Local hospital ‘growing its own’ nurses

A dream has come true for a hospital worker who left not only her home but also packed away her uniform and her career 12 years ago.

A&E ward sister Karen Ayscough, staff nurse Antonio Lopez, Rhea Martinez, staff nurse Regina Torralba and sister Nicola Fountain

Today Rhea Martinez is back where she longed to be – in a blue nurse’s uniform providing care for patients coming through A&E at Scunthorpe hospital.

She said she has been helped every step of the way by her manager, colleagues and clinical skills tutor who have supported her on her journey.

Rhea said: “I was born and brought up in the Philippines. I qualified there as a nurse and spent three years working in the emergency department. However, 12 years ago I moved to the UK and I ended up working in a care home for eight years.”

Four years ago she landed a job as a healthcare assistant on a medical ward at Scunthorpe hospital and went on to get a job working in the A&E department.

To work as a registered nurse in the UK Rhea needed her pin number from the Nursing and Midwifery Council. She had to undergo a two-step process. This involved completing a comprehensive application form, passing an English reading, writing, listening and speaking test, as well as a test of competence.

Only once she had successfully passed all of this did she receive her NMC decision letter which allowed her to undertake the final hurdle – a series of simulations known as the objective structure clinical examination (OSCE).

People are put through their paces at six simulation stations where they have to assess, plan, carry out and evaluate care of ‘pretend’ patients.

Rhea said: “I really struggled with my written English which kept putting me off. However my manager has been really supportive and encouraged me to keep on trying and not give up.”

She celebrated passing her English test in January, and then worked hard preparing for her OSCE. Rhea said: “It was really daunting. Work has supported me so much, everyone has been fabulous.”

Along with her manager and colleagues, Rhea was supported by clinical skills tutor Julie Mottram, who works across Scunthorpe, Grimsby and Goole hospitals. She worked with her to fine tune her practical skills and competencies.

Julie, who provides training for newly qualified nurses, overseas nurses and those returning to practice, said: “Rhea already had the necessary skills as she had been working as a healthcare assistant in A&E. She worked really hard and was very conscientious. Her sole goal was to get her registration in order to provide nursing care again for patients.”

Karen Ayscough, A&E unit manager, said: “Rhea is a shining example of what you can achieve with lots of hard work, dedication and a willingness to succeed.”

Are you interested in a nursing career at our hospitals? Contact nlg-tr.wearerecruiting@nhs.net for further information.

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