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Thursday's papers: Racist nurse repercussions, risks for Fortum, tired teachers and anti-terror hiring

Thursday's papers include stories on Fortum's Russia risks, exhausted teachers and follow-up on a story about a racist nurse.

Image: HUS

On Wednesday, Iltalehti published a follow-up to its story about a racist nurse in Helsinki who bragged in a YouTube video about acting disrespectfully towards immigrant patients. 

Iltalehti reports that Valvira, the authority responsible for supervising healthcare professionals in Finland, has been in contact with the nurse’s employer HUSLAB. 

"We have ensured that the person in question is not currently working and thereby guaranteed the safety of patients," said Leena Kinnunen from Valvira.  

Further consequences, such as the revocation of the nurse's license to practice, are yet to be decided.

In the video, the nurse had said that she used the thickest possible needle when taking blood from migrant patients.

"If by using a thick needle she has intended to cause pain, it is ethically wrong," Kinnunen said. "I’m very concerned by this kind of discrimination. However, I cannot yet say what consequences the nurse will face," she added.

Anti-terror staff wanted

Helsingin Sanomat reports on Thursday that the Finnish Security Intelligence Service (SUPO) is looking to  hire dozens of new staff members this autumn to help in its combat against terrorism. 

All in all, SUPO will employ 50 new detectives, IT experts and researchers in Helsinki, Tampere, Oulu and Turku.  Parliament, which is currently discussing  the new budget, has proposed additional appropriations for SUPO to cover the hiring spree.

Risky business for Fortum

The purchase of energy company Uniper will increase Fortum’s business risk in Russia, according to Aamulehti. Quoting Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen, professor of energy policy, Aamulehti says Russia could easily make it difficult for Fortum to operate in Russia. 

"Even though official legislation should be  ok, a technical pretext can be used to treat energy producers differently," Tynkkynen said.

Together, Fortum and Uniper will own 7-8 percent of Russia’s electricity production.  He also asks whose interests Fortum, which is majority-owned by the Finnish state,  will further in the future.  "We have national interest and foreign policy questions in the mix."

Also, energy trade between the two countries is asymmetrical. "Two-thirds of energy that’s exported to Finland comes from Russia, but Finland only represents 2-3 percent of Russia’s energy exports," Tynkkynen says.

School burnouts

Iltasanomat tells that some Finnish teachers are feeling burnt-out due to the changes brought by digitalisation in schools.  The role played by digital devices has grown too large, says professor emeritus Kari Uusikylä.  Instead of actually teaching and listening to the pupils, teachers must spend significant time learning to use the equipment themselves.

"Teachers are academic experts, not co-learners or coaches," he says. Uusikylä also blames increased administrative work required of teachers for adding to their stress.

IIltasanomat cites an anonymous teacher as saying  "After I'm done with teaching in the afternoon, I reply to messages on Wilma*, fill out forms, try to solve problems with bullying, arrange meetings with different teams and craft supplies for phenomenon based learning. When I get home, I’m beat."

* Wilma is an online parent-teacher communication system used in Finnish schools.

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