iGlobal Tribute Series: Happy Birthday NHS from Global Indian graduates

As the UK's National Health Service (NHS) marks its 72nd anniversary on July 5, iGlobal? marks this historic birthday of the country's most cherished institutions with a special tribute series capturing the hopes and dreams of some of its newer hard-at-work keyworkers.

These young Global Indian graduates have found themselves at the forefront of the worst health crisis in a generation and have selflessly offered their skills and expertise on the frontlines of the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

Vijay Gogna, Good Hope Hospital Sutton Coldfield

For 24-year-old Vijay, joining the NHS at a time of a global crisis has been a vital transition.

I?m happy to be helping patients who are in need of healthcare. I feel it has made me get used to the job quickly in order to be more competent on the wards.

Originally from Birmingham, Vijay studied at London School of Medicine, Queen Mary University, and although the jump between medical school and being a doctor has been big, he describes it as highly rewarding? to be able to do more within his capabilities.

I have always valued the NHS, it's a great healthcare system that England has set up to help those with clinical needs and not on their ability to pay, hence I am enjoying the start of my doctor career in this way, and look forward to all the opportunities that can arise in this field.

Vijay plans to return and complete his junior doctor training in Birmingham and remains optimistic about what the future holds for him.

Amanpreet Kaur Badatch, Bedford Hospital Aspirant Nurse on the Children's Ward

For 22-year-old Amanpreet, who is currently in her third year of child nursing at the University of Bedfordshire, being called to the frontline was both an overwhelming experience and a privilege.
I am Sikh who values the importance of 'sewa?, which is selfless service and caring for all of humanity. It is an honour to serve my community and be part of an organisation which is open to all and is so diverse. The NHS enables me to do sewa for my community and earn an honest living.
Amanpreet who is two months away from qualifying and graduating before she registers with the Nursing and Midwifery Council, has been balancing her assignments and attending online lecture, whilst she tends to her shifts at the hospital.
I was given the option to either opt in or out of early employment. I decided to opt in the best decision I have made. I?ve been given the opportunity to help families and children affected by Covid-19, and the nurses on my ward and my university have been so supportive.
Studying away from home and being called on the frontline, means Amanpreet has been unable to see her family and friends for the last six months. Whilst it has been difficult and she eagerly looks forward to seeing her loved ones again, her passion for the NHS is what keeps her going.
I love the work I do and do not see myself doing anything else every shift is different and there are so many learning opportunities, says Amanpreet, who is due to start her job in October as a Registered Children's Nurse.
On what it means to be working for the NHS, she says: For 72 years, the NHS has progressed and continues to provide free care to all. It is a privilege to be part of an organisation that has been around for such a long time and to be following in the footsteps of so many inspiring people before me. I look forward to a long career within the NHS and developing as a nurse.
Akshaya Rajangam, St. Thomas? Hospital General Surgery
Akshaya, 23, from Singapore recently graduated from King's College London. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, she faced a year being cut short, which she said was a disappointment.
Because we missed our electives, which is milestone in medical school and one that every student looks forward to in their five or six years of training.
During this time of uncertainty, Akshaya flew back to Singapore due to concerns among her parents about being alone whilst the country (and indeed the world) was going into lockdown. However, a large part of her wanted to go back to the UK and serve in the NHS.
She explains it was a constant dilemma between Am I ready? to I am needed?. When the official news came from the medical school regarding the Foundation Interim Programme, an early opportunity to start work before August, she said: I filled out the form without a moment's thought, because it felt right. My parents were supportive in saying that this is your Dharma to use your skills now. Go, serve.
Akshaya, who currently serves as one of the National Vice-Presidents of the National Hindu Students? Forum (UK), says the experience on the frontline has been fulfilling?.
I have been in General Surgery, so the real work is also brimming now when the NHS is transitioning from emergency to elective procedures.
Describing each day as a different adventure, she adds: I was privileged to have a very supportive working environment where my peers were more than happy to show me how it was done. Whilst some days were stretching longer than the contracted hours, it was fine because I felt useful and I could first-hand see the impact of my role in patient-care?.
Akshaya is based at St. Thomas Hospital until August, after which she moves to Northampton General.
The talented Bharatanatyam dancer, who has performed in the UK, reminiscences about how being an international student and coming into the UK to study medicine she would question the public health service.
It was always a stereotype of it being 'sub-standard? to private care in other parts of the world. Six years later, I can proudly say I am working for the NHS. At its core, it is a beautiful system that I can see many take for granted.
Every patient is equal in the eyes of NHS, and every patient gets the best possible care issued in that circumstance, and no other factor plays a role in that element, which is what makes the NHS wonderful. As healthcare workers, we will always complain about the inefficiencies within the system from simple things to data infrastructure and rota coordination, but ultimately, the NHS is a hallmark of the UK and I personally cannot dream of another way to serve a nation.
by Preeti Bali

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