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Work in Finland

The first group of care assistants who came to Finland graduated as practical nurses!

The first group of care assistants who came to Finland through the new training model of Healthcare Staffing Solutions (HSS) graduated as practical nurses on Friday, November 25, 2022. The goal of HSS is to solve the growing staffing needs of nursing homes with the help of work-based immigration.

The study takes place in the digital learning and recruitment platform developed by HSS: Superkoulu. In the HSS education model, students study the Finnish language in their country of origin, as well as the theory studies required for nursing assistant training from the parts of the nursing education qualification. After coming to Finland, the persons complete the necessary tests for the qualification of a care assistant, for example, in cooperation with Sataedu (vocational school), and then continue work as a care assistant. Postgraduate studies for the practical nursing degree are made possible with a learning contract.

The group of 15 students who are graduating now arrived in Finland through the activities of HSS in August-September 2021. Since they arrived in Finland, they have been employed in Mehiläinen‘s social services – first as care assistants and now in the future as practical nurses.

“It’s great to be able to celebrate Graduation. Studying and integration have gone well for the group. HSS has organized comprehensive integration activities and in Mehiläinen’s social services we have been able to focus on the orientation of work units and employees, the integration of employees in the workplace and supporting studies and the development of the Finnish language”, rejoices project manager Maria Kylänpää of Mehiläinen’s social services.

“I enjoy my work, and I have friends here. I enjoy new experiences because it’s different here than in the Philippines. Here there is snow, free education, and a lot of winter activities. I haven’t experienced them before. I think the education has been challenging because I don’t have a health degree before. The Finnish language is also challenging. When the student finds a routine, the work is easier,” says Rodora Miatapal, who has now graduated as a practical nurse.

The students have completed the care assistant’s theory and grammar studies in their country of origin.

“The training consists of 10-12 months of studying the Finnish language and training to prepare for the care assistant exams. The language training is specialized on the future work and living environment in terms of culture and content,” says HSS CEO Jussi Lehmuskallio.

After coming to Finland, the students completed the tests required for the training of a care assistant in connection with the intensive induction. They have continued their nursing studies with an apprenticeship contract. The nursing assistant and nursing studies have been implemented with Sataedu in the HSS model. Sataedu has several years of experience training family nurses for people with immigrant backgrounds. The teaching focuses on Finnish language studies. As language skills accumulate, studies will extend to nursing studies.

“We have noticed that the language and care training in the country of origin is a good way to ensure the employee’s motivation and suitability. Our focus is now on ensuring that language skills development continues even after coming to Finland. It is the most important element for success in the workplace and in the new home country,” He continues.

With the help of almost four hundred nurses who came through HSS, operational processes such as settlement, recruitment, and training paths have been continuously developed.

“We are proud that we operate ethically, and the feedback from both the employers and the recruits themselves is positive,” Lehmuskallio says.

The establishment of HSS about three years ago was a strategic project for Mehiläinen to support its personnel recruitment and the needs of our external customers.

“We have increased the number of recruitment and training, and we already have about 1,000 nurses in training at HSS. We are always developing our innovative and ethical recruitment and training model and preparing for significant growth for HSS,” concludes Mehiläinen’s human resources director Tatu Tulokas.​​​​​​​​

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student stories Work in Finland

Learning a new profession – and getting paid for it!

Maricel Dano is a Philippine college graduate who majored in industrial arts. Despite her educational background she worked seventeen years in Hong Kong as a domestic helper. Maricel learned about the HSS program from her friend and found it very appealing as the training was free and a good job in Finland was guaranteed to all who passed the tests. “The whole journey was very worthwhile because I even had the full support from my previous employers in Hong Kong” Maricel says and completes: “I think that my Hong Kong employers must be part of my future success as they were so supportive from the very beginning”.

Maricel works and lives in Helsinki, the capital city of Finland. Her workplace overlooks the entire city view and she commutes by bus and metro. “I find my journey to my work and back as relaxing sightseeing”. Maricel tells that it is very easy to get around in Helsinki. Public transportation is safe, well organized and the app tells you exactly where to go and when. Also running errands and shopping is made easy as according to Maricel it seems that there are shopping centers everywhere.

“I am a health care provider, a care assistant to be exact, in one of the home care facilities around Helsinki. My daily work routine is to take care of the elderlies ranging from feeding, cleaning, organizing their personal stuff and the one I love most is when I interact with them during activities.  I am fond of hearing some of the elderlies’ stories because I feel as if it teaches me life’s lesson” describes Maricel her working days. “I find my work very rewarding. I am also touching lives in so many ways: it is not only the patient but their families as well. At the workplace, everyone is working and helping together as a support group to make work easy and effective”.

Maricel works 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. That leaves her with a generous amount of free time, but as she has already started studying to become a practical nurse, there is a lot to do in non-working hours as well. “My dream is to become a practical nurse and continue to upgrade myself because I never thought I am afforded this privilege of working and studying yet compensated at the same time” explains Maricel with great gratitude.

She shares her apartment with three other Philippine nurses. They all have their own bedrooms and shared kitchen and living room. Living here is easy to manage – she has been in Finland only two months but she has adjusted well. “Language is still a bit of a struggle and also I need to learn how to adjust my clothing according to Finnish weather” she summarizes the challenges she has faced so far. “However, I know these are all the things I can overcome and I learn the language fast. Nobody is expecting me to be fluent after such a short time here”.

Finland is a country with a healthy environment like clean air and fresh water. Finland prides itself as the happiest country in the world with high regards to work immigrants like me. “I believe that this country will give me the opportunity to flourish in many ways, also economically. My dream is that I could also help my family back home and that we all could have comfortable lives”. Lastly, I hope to bring my family someday and experience together my beautiful host country, Finland!

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student stories Work in Finland

I hardly dared to dream about Work in Finland.

When Joy Len landed in Finland in April 2022, she went thru lots of emotion. She had just arrived in the middle of the winter wonderland: everything was white, and snow kept coming down. “I couldn’t believe that I was in Europe. Passing through the HSS program and moving to Finland was such a big and fantastic thing that I hardly dared to dream about it.” -Joy says.

Joy is from HSS training batch 11. Before joining the HSS training program, She worked as a domestic helper for two years in Hong Kong.
“To live and work in Finland is amazing. I will forever be grateful to HSS because this truly changed my life. One day I will have a chance to reunite with my family as I can bring them to Finland, too”.
Joy says that she is working and, at the same time studying to become a practical nurse.
“Even though I work full time and study, I still have free time to rest and spend with my friends.”

Finland is a beautiful country, and starting a new life here has been surprisingly easy. It is a very healthy and down-to-earth lifestyle. The only thing that is a bit difficult is the Finnish language, and learning it takes time, hard work, and patience. Finland has the most fantastic nature that gives activities and pleasure for free. I am a nature lover, and last summer, “I was amazed that everywhere are flowers that bloom and green nature,” says Joy and continues: “After my duty or during my day off, my friends and I enjoyed walking around to see more amazing places. I have enough time to visit my friends from different cities and enjoy every moment of life.”

At work, it has been friendly and easy. Some of my colleagues are very helpful. They teach and help me manage even when there are difficulties because of the language. Also, the residents at Joy’s work are understanding and helpful, and some are keen on teaching Joy Finnish when working. But luckily, everyone seems to understand that I’m still adjusting.

And finally, to everyone who wants to try and change their life for the better, Joy highly recommends grabbing the opportunity to join and learn in the program of HSS. I am sure that it will change your life for the better in the future.

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student stories Work in Finland

Work in Finland: A dream job in a winter wonderland

“I work 8 hours a day for five days a week. My employer encourages me to study, and I get paid extra for every extra hour I work. Just the overtime compensation is about 30 000 pesos or even more in a month, in addition to normal salary.”

This is a true story about Margie Onato’s life. She is a Filipino who worked in Hongkong for almost ten years. She is also a mother, and her dream is to be able to provide the best possible future for her children. This is why she didn’t hesitate to take the opportunity to join the HSS program when her friend Myla recommended it to her. “I decided to take the course and work in Finland because I knew how great opportunities that would bring me,” Margie says.

“The biggest challenge for me was the Finnish language because it is not very easy,” she says and continues: “And to be honest, I was a bit afraid of the cold weather, too.” Luckily, her doubts turned out to be unfounded, and working in Finland started to go well. Margie says that her colleagues at Essote Rinnehovi are very kind, understanding, and friendly, and the same goes for patients.

Margie is also studying to become a qualified practical nurse. Despite working total hours and studying, she still has time to be with her friends and enjoy the beauty of Finnish nature. She likes to go biking or walking with other Filipinos she works with.

Before coming to Finland, Margie had seen snow only on TV. Now she lives in Eastern Finland, where the ground is covered with this white magic in winter. Even this felt like a fairytale at first!

Margie’s big dream is to one day bring her children to Finland, too. Finland provides free, top-class education for everyone. “I truly believe Finland is the happiest country in the world, and the future here looks fantastic.”

Margie wants to say to those still considering joining the HSS program: “If we did it, you can also do it! It takes a lot of work, but it is worth it!!



Categories
student stories Work in Finland

I work eight hours a day and I have two days off every week. Sometimes I can make an extra shift and earn 140 € extra money.

Jenalyn Maniego got the best birthday present she could hope for: a day before her birthday in August 2021 she got a message from HSS that she was accepted to join their training programme. This meant that if she passed all the exams during the 7 months study period she would be able to move to Finland to work as a caregiver for the elderly.

Jenalyn found out about HSS and an amazing opportunity to work in Finland from her friend, Jonalyn, who already passed the training period and was working in Northern Finland. Jenalny had already worked 6 years in Hong Kong as a domestic helper and was looking for a change: better income, better career opportunities and shorter working days. This all would be possible in Finland.

Study period was not easy: it included Finnish language studies and online nursing courses. Progress was monitored with exams and each exam had to be passed. “Studying was very intense: We had modules every week and weekly exams that we needed to pass and also we had online zoom meeting with native speakers 20 minutes twice or thrice a week” she tells. As Jenalyn was studying alongside her work the days were long and there was no time for anything else. However, the hard work paid off as she was approved to move to Finland with HSS group 11.

Jenalyn had some doubts about moving to Finland. She was wondering how she can communicate in Finnish and how she can get along with Finnish people. To her luck, everything went smoothly, and she was very well welcomed to be a part of the team in ESSOTE bed ward for the elderly. “I work eight hours a day and I have two days off every week. Sometimes I can make an extra shift and earn 140 € extra money.”

This hard-working caregiver is already aiming higher with her career and she is studying to become a qualified practical nurse. Again, she is studying alongside her work – but not the difference is that she also has some free time when she can enjoy the beauty of Finnish nature. “I like to go fishing or walking in the forest” she says about her favourite leisure activities.

She would like to encourage other Filipino colleagues to take the challenge and join the HSS programme. “It will be hard work, but it is an investment that truly will change your life”.