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Rave reviews for Philippine nurses; more on the way

The Nordic health care service provider Attendo says it has had only positive experiences with nurses coming from the Philippines. The company plans to recruit more overseas nursing professionals to plug the gap in the Finnish labour market.

Philippine nurse Raquel Torres has specliased in anesthesiology in Finland. Finnish health care employers want to import more Philippine nursing professionals. Image: YLE

The first group of Philippine nurses recruited by Attendo to work in Finland took their vows of service Wednesday. Many of them graduated with high honours.

“Half of those who graduated did so with commendable grades in areas related to nursing and caring for others. Many have also attained Grade B in Finnish language studies, which can be considered an exceptional accomplishment,” said head instructor Eija Wellman.

The nurses had already received their professional certification in the Philippines before leaving for Finland. Since last October they have worked in Attendo care homes across the Helsinki metropolitan region. Now that they have received Finnish accreditation, they will continue to work with aged patients in the same facilities.

Helsinki hospital also looking to Philippines

Helsinki Central University Hospital (Hyks) has also hired nursing staff from the Philippines to fill in on surgery and in-patient wards. The Hyks nurses are completing Bachelor’s degrees while they work.

Originally Hyks hired 20 Philippine nurses, 15 of whom have decided to continue working at the hospital.  The remaining five returned to their native countries either for family reasons or because of difficulties with the Finnish language.

More nurses needed in the near future

The nursing profession in Finland has been hit by a severe labour shortage. According to estimates from the Economic Affairs Ministry Finland will need at least 20,000 care professionals by the year 2025.

Because of their positive experiences with the Philippine nurses, Attendo has already imported a fresh group of trainees into Finland. They arrived earlier this month and are already working in care facilities across Finland.

Attendo care facility director Jyrki Kulmala is especially pleased with the high level of Finnish language skills acquired by the first group of nurses.

“I’m most astonished by how well their language skills have developed during this time. Of course there are some variations but some of them speak fluent Finnish,” Kulmala explained.

Kulmala was also full of praise for the work ethic of the Philippine nurses.

“They are always polite to their customers and very considerate,” he added.

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