How long have you been an RVN and where did you qualify?
I have been an RVN for less than a year and qualified in Portugal in November 2019.
Where do you currently work and what does your job entail?
I work as an RVN at Moorview Vets in Newcastle. I find the consulting part of the job interesting and a good way of getting to know your clients and their needs in order to improve the service offered. I also enjoy being in theatre and helping my patients recover afterwards.
Why did you move to the UK to work as an RVN and have you come across any difficulties? If so how have these been addressed?
I was looking to improve my knowledge and skills within an environment where the profession is appreciated and where the care standards are taken differently.
The first barrier that I came across was the different culture within the education system. I found that in the UK, nurses have a much more practical course than I did back in Portugal, so I think they are better prepared when starting their role in any practice. The job requirements are also different in some aspects, like being able to do nurse clinics. Therefore, one of the things that got me going was not only having a supportive staff, but also showing interest in getting to know more about the role itself and practising my skills as much as possible.
Another thing was the registration. Back in Portugal we don’t have a proper register for nurses. There was some paperwork to fill and sign, and documents to take care off. I found that the people working within the RCVS were super helpful on that matter.
What are your plans for the future?
As for now I intend to get as much CPD as I can to broaden my knowledge and my future aim would be doing a certificate in exotic nursing.
What key piece of advice would you give to anyone wishing to follow a similar career path overseas?
It is very important to research about nursing as a profession in the country you are aiming to go to. Also, don’t be afraid of speaking to your team members if you don’t understand something, that being either in a language level or professional level. They will be there to help and support you in becoming the best nurse you can be. I would also think about the registration entities as it can be mandatory in the target country.
I would recommend doing your internships within the Erasmus programme to have a first base touch with the country. That was the path I took, and I think it helped a lot with getting to where I am now.