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Stats: 2,597,890 members, 6,028,858 topics. Date: Wednesday, 02 December 2020 at 10:12 PM
|The Odyssey. Narrative Of A Nigerian Nurse. by Soknown: 3:12pm On Feb 28|
I am Soknown, a Nigerian Nurse in diaspora.
This is a thread to document, my steps, actions and in actions that got me to where I am.
My name, Soknown is not a grandiose self reverent name but a nickname borne out of the appellation of one of the schools that I attended. SONO.
I finished my nursing education shy of two decades ago, and I came to Lagos to chase the big LIFE as many of my senior colleagues have done and came back to the school to tell us stories about their experiences in the big city.
That faithful day in November, I picked up me bags, said farewell to all and joined the popular Mazda bus from IB to Lagos. I landed at Pen Cinema in the evening, located Iju waterworks and then Elliott Street. There was no Google maps in those days so you either ask around for direction or get someone that knows the neighbourhood to accompany you, but I had no problems locating my Uncle's house.
In the following week, i started making contacts with my senior colleagues for employment opportunities, Thankfully Citizens Clinic on Ijaye-Jankara road gave me employment that same week with a monthly salary of #4000. I did work at the clinic for three weeks. Just before Shiloh of that year, I met another colleague that introduced me to his boss so I got employed at Top Medical Center, Ajako Bus stop, Shasha Akowonjo, with a starting salary of #8000, then #12,000 after 3 months.
Six months down the line, I got another opportunity at Family Clinic on AIT road, Kola Bus-stop Alagbado. While in this clinic I hustled really hard to raise fund. I was working day shift at Family Clinic and evening shift at Oyins clinic ( I have forgotten the street's name) it's close to Hamkad Hospital. At the weekend I worked at Syeed Clinic at Moricas, Agege. The commute between the three working places was very difficult especially from Alagbado, so I quit working in Family clinic.
I picked up another employment later on with Eniola Clinic on Irepodun Street, Ile-EPO, but kept the triad routine ( Eniola to Onyins everyday then Syeed at the weekend)
The strict hustle paid off as I was able to raise fund to attend the Prestigious WHO research collaboration centre, Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Aro Abeokuta for my Post basic nursing certificate in Psychiatric/Mental health nursing. I converted my employment at Eniola clinic to weekend locum.The course ran for one year. My experience at the Neuropsychiatric hospital will be visited shortly.
Upon graduation,I terminated my locum employment with Eniola clinic and was later employed by CRI (the premier medical emergency company in Nigeria). My time and awesome experience will be visited shortly. In all, I spent 10 years with CRI before I left. After I left, I promised myself I will never stay that length of time in one employment.
Then, November 2016 I wrote the dreaded ielts for the third time ( having written 2 when I was in Aro), a major hurdle to jump before migration. The overall score band was 7 but then I had 6.5 in writing when I actually needed 7 in each band score. I could use it to migrate to US. So I started contacting agencies like Avant healthcare, Passport USA ( I have forgotten the old name), Josef Silny and co. I submitted my CV and everything scattered, how. I had to declare the number of beds in my hospital. All of them wanted someone working in about 650 bedded hospital. So I just got stuck at that point.
The following month, I got employed by Euracare Multi Specialist hospital in Victoria Island. A hospital that is in he league of it's own. It was owned by CFAO back then, now owned by Toyota. It was at Euracare that I got exposed to UK practice, it was really appealing to me so i changed my mind.
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|Re: The Odyssey. Narrative Of A Nigerian Nurse. by Soknown: 3:48pm On Feb 28|
I fell in love with mode of practice that was modelled after nhs. My time at Euracare was so rewarding in every way but also challenging. It was very challenging getting to work on the island. It got to a point that i decided to have a break and have a vacation in US, I applied for B1/B2 which was denied, it was very painful. I almost fell into depression considering jumping into the Lagoon. So i saved up money to write another ielts. I wrote ielts Academic in November 2017 and I made the required band scores and I felt so relieved.
I registered with nmc online and contacted Bellaz consult on Ogunlana drive to book for my CBT. I was chasing after agents that recruit mental health nurses, but they are not much so I decided to write the CBT for adult nursing. I called Bellaz to change the scheduled CBT to Adult nursing.
Having done the CBT and passed, the agents started chasing me. January 2018 I settled with Envertiz, I submitted my Resume and ielts certificate.
Envertiz got back to me with 4 interview opportunities for me to review and choose. I went online to research about the nhs trusts that were sent to me before I was able to settle with SASH. End of January, I had my Skype interview with SASH recruitment team, which comprised of the Recruitment officer, the practise development team and the particular ward manager. The interview was a walk in the park. The provisional employment Offer letter was to me. I studied it, compared it with other ones with my colleagues, Being satisfied with the offer, I signed it and reverted.
April 2018, I started submission of documents with nmc, coupled with licence/registration verification with nursing and midwifery council of Nigeria, 'Council' as it is fondly called by nurses. Dealing with the council is always a tortuous experience as with all government parastatals. You have to keep calling and chasing each desk to perform their duty. It took more than the statutory 60 days for my decision letter to be released. Decision letter means you have been cleared to come to uk to write a qualifying exam called OSCE before you are issued a pin.
My agent did a trick, he applied for a Certificate of Sponsorship immediately the decision letter was issued. Certificate of Sponsorship is a regulated document that an employer need to apply for, with the government so that the employer can recruit from overseas. I think it cost them like £1000 for each person ( not a fact).
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|Re: The Odyssey. Narrative Of A Nigerian Nurse. by Soknown: 6:26pm On Feb 28|
June 2018 i visited International Organisation for Migration on Isaac John street in GRA Ikeja to have my TB ( Tuberculosis) screening. I have made reservations on Phone so on the scheduled date i paid at the bank and presented myself with identifying documents and the printed schedule. I met a mammoth crowd inside the hall, about 100 within the two halls, i saw my former manager at CRI, an American. He came for the same screening, he was planning to migrate to UK too. Also i met a former colleague working for IOM then but later migrated to Australia, we exchanged pleasantries and contacts. It took about 4 hours, in between filling the forms and having the chest x-ray done. The x-ray report was reviewed by IOM physician and lastly a certificate was issued, ( with an instruction not to fold the certificate, ever).
August, my CoS was issued, now i had to apply for a tier 2 PBS visa, so i pulled my resources together, went online for the application. There were two submission centers in Lagos, One in Ikeja and the other in Victoria island. I filled in the requisite information on the online form, then paid the IHS - Immigrant health Surcharge, something like your health insurance premium, £400 per year on the CoS then £400 for the visa, The visa fee is fixed at £400, regardless of the year you want to apply for. This stage also involved getting a date for submission of documents and Biometric data capture.
I decided to use the priority servise, which means i will pay extra fee over the standard £400 so that my application can be processed within 5 working days. I got my response after 3 days and on the forth day, I picked up my Passport with a new tier 2 Visa. I resigned at Euracare immediately because i have a narrow window to travel because of Biometric resident permit collection.
All done now, my resumption date is just few days away, i started saying farewell to friends and colleagues. Buying food stuff and few personal effects. My agent bought a ticket for me. On that fateful evening, i was driven to the MMA by relatives. i got checked in, me luggage was a few pounds over the top, but the official was benevolent enough to overlook it. Final hugs and Kisses, and i proceeded to the checked in lounge waiting for the 2000hr flight. I spent 2 hours at the airport, my cloth was wet because of the heat. At 2015hr, the aircraft taxied off and as we lifted i said 'bye bye Motherland'.
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|Re: The Odyssey. Narrative Of A Nigerian Nurse. by Soknown: 6:41pm On Feb 28|
'The end of a race marks the beginning of the next one', so says a wise man. So that capped my 16 years of being a nurse in Nigeria. I gave the country and the profession my all, served in various capacities. Worked in unimaginable conditions, Jungles, Swamps, raging Sea, Spent more time in the air and sea than on the land. and survived a chopper crash. This is testament to the unassuming and unyielding resolve and resillience of a typical Nigerian. While i did not attempt to glorify leaving the shores of Nigeria as a Success in itself, i see it as another opportunity to perform on a much more rewarding platform and in a society that rewards excellence, diligence and all the good virtues which we are naturally embued with as Nigerians.
I hope in my little way, been able to inspire someone or at least provide information which could be useful, now or later.
Now i want to implore that the mods help in moving this to front page, while i am open for questions, supportive comments and concerns. As i prepare to write on the next phase.
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|Re: The Odyssey. Narrative Of A Nigerian Nurse. by jesmond3945: 7:21pm On Feb 28|
Soknown:also as somebody familiar with happenings in uk, if your workplace is up north you might face workplace segregation.
|Re: The Odyssey. Narrative Of A Nigerian Nurse. by Soknown: 7:33pm On Feb 28|
jesmond3945:I work in the south at the moment, but i have friends in the north working with nhs trusts, not one of them has complained about segregation. Not trying to discountenance your statement though. It's good to research the location you want to go to. Some countryside are still conservative and not very open to migrants but i believe they are few and far in between.
|Re: The Odyssey. Narrative Of A Nigerian Nurse. by jesmond3945: 7:34pm On Feb 28|
Soknown:yea you are right.
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|Re: The Odyssey. Narrative Of A Nigerian Nurse. by bamdexfarms(m): 1:24am On Feb 29|
Your writing skill is impressive!
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|Re: The Odyssey. Narrative Of A Nigerian Nurse. by Mizwisdom(f): 4:12pm On Feb 29|
Good story, I applaud your effort but now I appreciate more the ones who remain to serve humanity in form of their own kindred regardless of material enrichment , they are the real MVP.
Following your interesting dairy
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|Re: The Odyssey. Narrative Of A Nigerian Nurse. by Hadampson(m): 8:14pm On Feb 29|
Soknown is a perfect definition of a skillful writer. Her writing prowess is perfect
|Re: The Odyssey. Narrative Of A Nigerian Nurse. by Olalekank(m): 10:01pm On Feb 29|
You write really well!
|Re: The Odyssey. Narrative Of A Nigerian Nurse. by Soknown: 10:49pm On Feb 29|
|Re: The Odyssey. Narrative Of A Nigerian Nurse. by Soknown: 11:00pm On Feb 29|
Mizwisdom:Thank you, You are right. The real heroes are the various professionals staying back in the country regardless of the conditions of service, providing succor to people despite many options open to them to leave the shores of the country. They have passion for their job. But in the long run, Passion alone is not able to sustain dreams. When fulfillment does not follow passion, Passion wanes. When passion wanes, dreams wither or at least change.
I will keep it coming...
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|Re: The Odyssey. Narrative Of A Nigerian Nurse. by Soknown: 11:05pm On Feb 29|
|Re: The Odyssey. Narrative Of A Nigerian Nurse. by Soknown: 11:07pm On Feb 29|
|Re: The Odyssey. Narrative Of A Nigerian Nurse. by Soknown: 11:10pm On Feb 29|
Thank you all. on a lighter note. I wrote the ielts a couple of times before i got the desired band score
|Re: The Odyssey. Narrative Of A Nigerian Nurse. by Hadampson(m): 11:27pm On Feb 29|
Saved for future reference
|Re: The Odyssey. Narrative Of A Nigerian Nurse. by Soknown: 1:24am On Mar 01|
It was a long haul flight to Gatwick with a 45 minutes layover at Istanbul. It was a beautiful September morning with a warm outlook as we approached for landing, the wheels kissed the tarmac as we taxied to a halt. With the sun that was up i was expecting the temperature outside to be warm but on descending the passengers stairs.,The cold wind welcomed me and no one had to tell me to get out my jumper from my hand luggage. So the bus came round to take us to the terminal and we were directed to places according to our status, on my part i joined a long queue for the immigration clearance. It was over in about an hour, Welcome to UK, Enjoy your stay. Thank you
I was directed to the conveyor belt to claim my checked-in luggage. I got my bags but then they were too heavy for me to drag along, someone approached me as i looked in the direction of the chained carts.
' You need a quid to use that mate' and he reached for his wallet, put a pound in and the cart was unlocked and pushed it to me, i was suprised but managed to say 'thank you so much' as he walked away. Someone just gave me a stranger #450 for no reason, who says there is no good left in this world. Anyways i put on my back pack and pushed the cart to the waiting area. Fortunately the agency representative has been waiting for me with a placard. We exchanged greetings, She offered to help with my luggage but i declined gently. She explained that she is waiting for more people and she would like me to please wait with her. Someone called her on phone, so she gave the description of our location. On seeing this person, i knew she is a Nigerian. Obviously we were on the same flight but did not know. So we exchanged greetings, she seemed aloof and i let her be, after 10 hours flight, it's not everyone that can muster the strenght to be chatty. She later turned out to be my best friend.
We waited for another 45 minutes before 3 asian ladies joined us, there was a little drama with them. the ladies missed their way inside the airport, they went to the North terminal insteadd of staying at the south. So when the agency representative called them, they said they were in front of Costa, the coffee shop, not knowing there is Costa in each terminal. Luckily there is train shuttle within the airport that runs every 10 minutes, so they made it to us in no time in all 5 nurses arrived for the same trust through my agency.
We were taken to the Car-park at the South terminal to a waiting Taxi and we began our journey to the beloved Surrey town called Redhill. I was in the same taxi with the other Nigerian but she was too too tired to say anything. The taxi driver was very free, she introduced herself and proceeded to give us information about each neighborhood. The journey took 15 minutes to our abode. The flat was rented by the recruiting hospital trust, It was an upscale, posh apartment building, the building has above 120 flats on 6 floors. It has a fob controlled door that lead to the unmanned lobby. Apartment building comes in one bedroom, two bedroom, three bedroom and Studio Flats. The landlord of my flat met us at the lobby, he took one of my luggage as we approached the lift.
My flat was on the second floor and my balcony is directly over the street. It was a two bed room flat to be shared with another international nurse who arrived a week earlier.
|Re: The Odyssey. Narrative Of A Nigerian Nurse. by NiklauseFred(m): 1:01pm On Mar 01|
Wow! I love ur writing,very simple and precise.
This is sure gonna be an interesting read.
I wish a medical doctor could at least document his/her own experiences here.
Baba Hadampson I throwaway salute give you oo.You just be like mess...you dey everywhere
Happy new month.
Hanty Soknown pls endeavour to show us some pics;make e for no lose
|Re: The Odyssey. Narrative Of A Nigerian Nurse. by Hadampson(m): 1:43pm On Mar 01|
Lol.. Same to you boss
May all our wishes come true IJN/insha Allah
SaintHilary, Subomi007 food don land
|Re: The Odyssey. Narrative Of A Nigerian Nurse. by collinsuchendu(m): 1:46pm On Mar 01|
In block => EUROPE OR NOTHING
|Re: The Odyssey. Narrative Of A Nigerian Nurse. by NiklauseFred(m): 1:51pm On Mar 01|
Lets see how this one goes.
|Re: The Odyssey. Narrative Of A Nigerian Nurse. by NiklauseFred(m): 1:52pm On Mar 01|
Hahaha baba calm down I know say ur spirit don already leave you go Europe since.
|Re: The Odyssey. Narrative Of A Nigerian Nurse. by collinsuchendu(m): 1:57pm On Mar 01|
|Re: The Odyssey. Narrative Of A Nigerian Nurse. by Soknown: 7:05pm On Mar 01|
The land lord introduced me to the Asian colleague, a very lovely, self conscious individual who loves playing computer games. He led me to my room, a sizable double room that is not up to half of my bedroom in Nigeria, apparently the British do not waste spaces, every space count. However in Nigeria, our houses are patterned after America. My room contains a double bed with two drawers underneath, bedside table with a lamp on it and a bigger clothe drawer. My room mate showed me the structures in the flat not hitherto introduced by the land lord. He was using the ensuite master room. So I had the second bathroom to myself. The lounge is an open plan with the kitchen which means there is no demarcation between the lounge and the kitchen. It has a two and three seaters each, With a wooden central table and 50" television sited on a white stand.
It was past noon, it felt heavenly at last when I entered into the shower and warm streams jetted onto me. I haven't bathed for 24 hours, that's unacceptable to me so I scrubbed and scrubbed till I felt some freshness. I told my house mate that I needed some hours of sleep.
I woke up late in the evening, made some sandwiches and beverage. While I was sleeping, the other Nigerians who arrived earlier with my housemate had visited to greet me. After my dinner, I told my housemate if he could take me to them, which he obliged. The two ladies stayed together and were so happy to receive another Nigerian.
While waiting for the Asian ladies at the airport, I bought two cell lines, O2 and Lycamobile. When I came back to my flat, i was to make calls to my people in Nigeria. They felt relieved knowing that i have landed safely and settled in my little crib. I managed to get few personal effects out of my luggage and arrange the room before I slept, night night źzzz.
|Re: The Odyssey. Narrative Of A Nigerian Nurse. by Soknown: 7:51pm On Mar 01|
NiklauseFred:Thanks, i am trying to keep it up. I will try to throw in pictures where i know it will make positive impact. ( the fact is i do not have many pictures)
Is the Moniker feminine ? because everyone assumes that i am a Lady. I am afraid you are all wrong. Soknown is a Man.
|Re: The Odyssey. Narrative Of A Nigerian Nurse. by Soknown: 7:54pm On Mar 01|
collinsuchendu:Keep working at it.
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