Sunday 5 March 2023 marks Overseas NHS Workers’ Day, a day to celebrate the amazing contributions of international staff working in healthcare. 

We’ve got colleagues from over 140 countries working at SASH and every one of them is a valued part of our #oneteam. We are proud to work together to provide care for patients from all backgrounds and we couldn’t do what we do without our diverse, global workforce. 

Some of our staff have shared their stories.

Find out more about Leilani Chishti, who is a acute pain CNS from the Philippines. 

LeilaniTell us a little about your career and why you chose to pursue it.

I’m currently one of the acute pain sisters in the trust. My role is to advise, plan and implement care and treatment options for in-patients experiencing acute pain. We also provide support and training to staff and other medical colleagues. My background covers HDU, recovery and acute and elective surgical care.

Nursing gave me the opportunity to help people in their most vulnerable/unexpected moments and probably the worst day of their lives. The satisfaction of knowing that you made someone feel safe, cared for and helped get back on their feet or simply making someone comfortable are probably the reasons why I’m still here and still trying my best to contribute to improving our patients’ hospital experience.

What’s different about practicing in the NHS to practicing in your home country? Did anything surprise you?

I found that nurses here are more authoritative and more assertive compared to the work culture I witnessed 24 years ago back home, that doctors were regarded far more superior than nurses. Working here allowed me to break the barrier of communication to best serve patients safety.

Our resourcefulness and resilience to less technology and difficult situations back home enable us Filipino nurses to adapt easily to the currently high demands of patient care.

What advice would you give to those who wish to start a career in the NHS?

To the new overseas nurses at East Surrey Hospital, please know it’s a very good place to work, meet new friends and a place to build a career. We’re here if you need any support.

What do you miss about home (work or otherwise)?

Aside my parents and my brother and his family, the weather, white sand beaches. The best and sweetest mangoes/ watermelon and wearing flipflops.

In celebration of Overseas NHS Workers’ Day and thanks to the SASH catering team, from Monday 6 to Friday 10 March we invite you to dine at Three Arches Restaurant and enjoy a variety of international dishes.

Allergens will be visibly displayed at the counter. Specials will be available at lunchtime, from 12pm midday. Staff discount will be applied at the till.