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MULTI-TRAIN

Background

A labour shortage is reality in many Finnish social and health care organizations. At the same time, many internationally educated nurses and physicians living in the country are unemployed; they do not get employed since their certificates are not recognized valid. It has also been observed that even if foreign health professionals do find employment, they are likely to be placed in the lower segments of the labour market hierarchy.

So far the research conducted in Finland has avoided directly addressing the question about how the professional competence attained abroad could be transferred and transformed into local working contexts. Working transnationally requires more than just technical ability to do a job: a process of socio-cultural adaptation in thinking and workplace practices is necessary when operating in a culturally diverse environment.

It is not only the foreign social and health care workers who should learn and adapt, but also the ‘home workers’ need to go through an acculturation process: both the mainstream personnel and newcomers need to learn how to interact and encounter each other constructively. Thus, there is a need for mutual socio-cultural adaptation. Mutual adaptation is clearly connected with the demonstration of professional competence and even patient safety.

In order to support long-term integration, patient safety and the work effectiveness and well-being of the entire personnel, it is necessary to have a modern and robust human resource management (HRM) system that is capable of adopting to cultural change.

The role of education is vital on this account: cultural competencies both for managers and employees should be adopted to facilitate working with different cultural and ethnic groups. Health care providers recruiting foreign workforce also need to invest in providing appropriate support to enable newcomers to adapt to their new working environments.


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Last update: 1.4.2014 13.56 Muokkaa

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