Spanish nurses use personality to overcome language barrier
The foreign recruits' warmth and empathy are drawing praise from Finnish employers and patients.
Retirement homes in Pori, which have hosted the nurses for the past two months, say there have been fewer language problems than anticipated.
"There may not always be a common language, but non-verbal interaction is more important," said care manager Tarja Hagback. "These nurses are very empathetic and don’t mind getting close to people, touching them and are generally happy."
A campaign by Finland’s Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment has brought some 60 Spanish nurses to Finland. The latest batch arrived last week in Kotka, south-east Finland.
The Spanish nurses in Pori have been working for the city since October. So far, their impression is that Finnish work culture more relaxed than back home. Some of the new recruits are already making plans to plant roots in Finland.
"Maybe not for the rest of my life, but at the moment I’m happy and hope I’ll continue enjoying it," said Maricruz Santamaria.