How to Make the Most of Your First Job in the UK
Hello, My name is Harini, I am from India, and I am working as a Trust grade SHO in England, UK. I recently finished 6 months into my first job in the department of Trauma and Orthopaedics. I am writing this blog to share my learnings and experiences (They are specific to a non-training job- at a junior level for an International Medical Graduate).
What is your purpose for coming to the UK?
Many people have varied reasons for moving from their home countries to come practice medicine in the UK. It could be for pursuing higher qualifications, for money, or due to personal circumstances. Whatever your reason, set your goals accordingly. I moved here to pursue my career and education further, and hence this article will be focused on that aspect.
Get a footing in your Hospital
The first step is to ensure you understand where and how things work, who the important people are, and what you need to do to have a decent work experience. Some ways you can do this:
1) Ensure you attend an induction or ask for one.
2) Ask for a shadowing period before commencing your job, and make use of this time to understand the IT systems and protocols for discharges/admissions and other paperwork.
3) Find out who your Educational/Clinical Supervisors are and ensure you have your initial meeting with them ( Most trusts allocate them to you, and some trusts allocate them only after you ask for them).
4) Explain your goals to your ES/CS and ask for their guidance on how to achieve them. For Example: "I intend to get my CREST form signed in 4 months' time. Would this be possible, and how and whom can I get in touch with for guidance"
5) Ask for access to a portfolio. Some trusts give it for free, while others don't.
6) Ask if you have a study budget and study leave and how to use them.
Make use of your allowances
Find out how many days of annual leave you have and schedule your holidays accordingly.
Find out what courses/training your hospital/trust offers for free or low cost for its hospital employees and attend them if relevant. Attend taster weeks in those departments that you would like to get an understanding of. Explore NHS discounts offered by companies for groceries/appliances and other goods.
It is natural for IMGs to migrate toward people of the same nationality, locality, region, or language. While this is helpful in feeling like a home away from home, ensure you seek help and guidance from them as well.
Try to network with employees of other departments or teams to understand the nature of their job to gain insight into their culture and experiences in previous workplaces- as you will never be stuck in one hospital forever, so you need to understand how other geographies and hospitals work in the UK.
Put your best foot forward
People do notice hard work and acknowledge it when you make an effort, so try and show interest. Grab opportunities you get (assisting in theatre, helping with projects/audits, etc.) whenever possible. Remember, we are all in the same storm, just sailing in different boats, so ask for help, and you shall receive it. And remember to help in return when you can!
Need more help?
If you have any questions about how to go about your first job in the UK, I would be happy to answer them at trewlink.com. You can register using this link https://trewlink.com?referrer=har727369. Find me as an Ambassador and Follow my profile – Harini Balasubramanian, to receive regular support and advice.