Published on 16 July 2021
A trio of trainee nurses are keeping it in the family as they all develop their careers with East Kent Hospitals.
Adriana Lachainer, her husband Adrian and his brother Andrei all moved to the UK from Romania to work in a care home.
Fast forward a few years and Adrian and Andrei are in their third year of a nursing degree at Canterbury Christ Church University, while Adriana is completing a training programme while working as an associate practitioner on Kings D ward at the William Harvey Hospital.
It is a huge change from the career paths they were following in their home country, but the three have no regrets.
Adriana said: “I don’t think this is what we planned when we first came over but we really enjoyed working in healthcare and being able to make a difference to our patients.
“We decided to work hard and study and see where it took us and we are really happy with what we are doing now.
“Back home I was on a totally different path, finishing an economics degree, but I love what I do now.”
The trio worked their way up to being team leaders at the care home, then decided to apply to the William Harvey Hospital as healthcare assistants.
They soon realised they would be able to make more of a difference if they trained as nurses, so initially completed a foundation degree to become associate practitioners.
Adriana said: “We thought there would be more opportunities in the NHS and that is true. Although Adrian and Andrei gave up full-time work to become full-time students, I have been supported by my ward manager to train while I work.
“It is a bit of a struggle to balance work, study, and looking after the children, who are nine and four, but you have to do your best.
“I hope my girls are proud of me. I am doing it for them too to show them if you work hard you can do anything you want.”
Adrian started working on the Clinical Decisions Unit at the hospital, now the Acute Medical Unit, and still does some shifts with NHS Professionals alongside the placements that form part of his degree.
He has been offered a job in the hospital’s critical care unit when he qualifies this summer.
He said: “Critical care is the best place to learn and where you can provide true holistic care to your patients.
“It is one-to-one nursing so you have the time to spend with your patients and their loved ones. It is a really good team to work in and I am delighted to be joining them.”
In Romania he was studying politics and working in sales.
Andrei is on the same degree course as Adrian and will also qualify this summer. He started his career as a healthcare assistant on Cambridge ward and also takes on NHS Professional shifts alongside his studies.
Adriana said: “We probably know more medical words in English than we ever knew in Romanian. Health care is not something we would have considered in Romania, and we were encouraged to do other things so we would have more opportunities.
“But things are very different in the UK and we are proud to work for the NHS. We don’t have any plans to live anywhere outside the UK and we are looking forward to qualifying as nurses and to developing our careers and helping more people here.”