"Care needs to take care of itself"

There are a number of specialist conferences in the care sector. The clinic releases us so that we can participate. For example, the German Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine – in short: Divi – regularly organizes congresses and symposia, which we attend. There are lectures, workshops and an exhibition area for new products in various specialist areas.

Some time ago I attended a conference of the Association of Nurses in Bavaria ( VdBP ) on the subject of training and further education. In the lectures and discussions, one problem in particular became very clear: There is a nationwide training for nursing professionals – but no comparable rules for further training. Federalism becomes a problem here.

For example, I am completing further training as a hygiene specialist in Bavaria. However, that does not automatically mean that I can also work there as a hygiene specialist after moving to the neighboring state of Baden-Württemberg.

But there are not only fundamentals in the system of nursing professions that are inconsistently regulated. But also some things that, in the eyes of many, are not sensibly regulated in nursing . For example, the classification of training in the German Qualifications Framework ( DQR ) of the Federal Ministry of Education – there, qualifications within an education system are assigned to specific levels in order to make them comparable.

SZ nursing column: On the ward, episode 70: Intensive care specialist Pola Gülberg from the Ebersberger district clinic.

Intensive care specialist Pola Gülberg from the Ebersberger district clinic.

(Photo: Peter Hinz-Rosin)

The training to become a nursing specialist is classified as level four. In our profession, a secondary school leaving certificate is a prerequisite, the training usually lasts three years, and there is no age limit for our clients, so we bear a lot of responsibility and therefore need extremely broad specialist knowledge – unlike, for example, training to become a nanny, which, however, is on the same level.

If the professional qualification of the nursing specialist were classified higher, the logical consequence would also be a change in the collective agreement: a higher salary. And politicians talk about this goal again and again. I ask myself: Why isn’t anything changed at the DQR level – despite the many people in my industry who have been demanding exactly that for years?

Although I’ve been working in nursing for so long and keep myself informed about my profession, this conference has made one thing clear to me like never before: Nursing must finally start taking care of itself – because nobody else will fight for them deliver. It is up to us nurses to organize ourselves more and better so that we can achieve our goals.

Pola Gülberg is an intensive care nurse. In this column, the 38-year-old talks about her work at the district clinic in Ebersberg every week. The collected texts can be found at sueddeutsche.de/thema/Auf Station .

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