Newcomers from outside the EU reduce staff shortages in cardiac care at an accelerated pace

“You have to do extra training, and of course learn Dutch and English well,” says Ursu. “Of course that makes sense and after five years of work I almost had my BIG registration for doctor.” Then there were additional requirements, which could take years again. “My wife then said, ‘Maybe you should try something else after all.’ A difficult choice for me. Being a doctor was my dream as a child.”

‘A lot of knowledge and expertise’

Around that time, Aernout Somsen, cardiologist and co-founder of Cardiology Centers Netherlands (CCN), realized that there are many doctors and good nurses among newcomers. “I thought why don’t we retrain those people to become echocardiographers to solve the shortage of these specialized people?”

According to Somsen, this shortage makes waiting times for people with cardiovascular diseases unnecessarily long. “For those people you often need an ultrasound to see how their heart is doing with the pump function or the valve function. That is an important part of diagnostics. That important process is stalled because we have too few people who can make an ultrasound .”

In collaboration with the philanthropic institution Goldschmeding Foundation, Somsen has developed special training for newcomers from outside the EU and beneficiaries with a medical background. “After all, we want to quickly catch up to the shortage of ultrasound technicians. These newcomers have a great deal of skill and knowledge, so that we can quickly reach the required level. We want to train four new echocardiographers every six months. When they obtain their diploma, they automatically receive a job. with us.”

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bitter necessity

Somsen says that his organization considers it important to contribute to the social task of allowing immigrants to land properly in the Netherlands through a job. At the same time, from a medical point of view, there is simply a dire need to train these types of specialists as quickly as possible.

“The demand for care is only increasing. Thanks to better treatments, heart patients are fortunately living longer. That means that we have to care for more and more chronic patients.”

The Echocardiography Academy turned out to be the ideal solution for Ursu. As part of the pilot for the training, he recently obtained his certificate and works at one of the twelve locations of Cardiology Centers Netherlands.

Need extra internships

“I am finally working with patients again and that gives me such a good feeling. I have found my place again. Where I was a seen person in Moldova as a doctor, I was here in a bit of a vacuum. That is now over My kids are proud too. Dad works.”

Erna Krusemann is responsible for the training as project leader. She hopes hospitals across the country will join the initiative. An average week during the training consists of three internship days where an experienced echocardiographer teaches the trainees the intricacies of the trade.

“We as CCN provide the training and supervision during the self-study days. So all we need to train on an even larger scale are extra internships with supervisors. Only hospitals can provide these. So if there is interest, please let us know. know.”

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