Her daughter left for the hospital that morning for her first day of internship when Saskia Paulissen was sent a photo. It’s a selfie of the proud teen, in her first nursing uniform. Reason enough for Saskia to share the photo on LinkedIn and to encourage all nursing students. In the much-liked post, she argues for more appreciation.
Because, Saskia emphasizes, her daughter chooses this profession with full conviction and passion, despite all the commotion surrounding the profession and the sector. And with her hundreds of other nursing students in the Netherlands. Long days, low wages and a high workload: this does not prevent this group of young people from entering care. “They don’t choose this profession for the big money or for their own gain. No, they want to be of significance to you and me in times of illness and need”, says Saskia. “How beautiful is that.”
And so the Apeldoorn woman thanks her daughter and all her fellow students, but she also stands up for this group. “How nice would it be if they would soon enter a workplace where they are really appreciated, where they meet colleagues who have the energy and time to take care of them, and where their passion is even more fueled.”
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“That appreciation is mainly due to the corona crisis,” says Saskia. “I don’t think anything has been done to improve healthcare since then. These people are working with fire. They indicate: we cannot make it. We know there is so much stress every time, but nothing happens.”
,,And then I have a daughter, who is proud of her education. Who also comes to work in healthcare, with such enthusiasm,” she continues. ,,Then I feel a drive to change something. Something has to be done, otherwise the enthusiasm of these girls will stop at some point.”
Saskia’s message on LinkedIn evokes a lot of reactions. “When I see how many people respond to my post – much more than I expected – I feel a kind of collective powerlessness and amazement. And then I think: we live in a prosperous and enterprising country. We must nevertheless be able to come up with a solution to this care problem. But sometimes it seems like we don’t want to.”
“Why haven’t we heard anything about the improvement of care since the corona crisis?” is the question that regularly occupies Saskia. Vaccination, QR codes, the catering industry is locked again. That is where the focus is, but I see little energy going into improving care”, she concludes her speech. “Those young heroes who will soon be leaving the training are part of the solution. We need them more than ever.”
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