By Josephine Reid
With a shortage of health care professionals, there is a high demand for nurses in Switzerland. It is required that a nurse knows at least one national language such as German, Italian or French in order to provide safe, medical care. It is necessary and well-favored to continue their education, as employers usually provide financial support towards academic courses.
Foreign nurses must go through the process of having their credentials checked and accepted by the Swiss Red Cross. The costs for this certification is Sfr 500.00, which is about $550 in US dollars, in addition to other nursing educational materials such as uniform scrubs.
One of the essential components in getting certified in Switzerland is the ability to speak one national language (German, French, Italian) at a specified level. Although, there are private hospitals where the English language is sufficient for employment. All certificates or employment records such as the references submitted for evaluation and credentials must be in German, French, Italian or English.
The Swiss Professional Association For Nurses, or SBK-ASI recommends foreign, non-German speaking nurses to partake in a course that will make them familiar with cultural differences currently present between their country of origin and Switzerland. The Swiss Professional Association for Nurses also runs two continuing education centers, one in the German speaking part and one in the French speaking part.
As far as some insight on Swiss medical culture, Switzerland has a large and efficient state health service where major hospitals are run by individual cantons (or states), which are often attached to universities. In addition, there is a state run system of care for the elderly running resident homes in almost every community in Switzerland. There is also SPITEX, a mobile nursing service that visits patients at the comfort of their own home. However, the nurse must be proficient in German, French or Italian in order to be considered for this service. The working environment in Swiss hospitals, especially the relationship between doctors and nurses, is said to be pretty well structured and an overall positive work atmosphere.
The working environment in Swiss hospitals, especially the relationship between doctors and nurses, is said to be pretty well structured and an overall positive work atmosphere.