From Jamaica To The Orchard – An Opportunity To Thrive in St Albans

6th March 2024

We mark National Careers Week by sharing a special story from Registered Nurse, Lisa Wisdom-Green, who recently achieved settlement in the UK – five years after relocating from Jamaica to take up a nursing position at The Orchard Nursing Home in St Albans.

The Opportunity To Spread My Wings

“Living in Jamaica, nursing was my chosen path and after 12 years, I’d covered all the different areas. I felt I had more to give and part of me was longing to experience something new, perhaps even offer my services elsewhere, but at what moment did I realise it was time to really spread my wings?

One day, I was scrolling through Facebook when something grabbed my attention – a post describing an opportunity for overseas staff to work in the UK. It sounded perfect for me, so I applied straight away, and shortly afterwards received a call to tell me that my application had been given the green light. The process could begin! There were various steps to complete, including the visa application and interviews, but this all went smoothly and with everything in place, I arrived in the UK in November 2018.

This was my first visit to the UK, and I was a little apprehensive about venturing into the unknown, leaving the comfort zone of my home in Jamaica. I needn’t have worried. When I arrived at my new ‘work home’ - The Orchard Nursing Home in St Albans – I was greeted warmly by the Home Manager. I immediately found the environment really welcoming, especially when I was assigned a ‘big sister’ – my buddy Judie. Later on, I was taken to my accommodation and began the process of settling in. My roommate worked nightshifts, so I explored the area on my own, using the GPS on my phone to get my bearings. I made sure that I knew the route back to work so I could be there on time for my first shift the following Monday!

Adapting To Life And Work In The UK

Initially, the biggest challenges for me were around adapting. In Jamaica I worked in a hospital, whereas The Orchard is very much a geriatric care experience, and the setting is more like working in someone's home. I also had to learn the UK way of documentation, especially the care plan requirements, and the culture differences to some extent. Because I needed to get to grips with so many of the processes, some of the staff viewed me as a novice, to begin with. Once I’d found my feet, I really began to enjoy working in such a warm, interactive, homely environment and caring for the residents holistically.

As I settled into my role at The Orchard, I also started to build a life outside work. I live in a peaceful, clean and friendly environment where everything I need is easily accessible – a variety of stores, transport and affordable living. In some ways, St Albans is similar to the community I used to live in back home. In my spare time I meet family and friends, actively participate in church and I’m also a member of the St Albans community choir.

My Hopes And Ambitions For The Future

Five years on, I’m happy to have officially achieved settlement in the UK, due to my length of residence and passing the required exam. I have also qualified as licensed registered nurse (I began as a pre-registered nurse) and I’m continually looking for ways to develop my role and responsibilities. Alongside adding venepuncture to my skills, I’m proud be a buddy to new staff and students – something that means a lot to me.

I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to develop my career here in the UK and as far as the future goes, there’s so much else I’d like to achieve – taking a master’s degree, gaining British citizenship, and continuing to grow in my field of nursing. Most importantly, my ambition is to be the best version of me, continuing to offer my services in care to others who require it, to the best of my ability”.

To find out more about career opportunities at Caring Homes, and for all our current vacancies, take a look at our careers website.

Discover The Orchard Nursing Home

The Orchard Nursing Home is located in a quiet residential area of St Albans, offering residential, nursing and dementia care. You’ll find, bright, fresh spaces, and flowers everywhere, with comfortable lounges plus an activity room, hair salon and brand-new bistro serving homemade cakes and freshly brewed coffee. Explore quiet nooks with comfy armchairs and classic novels or choose from selection of board games, cards and puzzles. A well-stocked arts and crafts room is the perfect space to spread out and create, and there’s a wonderful display of photos, drawings, and art for our residents and visitors to enjoy.

Any questions?
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Last year we helped over 5,000 families find the right care with free advice on anything from funding care to finding the right home and moving in.

We can help with advice on paying for care and how funding works. We can check availability in all of our homes and send you the latest brochure. If you'd like to meet our Home Manager, we'll book an appointment at a time to suit you.

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