EMTG team in the spotlight- Angelique Pollen

This time we are honored to introduce you to Angelique Pollen! She’s an EMTG Internal Job Supervisor, known in Dutch as ‘Interim Werkbegeleider”, at EMTG.  Her duties include meeting with healthcare institutions to set up a plan, goals and path for the international nurses that come to the Netherlands. With over 30 years of work experience in healthcare, Angelique has gained a lot of expertise in various disciplines. She thought it would be interesting to share her knowledge and experience with nurses of the next generation.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Hi my name is Angelique Pollen and I have been working in healthcare for over 30 years. I have worked in various disciplines within healthcare but stayed the longest years in the ICU and ambulance. In addition to my work, I decided to follow extra training courses and am now also a Life Coach with a practice for healthcare professionals. As a child I lived in Iraq and there I got hit with the travel bug. So, I started roaming the world and worked here and there. I had to arrange everything myself, which was sometimes quite difficult and lonely. A company like EMTG would have come in handy!

 What inspired to work in this field and position?

Throughout the years I have been involved in many projects where colleagues from abroad were brought in. This often ended in a fiasco, because they did not speak the language and did not understand our culture. Outside of work they got stuck with administrative duties that had to be arranged. I saw firsthand what a lack of guidance can do so decided to take action. At EMTG, both the employer and the healthcare professional are relieved of this burden by the internal supervisor (and later the job mentor). As a result, the chance of success is high. Being part of a team committed to guiding nurses from abroad and doing something about the shortages in healthcare motivated me to start working at EMTG!

What are the most important characteristics that an Internal Job Supervisor must have?

You have to be flexible because every healthcare institution has different wishes. The candidates come from different countries. You are always dealing with different cultures and mindsets. As an Internal Job Supervisor, you have to be informed up-to-date and anticipate any issues.

In your role, do you notice that there is a stigma surrounding international nurses within healthcare institutions?

Definitely, I had that myself too given the experience I had. However, it can really work out with the right approach. In terms of language and knowledge of the culture, the nurses come to the Netherlands so much better prepared and thanks to the guidance of Academia Neerlandesa. The EMTG program makes the transition easier. Potential problems that can potentially escalate without guidance are now identified early on and resolved.

“Pack your suitcase full of energy, perseverance, curiosity, flexibility and above all a lot of fun! The team of mentors are here to help you and make the best out of your career.”

What are some of the duties you enjoy most in this role?

The preparation in the buildup to the first workweek is always an intensive time. The nurses are often tense before coming to their new home and workplace. We prepare them with some training before they start. Then when the first day comes and we evaluate at the end of the day, the tension is gone, and we see happy faces. That’s always a beautiful moment!

What is your most memorable experience of being an internal job supervisor at EMTG?

There are several! One where I really experienced the added value of our guidance was during a job interview. We examined the culture of the nursing home with the candidate. Their slogan was ‘A whole life counts’. We had dissected this extensively with each other. The candidate came out of her interview with a big smile and enthusiastically said that they had asked her what the slogan meant. The interviewer was completely impressed with her answer. In all the years she did job interviews, she had never received such a good answer! What a compliment! That makes me proud of what we all do here.

What are the biggest challenges in guiding foreign nurses? How do you overcome them?

Problems may arise because of the language or cultural barrier. It is important to identify them quickly and get a clear picture of what is really going on. Observe well and ask questions! For example, I accompanied a woman from Spain who answered that she was satisfied to all questions. Everything was positive. Her body language, however, said something else. She looked sullen and her eyes were sad. I asked her about it and tears started to flow. She was very unhappy with her workplace but thought she should not say so. She was not used to speaking out. Within the organization we went looking for a department that suited her and she quickly found her niche!

What advice would you give to health professionals relocating to the Netherlands?

Pack your suitcase full of energy, perseverance, curiosity, flexibility and above all a lot of fun! The team of mentors are here to help you and make the best out of your career.


Are you a nurse who aspires to work in the Dutch healthcare sector?

Perhaps the EMTG program can help you to fulfill your career goals. We understand the important life decision new EMTG nurses take when deciding to work abroad and learn a new language. Therefore, EMTG job mentors are here to provide you support during the EMTG program to make your immersion to the Dutch culture easier.  We will take care of all administrative duties and arrange your job placement and housing. All you need to do is, like Angelique said, pack your suitcase with fun 😉

For more information about the EMTG program you can contact our local recruiter.