It is time for another EMTG Nurse in the Spotlight! Meet Ana Bodega, an ambitious Spanish nurse that has been working in the Netherlands for almost two years now. Ever since she was young, Ana dreamed of working in healthcare. When she was 17, Ana often visited the hospital to see her grandfather and after seeing the nurses working hard, she became motivated and wanted to do the same for other people. This good-natured mindset makes her an excellent candidate to be a nurse.At EMTG, we are delighted to have welcomed Ana. During this week’s blog she will take you through her journey of living and working in the Netherlands.
1. What is your name and age? My name is Ana, and I am 24 years old.
2. Where are you from? I am from Spain and was born in Madrid.
3. What university did you graduate from? I studied nursing at CEU San Pablo University in Madrid.
4. Why did you decided to become a nurse? Since I was a young kid, I always wanted to do something related to healthcare. When I was 17, my grandfather became very sick, and had to stay in the hospital for a long time. We often paid him a visit and I could see how all the nurses were taking care of him. They all tried their best to help him during that difficult moment. Since then, I felt inspired and motivated to do the same thing for other people.
Being a Nurse in the Netherlands
5. Since when do you live in the Netherlands and where do you work? I started working in the Netherlands in October 2019 and up until recently have been working in a nursing home in Boxtel, Brabant. This job has made me grow in my nursing career and since August 2021 I work at a hospital in Eindhoven.
6. What are some of the duties you have on a day-to-day basis? I work as a registered nurse in a nursing home, the department where I work is basic. I have different kinds of clients, but they are mostly dependent on our help. My shift starts at 7:00 a.m. When I arrive at the department, I start reading over the evolution and changes that happened during the last shifts and then we all listen to what our colleagues of the night shift have to say. Every patient has an agenda for the day, so we have a clear view of what must happen; for example: morning care, monitoring of vital sings, blood glucose, insertion of catheters, wound healing, care of stomas, physio times, dentist visits, activities like bingo or shopping, administration of medication etc. Then the team gets organised, and we can start. In addition, some of us are the contact person between the patient and the nursing home, that means that we [nurses] are also in charge of organizing everything related to the care of regular patients. Check out the Instagram reel from Ana on duty. Click here
7. How different is the Dutch work culture from your country? I do not have much experience working in healthcare in Spain, I have only worked as a student. I would say that the work itself is not much different. There are obviously differences because this is another culture. But what I notice is that the people here are open and curious to know how we work in Spain. They always set objectives, make plans and use feedback to learn from each other.
8. What do you like the most about your job? For me it is the bond that you build with some of your clients. The fact that they trust you and you can make a difference in their lives, for me it is cute that they try helping me with learning the language.On the other hand, the work stability and support that I have received from the team is amazing.
9. When and why did you decide to work in the Netherlands as a nurse? I always wanted to live abroad to learn and live new cultures. I travelled twice to the Netherlands with friends, and I really liked it over here. During the last year of my degree, there was a job fair at my university and I got captivated by the [EMTG] program. I didn’t think twice and applied right away to this beautiful experience.
10. What is the biggest challenge(s) to work as a nurse in a foreign country? How did you overcome those challenge(s)? For me the language was the biggest obstacle, but once you learn it “Alles komt goed” (Everything will be alright). From my experience, people here are direct and open to talk about anything and they expect you to be like that somehow. For me, what really helped was being honest and realistic over what I did and did not know, going with the flow and being open to learn when I had the chance. At some point everything comes back to you, and you will be able to make major improvements in your life.
11. What are the benefits of working abroad in your professional and personal life? In my job, the stability and the opportunity to keep growing and learning.Also, the possibility to work in a recognised profession with a manageable workload and the possibility to have a healthy work-life balance.
12. How’s your life in the Netherlands? What do you do in your free time? I’m very occupied. I really like the independence and freedom but at the same time the stability and safeness in your daily life. In my free time I like to visit friends, go explore new parts of the country, exercise, going for a hike… There is always something to do, the opportunities are endless.
13. What do you like the most from the Netherlands? I really like the open-mindset and the welcoming feeling, also the multiculturalism mixes with tradition and values. In the Netherlands, I have found myself, you have the chance to be who you truly are.
14. What are your future goals in the nursing field in the Netherlands? My goals are to keep learning and improving as much as possible so that I can become specialized in the future.
15. What message do you have for future nurses that are considering working abroad? I would say: Go for it, take the chance!If you are considering working abroad this is a really good program to get started. You get to learn the language, you get a job, you get support during this adventure and get to know amazing people that share your interests.Although this is a big change in your life, you really need to be realistic about what you expect. If you take the step, just remember to be patient, respectful and openminded. This has helped me a lot.
Are you a nurse interested in knowing what it is like to work in the Netherlands? At EMTG we are happy to share with you the job opportunities that are available to you.If you have an adventurous soul like Ana, then perhaps you may be interested to advance your career and gain more personal and professional growth abroad. You can contact your local recruiter and follow our social media channels to learn more about the EMTG program.