23 Ukrainian nurses start studying at Tallinn Health Care College

Student nurses.
Student nurses. Source: ERR

Twenty-three Ukrainian nurses started their studies at Tallinn Health Care College on Wednesday, beginning the journey to gain professional qualifications in Estonia.

New students had tears in their eyes as the Ukrainian national anthem was played at the college's welcome ceremony, Wednesday's "Aktuaalne kaamera" reported.

Of the 170 nurses who fled to Estonia after Russia's full-scale invasion in February, more than 20 signed up to study this September.

"In our health care system, a nurse performs significantly more tasks and with greater responsibility than their colleagues in Ukraine. There is much to learn in this regard," said Katre Trofimov, an official at the Ministry of Social Affairs.

Most nurses in Ukraine have vocational education, but to work in an Estonian hospital they need a nursing diploma from a higher education institute. If they want to continue working in the profession, their only option is to start retraining.

Usually, the course takes 3.5 years, but the Ukrainians will only need to retrain for two years. However, they will first need to study Estonian for a year.

"We have simply left out the subjects that they have learned from their previous studies in vocational education, and we will add the missing part to the two-year higher education curriculum," said Ülle Ernits, rector of Tallinn Health Care College.

One student, a former paramedic Ljubov Boiko, came to Estonia with her child in March. Two weeks later she was working as a carer in a hospital.

"I went to the hospital myself. I went to one hospital and was told that there were no places. In the second, I was hired. I have been working at tWest Tallinn Central Hospital's EMO since the end of March," she told AK.

She said, in Ukraine, nurses tend to assist doctors but in Estonia they have more responsibility and can treat patients themselves. As she already had higher education, she found a job quicker than many others.

But she still needs to pass a compliance exam which is set by the European Union. Boiko does not want to be a nurse forever and dreams of eventually working in a different position in the EMO.

"I've been learning Estonian since March and I'm working hard and I want to know Estonian and I want to understand Estonians. I bought a book. When my child sleeps, I learn Estonian at night from this book," she said.


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Editor: Helen Wright

Source: Aktuaalne kaamera

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