The coordination agency "welcome@healthcare" commenced operations in November 2016 with the intention of encouraging refugees into entering into healthcare and nursing professions. With a view to the continuously increasing need for specialists in healthcare and nursing professions and the challenges of the professional integration of refugees, the project thus makes two relevant social contributions. Three focuses characterise the work of the coordination agency. They provide
information and materials,
advice to those in the nursing and healthcare sectors and,
support for networking.
From exchanges with people in the nursing and healthcare sectors, seven topics of consideration have been established to structure the further actions of the coordination agency:
Winning over: Winning over interested parties for the facilities in the nursing and healthcare industry is the focus of many people in the healthcare and nursing sector. How is it possible to awaken the interests of refugees in professions in the nursing and healthcare sectors?
Career preparation: The German healthcare industry and the German education system are often completely unknown quantities for refugees. The job profiles and roles, as well as their tasks and responsibilities, differ from those in their home countries. How can orientation within the systems be implemented, and how can refugees be introduced to the professional fields and roles in practice?
Training flow: In order to start training in healthcare and nursing careers, the formal prerequisites must be met, for example, an appropriate school certificate. But the German language must also be mastered to a sufficient extent. How can refugees be supported in meeting the formal prerequisites and how can the necessary language competencies be obtained prior to and/or during training?
Education: Trainingin healthcare and nursing careers is demanding. Refugees often start their training under difficult conditions and require specialist support in order to achieve their educational aims. How can these support needs best be met?
Career flow: A structured and accompanied career flow is able to increase the probability of people remaining in the profession after training is complete. How can this flow into a healthcare or nursing career best be accompanied?
Career recognition: In order to be able to work in Germany in regulated career, for example, healthcare and nursing, professional training obtained outside Germany must be recognised. How are we able to provide the best possible assistance to refugees during the process of professional recognition?
Alternative careers: Healthcare and nursing are not appropriate careers for every refugee. How can be the best possible career alternatives be identified and communicated when this fact becomes apparent?
On the basis of work results of the coordination agency, in conjunction with those on the ground, suitable qualification and integration concepts are developed and tested and consistently presented to the public.
The coordination agency acts as a central contact for those who wish to offer refugees professional perspectives in the nursing and healthcare sector. These include, among others, consultation centres, specialist seminars for geriatric care, nursing schools, stationary and ambulant care facilities, hospitals, volunteers as well as multipliers.
In order to avoid doubling structures, the coordination agency is in close contract with organisations responsible for the accommodation and integration of refugees. These include, among others, communities, local governments, job agencies, consultation centres and those in the nursing and healthcare sector. A well established network from society and politics supports the coordination agency in its work and brings additional specialist expertise into the structuring of the coordination agency.
The "Koordinierungsstelle für Geflüchtete in den Gesundheits- und Pflegeberufen" (coordination agency for refugees in healthcare and nursing professions) is a project of the "Landesarbeitsgemeinschaft der Freien Wohlfahrtspflege Nordrhein-Westfalen" (LAG FW NRW/regional community of free charitable care of North-Rhine Westphalia). We are financed by means from the Ministerium für Arbeit, Gesundheit und Soziales des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen (MAGS/Ministry for work, healthcare and social services of the State of North-Rhine Westphalia) and proportional means from LAG FW NRW. The Paritätische NRW is the organisation that runs the project. The project is implemented by the Paritätische Akademie LV NRW e. V.