Vanessa Preclaro, nurse from the Philippines

Vanessa Preclaro, nurse from the Philippines

Vanessa is a nursing professional from the Philippines. With the support of GIZ and Germany’s Federal Employment Agency (BA), and after completing intensive training, she now has a permanent position at Frankfurt’s Nordwest Hospital. This is a triple win situation. For patients at the hospital, which has a shortage of skilled staff. For Vanessa, who has the chance to broaden her professional and personal horizons. And for her country of origin, which has more skilled workers than jobs, and specifically Vanessa’s family, which benefits from her remittances.

What was it like moving to Germany to work?

At the start it was really difficult for us Filipino nurses. We had to start from scratch: furnish an empty room and build up a new circle of friends. At work everything was still so new and different, and we didn’t speak German so well. But GIZ had established contact with the Filipino community here. And our colleagues at work were well prepared for our arrival, too. We really felt welcome.

How have you settled in now?

I now really feel at home in Frankfurt. My German has got much better and I’m more independent. At work I’ve been supported by so many kind people. I feel that my employer and my patients need me.
How does nursing in Germany differ from nursing in the Philippines?
There are many differences. In Germany the hospital staff provide all-round care for their patients. That means we also wash our patients and bring them food. In the Philippines the family normally takes care of these things.

How does nursing in Germany differ from nursing in the Philippines?

There are many differences. In Germany the hospital staff provide all-round care for their patients. That means we also wash our patients and bring them food. In the Philippines the family normally takes care of these things.

Would you say there is a lack of skilled workers in the nursing sector in Germany?

I’d heard about this before, but I didn’t think it was so serious. Now I know that almost all German hospitals are really understaffed. In contrast, the Philippines has more than enough nurses.

Would you like to stay in Germany?

After having worked for more than a year to become officially recognised as a qualified health care and nursing professional, I’m not in a rush to head back too soon. Working conditions and pay are better in Germany. I can take care of myself and even support my family back home. My longing to see far-away places is greater than my homesickness – I’m still keen to get to know Germany better.


        
    
Before she was assigned a position via the Triple Win Project, Vanessa Preclaro had worked as a theatre nurse for three years and had B2-level German proficiency.
Before she was assigned a position via the Triple Win Project, Vanessa Preclaro had worked as a theatre nurse for three years and had B2-level German proficiency.

        
    
International Nurses Day at Frankfurt’s Nordwest Hospital. In addition to Vanessa Preclaro, the hospital employs 124 nursing staff from 26 different countries.
International Nurses Day at Frankfurt’s Nordwest Hospital. In addition to Vanessa Preclaro, the hospital employs 124 nursing staff from 26 different countries.

        
    
In the beginning I found it difficult to get my bearings in a new country. But with the help of my colleagues and the support of the Triple Win Project, things got easier.
In the beginning I found it difficult to get my bearings in a new country. But with the help of my colleagues and the support of the Triple Win Project, things got easier.

        
    
‘I’ve learned so much in one year,’ says Vanessa Preclaro. For example, the right way to work with older patients.
‘I’ve learned so much in one year,’ says Vanessa Preclaro. For example, the right way to work with older patients.

        
    
‘In the Philippines we treat our patients like our family. I try to do that in Germany, too,’ says the 25-year-old nurse.
‘In the Philippines we treat our patients like our family. I try to do that in Germany, too,’ says the 25-year-old nurse.

        
    
Vanessa Preclaro enters patient data into the system: blood pressure, medication, and any abnormalities.
Vanessa Preclaro enters patient data into the system: blood pressure, medication, and any abnormalities.

        
    
Nurse Selma from Ward 7 still checks in on her sometimes and helps out if there are any questions.
Nurse Selma from Ward 7 still checks in on her sometimes and helps out if there are any questions.

        
    
Nurse Selma from Ward 7 still checks in on her sometimes and helps out if there are any questions.
Nurse Selma from Ward 7 still checks in on her sometimes and helps out if there are any questions.

        
    
After her time on Ward 7 and  successfully passing her exams, she is now recognised as a fully qualified nursing professional and has a permanent position.
After her time on Ward 7 and successfully passing her exams, she is now recognised as a fully qualified nursing professional and has a permanent position.

        
    
It is important to learn how to use medical technology. Vanessa is given instructions on how to use an infusion pump.
It is important to learn how to use medical technology. Vanessa is given instructions on how to use an infusion pump.

        
    
Change of shift: Vanessa talks with her colleagues from the late shift before going home for a well-earned evening’s rest.
Change of shift: Vanessa talks with her colleagues from the late shift before going home for a well-earned evening’s rest.

        
    
It was not just her professional prospects that brought Vanessa to Germany, but also her desire to travel. ‘I love the German culture and language.’
It was not just her professional prospects that brought Vanessa to Germany, but also her desire to travel. ‘I love the German culture and language.’

        
    
‘My home means everything to me; it’s all that I am. That will never change, even if I’m now living in Germany,’ says the young Filipina. Photo: private
‘My home means everything to me; it’s all that I am. That will never change, even if I’m now living in Germany,’ says the young Filipina.

        
    
Vanessa Preclaro has spent most of her free time studying for the examination. Now she would like to see more of Germany.
Vanessa Preclaro has spent most of her free time studying for the examination. Now she would like to see more of Germany.

        
    
At Frankfurt’s Christmas Market, Preclaro remembers how things were when she first arrived in Germany. One year later, she really feels at home.
At Frankfurt’s Christmas Market, Preclaro remembers how things were when she first arrived in Germany. One year later, she really feels at home.