Interview

„Six nurses on a challenging journey worth going“

Dezember 2015

Vor einem Jahr haben wir Artur, Patricia, Maria, Fatima, Antia und Clara geholfen, ihre Arbeits- und Lebenssituation stark zu verbessern. Sie waren in einem deutschen Pflegedienst angestellt, in dem sie meist alleine beatmungspflichte Patienten umsorgten, rund um die Uhr. Eingesetzt in kleinen Dörfern und Städten in der häuslichen Pflege gab es keinerlei Möglichkeiten für sie, ihren privaten Interessen nachzugehen, Deutschkurse zu besuchen oder andere junge Menschen kennenzulernen. Obwohl sie die den Patienten gerne halfen und die Arbeit schätzten, fühlten sie sich in diesem Umfeld nicht wohl.

Heute arbeiten die sechs Freunde aus Galizien in großen Krankenhäusern und genießen die neuen, beruflichen wie auch privaten Entwicklungsmöglichkeiten.

Die spanische Zeitung „Faro de Vigo“ berichtete darüber:

Link zum Zeitungsartikel

In englischer Übersetzung:

From Galicia to Germany. Six nurses on a challenging journey worth going. 

“It is absolutely worth it”, says Patricia Pérez Diéguez, 24, from Monforte de Lemos. She smiles at her colleagues who nod their heads in agreement. They are six nurses from Galicia who went on an adventure and became friends along the way.

The path they took has not always been easy…

Flashback: Some of them had already met during their studies at university. They all chose the same career: helping others in need. But when they graduated in 2010 and 2013 all six of them were facing the same challenge: No jobs with a long-term perspective were available. Fátima Calo Pérez, 26 from Bainas, remembers: “I was so frustrated. I was unemployed for five years.” Her friend María Pardellas Soto, 26 from As Neves, graduated with her from Universidad de Santiago de Compostela. She had an idea. She wanted to get a job in England. But without any work experience this seemed impossible to achieve. What the two ladies describe from their past is a challenging situation many nurses in Galicia are still facing today.

All six nurses finally decided to look for jobs abroad. They applied to the same nursing service (Pflegedienst) in Germany and together with other applicants they learned the German language within months.

Once they had arrived in Germany, the group soon had to split. Each one of them was assigned to a different location, to different private homes of patients in coma, chronically ill with Lateralsklerose. The patients’ homes were located in smaller cities and villages. These patients needed to be nursed 24 hours a day, they needed artificial respiration, they could not move nor talk. While the six nurses did enjoy to help these people, they also were unhappy in this situation.

Clara Pardavila Fernández, 24 from Marin: “We wished for a different job and different life. We wanted to move into a bigger city and work in a real hospital. After one year our work contract expired and we took that chance to move on.” They contacted CAPITALENT MEDICAL. This company helps international nurses to find jobs in German acute hospitals. They support those nurses who want to move to Germany and also those who are already in Germany but want to improve their work situation. “We are looking for career opportunities that fully match the nurses’ personal goals and their level of education. That is our goal”, says the company’s director, Dr. Tilman Frank. With the support of CAPITALENT MEDICAL the six friends from Galicia found what they were looking for. “And what’s best”, says Fátima, “is that we were able to all stay together.”

Today: The six of them now share a two-storey apartment in Frankfurt and work in big renowned hospitals. They are full-time employed with unlimited work contracts. The new work environment seems much better for them, but it is also more challenging than before.

“Everything is different now”, says Maria, “In the home care we had the same patients with the same diagnosis and same medication every day. We were alone with the patients. No conversation was possible. Now we all work in different wards of a huge hospital. We have different patients with different diseases. Things change quickly. We work together with colleagues as a team and we also work together closely with the doctors. In home care there was one nurse for one patient at a time and there were no doctors. We can communicate a lot more now.” Clara adds: “Within the first month working in the hospital I learned more than in a year in the nursing service. It’s so much better. And it’s almost like working in Spain. The only difference is that in Germany, nurses also accomplish basic care tasks (washing, feeding etc.). But that is no problem for us.”

In addition, their impact as a nurse changed. “This is not only palliative care anymore. This is about healing people and make them get well again. It feels good to be able to do that”, says Artur Díaz Fernández, 29 from A Rua.

What they enjoy most about their current situation is how much they can learn in the hospital and how independent they live. “It is great to earn your own salary. We don’t have to bother our families and ask for money. We are in the center of Europe and we travel a lot on our free weekends.” Just recently they returned from weekend vacations to Brussels, Paris and Poland. For their main holidays though they of course go back and visit their families in Galicia.

Living and working in a different country is a big challenge. And even after more than a year it still is. “We do still feel home sick sometimes. But that is normal. For us, this is a great career opportunity and also a very valuable life experience”, says Fatima.

When asked about their recommendation to other nurses who want to work abroad, they all agree: “Learn the language well. This is most important. In the beginning it will be difficult, but it will get easier. Once you are here and you overcome some challenges you will feel great about it. Everyone can make it!”