never hesitate to ask for help. If you are not feeling confident in doing something, even if you have done it many times before, ask for help.
Working as a team - working in the NHS is working as a team. Every person has their specific roles in patient care and we all respect each other.
Cultural diversity - being part of NHS is about experiencing lots of cultural diversity. We learn so many things about other cultures, I am always fascinated with different cultures.
Work life balance - work life balance is very important to maintain good health.
I really thank my whole department for being so supportive, our college tutor, my education supervisor and director, our managers Helena Wilson and Andrea Philips, all the midwives and my anaesthetic colleagues.