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Wednesday's papers: Nursing students' aptitude tests, Christian pol threatens to quit church, rescue dept's Midsummer reminder

Aptitude tests for nursing students, Päivi Räsänen's fiery letter over the church and pride week and a rescue department's holiday guidelines.

Sairaanhoitaja mittaa potilaan verenpainetta Päijät-Hämeen keskussairaalassa.
Most institutes of health care education again require students to pass a psychological evaluation before finishing their studies. Image: Emilia Malin / Yle

Finland's Ministry of Education and Culture is bringing back an optional psychological test to ensure that nursing student applicants are prepared for a career in health care. A low score on the psychological test essentially disqualified students from pursuing a career in nursing.

The ministry abolished the exam requirement in 2016, but allowed students to take it voluntarily for extra credit, according to daily Aamulehti. Since February, schools have had the option of testing prospective students to assess their suitability for care work. More than half of the country's eligible institutions (81 out of 147) have already brought back the exams, according to education chief Tapani Kähkönen from the Lapland Education Centre (Redu).

"People in the industry have been worried about the proficiency of care professionals. Making sure students are psychologically prepared is important," Kähkönen said in AL.

The Ministry of Education began preparing a national framework for the aptitude test in spring. Some schools say they are waiting for a national standard before implementing the requirement.

"The trouble with care industry jobs isn't that there aren't enough applicants, but that people don't stay in the business," said Redu service manager Leila Hurtig.

Frontline Christian politician may quit church

Ex-interior minister and former chair of the Christian Democrat party, Päivi Räsänen sent Evangelical Lutheran archbishop Tapio Luoma an open letter on Tuesday criticising the church's official affiliation with Finland's Pride Week, which begins on 24 June.

Regional paper Turun Sanomat wrote that the letter contained stern words for Luoma, as well as a story about a member of Räsänen's congregation who reportedly decided to renounce the Lutheran Church. Räsänen, a vocal critic of the LGBTQI community, then threatened to leave the church herself.

"To my sorrow I have learned that the National Church Council and you yourself, archbishop Luoma, have permitted [the church to support Pride Week]," TS quoted the letter.

Räsänen insisted in her letter that her stance was not homophobic.

"The church cannot engage in discrimination if it dares to use the word "sin" for homosexual relations as well as other extramarital sexual relations. However, the church does discriminate against homosexuals when they are not allowed to hear the full truth of the word of God," Räsänen wrote.

Rescue dept posts rules ahead of Midsummer

Midsummer is fast approaching, and at least one emergency service department is preparing for the inevitable barrage of distress calls – some of which are hoaxes or do not constitute emergencies.

In fact, operators at emergency number 112 report more than 350,000 non-essential calls per year, according to tabloid Ilta-Sanomat.

The rescue department of the Oulu-Koillismaa region posted a 14-point list of things not to call 112 about.

"The following situations are genuine calls that one operator received in a single summer night shift," the department's social media post read. Below is their list in full.

Do not call emergency services (112) if:

- You have a toothache

- Your phone or someone else's has gone missing

- You need a ride somewhere

- You need a taxi

- You need someone's phone number

- A dead animal is floating in the river

- You are having relationship problems

- You want to switch mobile operators

- You have left your car keys inside your car and the doors are locked

- You just want to know if there have been many emergency calls that day

- You had a nightmare

- Someone has left a pair of wet shoes in your garden

- You don't know the price of a taxi fare

- You or your loved ones are not in danger!

The rescue department ended its post by urging residents to download the 112 Emergency Number app on their smart phones.

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