The small island of 60 residents doesn't have a doctor
But it is home to thousands of puffins
Wanted: a nurse for Fair Isle, Scotland’s most remote, inhabited island.
“Are you looking for a challenge?”
That’s how the job advertisement for the island’s nurse position reads. And considering Fair Isle doesn’t have a doctor, that may be an understatement.
“We are looking for an enthusiastic autonomous practitioner with a degree of flexibility to work on the non-doctor island of Fair Isle,” it continues.
The tiny island is home to around 10,000 puffins and a thousand sheep, but only 60 people. It’s so remote that the only way to get there is by an 8-seater plane or ferry – which can be postponed for weeks on end due to rough seas.
A doctor visits the island once every three months from the Shetland mainland, so all other medical care is left to the community nurse, according to the job description.
Because the job requires being on-call 24/7 in a remote location, the nurse receives a “distant island allowance” in addition to a regular salary.
The current nurse, Elena Mera Long, has worked in Fair Isle for the last decade. According to resident Tommy H. Hyndman who writes a local blog, she is not only the resident nurse, but an organ player for the church, piano teacher, and – like most residents – an avid knitter.
“People say: ‘What do you do all day on such a small island?’” Mera Long told The Guardian. “They must be joking. Everybody on Fair Isle works like beavers, and there’s never a dull moment. It’s a model for a good community. I doubt if there’s a more harmonious one anywhere.”
Mera Long is leaving her job as nurse for a position in Romania, where her husband is from, according to The Scotsman.
Applications close on April 24, so get your knitting needles, your bird-watching binoculars and your CV ready.