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Patricia - Midwife, Hamilton

My piece of advice: Go for it! If you feel that you need a change in your life, contact Accent Health Recruitment and get going!

There are different reasons for moving to New Zealand. Whatever the reasons though, the steps are the same. It takes several months of hard work and planning in order to successfully and smoothly make the move.

When I and my husband first decided to leave our home country looking for a more promising one for our children, it seemed to us that we had to climb Mt Everest. We took a big breath and started the long journey.

I didn’t really find many obstacles during this procedure. Each step of the way needed patience and determination. Merryl and I started e-mailing to each other in the beginning of June 2013 and I managed to get to NZ in the middle of March 2014. I picked Accent Health Recruitment by chance (I am the first midwife from Greece to move to NZ) and I was a bit “cautious” in the beginning. I believe that we gradually got to trust and respect each other. Merryl’s professionalism is really remarkable. She helped me write my CV, prepare for the interview and make me understand what is expected in NZ. It took a couple of months for me to find the job I wanted but that gave me time to take care of things in Greece. Of course until you actually get a job you really can’t believe you are leaving.

The hardest part for me was saying goodbye to everybody. That was really heart breaking and emotionally exhausting. As far as practical issues are concerned, the hardest part was relocating my cat. Trying to coordinate the official veterinary services in both countries together with the air cargo took up all the patience we had left.

At last the big day arrived. I landed in NZ all alone (I went 5 weeks before the rest of my family) on the other side of the world. The first thing that happened, was receiving a welcoming pack from Accent Health Recruitment. It felt really good to know that there was somebody that knew about me in NZ! Merryl really kept close contact those first days and that was really comforting.

In order to survive that first month, I just told myself that I’m having an adventure. I remember waking up in my hotel that first morning after arriving and wondering how I’m going to manage to get my IRD number, verify my bank account , find my way to the hospital, go shopping before moving to my temporary accommodation and start looking for a house, all in one day! Everything went smoothly, however. I was amazed to realize how easily everything is done in NZ. Of course everything is done online so make sure you have internet access right away! You can just walk in a store, show your passport and get a contract with internet connection!

I found things at work to be completely different to what I was used to.
In Greece, working in a public hospital means having a heavy workload but hardly any paperwork. In NZ you have 4-5 patients and a ton of paperwork. I tease my colleagues by telling them they are drowning in bureaucracy in this health system! They totally agree with me!

Apart from joking, I think that patients are treated with great respect and kindness and that the health system really tries to make hospital care safe for them. During my first weeks at work, I thought I would never learn all these different procedures. Can you imagine that you have to go on the computer to portal an orderly! Anyway, two months down the road, I am feeling much more comfortable and enjoying my job a great deal. My colleagues are great!

Merryl never stopped feeling concerned about me throughout this whole period. She always remembered when I had something important going on and generously offered her help and advice.

I really enjoy it when patients try to figure out where I come from. Only one man guessed correctly! I seem quite exotic to them. What amazes me though, is the fact that many New Zealanders have been to Greece. They really like to travel!

Before ending my brief story I would like to say how beautiful I think NZ is! Hamilton, which isn’t considered to be the most fascinating city in NZ, seems like paradise to me! The river, the lake, the trees, the gardens! I just can’t get over the amazing scenery! The picture I sent is the lovely view of lake ‘Crescent’ from the hospital ward.

My piece of advice: Go for it! If you feel that you need a change in your life, contact Accent Health Recruitment and get going!