In 2009, Ismália de Sousa took a leap of faith and clicked “apply”. Eight years have passed and she is now one of the thousands of EU nurses who make the NHS one of best healthcare systems in the world.
After finishing her nursing degree in the Portuguese capital, the 29-year-old was offered a position at the prestigious Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, where she currently works as a clinical nurse specialist.
With a masters’ degree in Neuroscience Nursing, Ismália’s area of expertise is in stroke, a medical condition she described as a “brain attack”. Ismália said: “Everyone is different, every stroke is different but that’s because different areas of the brain will control different things.”
As a nurse, she has a range of responsibilities, including making sure patients are aware of new research studies and that they are given accurate information about their treatment options.
“The most rewarding thing is seeing someone who was not able to speak or was almost unconscious and when they go home, they are a totally different person.”
In the future, Ismália hopes to become a nurse director – but not just yet. For now, the young professional wants to learn more, progress in her field of work and keep on using her skills to help patients recover from devastating strokes.