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How to address staff shortages in social service homes

Social service homes are in trouble. This is due to staff shortages and the Сoronavirus. How can we help?

Young medical staff from abroad

Over and over again in my blogs I write about how we don't allow foreign medical staff into Slovakia. The truth is that we don't even allow them to work in social care homes, too bad. Young medical workers from abroad, such as nurses or medical assistants, have to pass a costly diploma recognition exam and subsequent examination in order to work in Slovakia. Foreign doctors also have such an exam, with one difference, that there have never been preparatory courses for nurses, and they have no opportunity to prepare. In addition, for 2020, all 3 exams were cancelled, so no new nurse got into Slovakia. Even if she knew Slovak.

How about allowing nurses from overseas to work and prepare for the exam in social service homes? This would help nurses, social service homes and, above all, their clients and their families. Older people like to tell their stories in Slovak, and this is the best way to learn the language. In addition, they can pull up their Russian if it is needed at the start.

Now a nurse with 25 years of experience from Ukraine cannot work in such a home. After all, she is not a nurse in Slovakia. We can hire her at most as a cleaner with a salary commensurate with the position. If we thought about it, and especially if we wanted to, we could extend the temporary internship, which is not yet valid for foreign nurses. The purpose of this internship is precisely to provide an opportunity to prepare for the examination of foreign nurses in Slovakia. However, the internship in the current provision does not include the possibility of working in social care homes, but it does not include working with nurses as such. This is certainly worth considering.

I would be glad if the people in charge began to see the shortage of staff and medical workers in Slovakia and began to address this shortage in a realistic way. Why?

Personal experience

I am originally from Russia and I have a Slovak family who welcomed me with open arms when I first came to Slovakia in 2002. It was nice and surprising because it was the first time they had seen me. Now the coronavirus crisis had taken one of them away from us, and in a place where it was very hard to get. Gone was the one who was sitting at the big table when I walked in, smiling at me. It was his example that showed me how serious the situation in the country was with social service homes. But it is his example, unfortunately, that is typical, not only in these strange times, but for many years before that. I have seen and experienced how difficult it is for a citizen of Slovakia, who has worked and paid taxes and fees in Slovakia all his life, to get medical care and social support in the most difficult times for him and his family. How difficult it is to just get to where his health condition requires. You really can't do without family, and phone calls and pleading is the only way out.

I don't want this to happen again to other people near me, and most importantly, I don't wish it on anyone in the country.

The worst part is that people who could have stayed here for a while are saying goodbye to us, but because of the dysfunctional system, they are no longer here.

When are we going to start bringing those responsible to justice?

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