Why do Filipinos love being nurses?

Filipinos: Vanessa Preclaro, nurse

Vanessa is a Filipino caregiver. With the support of GIZ and the Federal Employment Agency, she now has a permanent position at the Northwest Hospital in Frankfurt after intensive training. A win for all sides: for those in need of care in the hospital, which lacks qualified staff. For Vanessa, who expands her professional and personal horizons. And for their country of origin, where there are more skilled workers than vacancies and their family benefits from the money sent.

How was it for you to move to Germany for work?

The beginning was really difficult for us Filipino nurses. We had to start from scratch: furnish an empty room, build a new circle of friends. Everything was unfamiliar at work and we didn't speak German very well. But GIZ had established contact with the Filipino community here. Our colleagues at work were also very well prepared for us. We really felt welcome.

How have you settled in in the meantime?

I feel really at home in Frankfurt now. My German has improved a lot and I am more independent. So many lovely people supported me at work. I feel that I am needed by my employer and my patients.

How does nursing differ in Germany and the Philippines?

There are many differences. In Germany, the hospital staff takes on full patient care. That means we wash the patients and bring them the food. In the Philippines, this is usually done by family members.

Would you say that there is a shortage of skilled workers in the care sector in Germany?

I had heard about it before, but I didn't imagine it to be so serious. Now I know: Almost all German hospitals are really understaffed. There are relatively more than enough caregivers in the Philippines.

Do you want to stay in Germany?

Now that I've worked for over a year to ensure that I can stay here as a state-approved nurse, I don't want to go back anytime soon. The working conditions and the salary are better in Germany. I can take care of myself and even support my family at home. My wanderlust is stronger than my homesickness - I am still curious to get to know Germany better.