Lizette's experience as a nurse in Ireland

In January 2016 Lizette started to work at a nursing home in Dublin via TMI. Read more about her experience!

After spending several holidays in Ireland, Lizette Theunissen was quite charmed by this country. This was a reason for her to search for a job in Dublin.

At the beginning of this year she started with her job in Dublin after TMI found this for her.

Why did you want to work in Ireland?

I already knew Dublin because of my holidays and I really think it is a beautiful city.

It is an old and compact city. It is easy to walk from one area to another. There are several parks. I could highly recommend this city.

How would you describe the Irish people?

Very friendly and helpful. They really try to help you out with everything and if you don’t understand them they will explain ten times if needed. That’s truly one of the biggest plus points. The main reason for Irish people to be patient and explain several times is that they are used to foreign employers from several countries. In terms of nationalities next to Irish there are Philippines, Portuguese, Polish and a couple of Romanians. I’m the only Dutch at the moment.

"I live in beautiful surroundings. In the morning on my way to work I see the mountains and in the night when I go home, I see all the lights. I love to see this and it gives me energy.”

How is the atmosphere at work and what is the hierarchy like?

It does not matter if you’re talking with a head of a department or a close colleague, everyone is the same with each other. Everyone knows each other by name and during breaks everyone is social and asks colleagues if all is well and if anyone has any issues. There is a really good atmosphere at work. The reason for it can also be the nursing home where I work, the nursing home delivers high quality care and most patients have money.

In my department there is little hierarchy, you do see differences in uniforms per title. My senior, for example has a dark blue uniform like nurses but then a slightly different color. As a pre-registered nurse I wear a mint green uniform, like the care givers. The Senior care givers have light blue uniforms.The kitchen personnel also have a different color.

Do you notice that it is an private nursing home from the behavior from residents?

Yes, some residents have dementia and sometimes think that we are working for them (most of them had help before). You see it sometimes in some of their reactions, which is quite funny.

What are your tasks as a pre-registered nurse, now that your registration is not complete yet?

I basically do the same, but officially there has to be an authorized person standing next to me (for example for administration of medicine). For example, I haven’t had night shifts yet, because that means that I will be alone. I can actually do all necessary actions, but because my registration has not yet been finalized, I cannot carry out actions without supervision.

What do you notice about the work itself? Are there things different in the Netherlands?

The administrative tasks here are more than in the Netherlands. For example, forms must be in twofold registered in several places on the computer. Another difference compared to the Netherlands is that you have standardized 12 hour shifts, also in hospitals. These shifts are very long, but then you have more free time. If you work 3 days in a row, you have more time to plan more.

You will be home late from your shift and then you can for example not go to a shopping mall or grocery store. Another remark is the high responsibility registered nurses have here.

Do you have more responsibility than in the Netherlands?

Yes I think so. This also has to do with fewer doctor visits in Ireland.

It’s not necessarily a lot of work, but I’m still a little insecure about how everything works here. I especially had this feeling with filling in forms and the computer system. I really thought that I would never learn it. Next to that everything is of course in another language. Luckily the guidance here is very good and everyone is helpful.

What about the English language?

I’m doing well with English. In the beginning I thought I would never learn it. A lot of English terms are different than the Dutch ones.The English level of many foreign employers is not really good, which makes it easier to communicate with each other. This makes you feel more comfortable and less insecure. Sometimes Irish colleagues are difficult to understand because of their Irish accent, but it is also funny and makes you laugh.

Were there many things you needed to arrange beforehand?

Obviously one of the first things was accommodation that I would need.

An old manager is renting out rooms and I could arrange that I could live there the first week.

The apartment I have now is pricey, but very nice. I pay € 1.000 a month exclusive. Many people from my age (35 years) share a house with other nurses because of the high rent rates in Dublin.

You also need to apply for a PPS-number (Personal Public Service number) for the tax-authorities.

Without a PPS number you cannot open a bank account or apply for insurances. To apply for it you will first need to have an address. These were difficult things to arrange.

When people think about Ireland they will automatically think about the rainy weather. How is the weather?

On average the weather is very comparable to Dutch weather. There have been many storms, but I’m not a big fan of 35 degrees.

Are there any drawbacks for Ireland or their working methods?

I think one disadvantage for me is that all tasks are very much divided. For example, I’m not doing many care tasks. I actually very much like helping people, so that’s a pity.

In the Netherlands, I had a wider range of tasks.

Why would you recommend Ireland?

It is just a whole different experience. I learned a lot of new things and the salary is higher than in the Netherlands. Next to that you live in a very beautiful environment here.

When I wake up in the morning, I see all the mountains and when I go back in the night I see all the lights. That’s where I do it for.

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