Nurse in the Spotlight – Gaby

It is the 10th anniversary of EMTG. We want to celebrate the ten years, meeting up with different EMTG nurses that trusted us from the beginning. Therefore, we have met with Gaby, one of the first EMTG nurses. 
Gaby is a Spanish nurse that has been in the Netherlands since 2017, but how did it all start? We have had the pleasure of interviewing her to discover more about her experience at EMTG and the Netherlands. 

1. Why did you become a nurse?
When I was young, I wanted to be a midwife. I watched a program about childbirth every week; then I kept watching emergency programs, documentaries about rare diseases, etc. During my teenage years, my dream was to be a nurse but not midwifery. Once I started my internship, I realized I made the right choice. 

2. Why the Netherlands?
It was a bit random. I couldn’t find a job in Spain, so I sent CVs to European countries. EMTG was the second company to call me. I liked their transparency and clarity, so I decided to do the selection process. Before I moved, I had never been to the Netherlands, so I came looking forward to discovering a new culture and way of living.  

3. When did you join EMTG? How was your time in the program?
I did various interviews with Arnold and had online classes twice a week with Trudy. At first, the language was quite difficult for me because my world was still in Spanish. Once I arrived in the Netherlands, my language skills improved very quickly.

4. What was the main barrier you encountered when arriving in the country?
Language. I had colleagues who did not speak English. It was challenging for me to understand them and ask questions about the work. Also, I lived in a small town, which forced me to get involved faster in the Dutch culture and language. 

5. How did you manage to integrate into Dutch society?
Thanks for working at Thuiszorg. The team and EMTG helped me to understand the language and the culture. 

6. What are the most important differences between a nurse in Spain and the Netherlands?
I believe that nurses in Spain are better prepared with their degree when they finish, to be in any specialty without doing a specialization. Whereas the Netherlands gives you more fields of work, and it is easier to specialize, allowing you to be the best in a specific field of health. 

7. How did you manage to get along better with the language? What advice would you give to learn it?
My co-workers decided to stop speaking to me in English. It was hard at first, but that made me start trying harder to talk the Dutch language.
Advice: whatever little you know, dare to use it. The Dutch know that the language is challenging. If you try, Dutch people will appreciate it and try to help you. 

 8. After six years in the Netherlands, how has your development as a nurse been?What areas have you worked, training, promotions, responsibilities?
I started working as an assistant (verzorgende 3IG) at the Thuiszorg; after doing the BIG register, I trained for der Wijkverpleegkundige (Thuiszorg team leader). Then I realized that it was not my thing. Luckily, I was able to change within the same company.  
Now I am in a physical rehabilitation centre in the neurology and palliative care unit. In these six years, the company has allowed me to train in techniques such as peritoneal dialysis, PICC lines, first aid, etc. But they have also allowed me to improve my communication when talking to palliative patients, complex cases and running a Thuiszorg team. It is incredible that in a company, there is such a variety of fields of work. I feel very appreciated in the company.

9. What are your plans for the future?
I want to start a master’s degree in oncology. I intend to stay in the Netherlands for a long time.

10. What advice would you give to someone who is thinking of embarking on this adventure?
Do it, the weather is not the best, but the country offers much more. 

We are proud of our nurse Gaby and wish her all the best in her promising career in the Netherlands.  Do you want to live the EMTG experience? Sign up and start your adventure to a promising future.