Vanessa Backes is an open-minded, ambitious young woman: She is completing her Bachelor's degree in Healthcare and Nursing at a university in Santo Angelo, Brazil, as the best student of her year. She spent two integrated semesters abroad in Germany, where she attented the Applied Health Sciences programme at Furtwangen University. A step which, thanks to excellent grades, was made possible for her by the "Science without Borders" scholarship awarded by the Brazilian government. At the time, she would never have believed that her path would lead her back to Germany at a later date.
... she had found our advertisement in a job portal on the Internet. She was actually looking for job opportunities in Brazil after graduation - fortunately she came across our programme while searching. Her application documents were impressive. So after our examination, Vanessa was told after just a few months: good luck on your first day in Germany," explains Carolina Martinez, consultant at TalentOrange.
Vanessa went through the TalentOrange selection process. Her profile matched: a successfully completed Bachelor's degree in Nursing plus initial practical experience with patients, good foreign language skills and the will to work for at least two years at a German hospital. As a selected candidate from TalentOrange, she was supported at every step - administrative and financial worries about entry, arrrival, registration, job search and professional recognition in Germany were no longer an issue for her.
All emails were answered promptly and important issues such as finding a flat or health insurance were also taken care of for me. This gave me extreme security and also the confirmation that I had made the right decision."
Her first impressions were also confirmed by her previous experiences during her exchange with Germany: "The quality of life in Germany is noticeably much higher than in Brazil. Being out and about alone in the evening, after 7 pm, is unthinkable in my home country. Especially as a woman. Here in Germany, I really appreciate the freedom of movement and opinion".
"The intercultural encounters have also had a positive effect on my work with the patients in the hospital," Backes continues. "I have become even more empathic in my dealings and exchanges with people. A great help, because about sixty percent of my colleagues are from all over the world".
In April 2017 she started working as a healthcare professional at the Sana Klinikum in Offenbach. Shortly after gaining professional recognition in October 2017, she was already able to treat her first patients independently. The oral examination of her adaptation course was in the subject of chemotherapy - in German, of course.
"Although some German is spoken in my family, it was the time of my semesters abroad, including a 6-month intensive German course in Aachen, that I made the most progress in terms of language," explains the certified nurse in fluent German. "In fact, after my return to Germany, it took almost a year and a half before I really felt comfortable with the language. But even today mistakes still happen, here and there".
Vanessa also continues on the road to success on a professional level: she specialised in gastroenterology. Part of this ward at the Offenbach hospital is also the influenza ward. The variety of illnesses that the patients have means that she learns more every day, because every person and body reacts differently, sometimes inconspicuously and sometimes very intensively.
... and was happy about this opportunity for further development, which is why I accepted the offer: "In 2018, I also became a member of the core group for the digitisation of patient records in hospitals," emphasises Vanessa.
"On my ward, the conversion from analogue to digital was started. At that time, software was still in its infancy and our team was supported by Telekom and the nursing directorate". In the same year, one of her then superiors left the hospital and Vanessa was offered another change: The position of Deputy Head of the Gatroenterology Ward.
Since then, she has only been assigned to early duty, with a few exceptions for late duty. She has kept her number of patients, but now she is also responsible for preparing the duty rosters and other office work.
In increasingly stressful moments or unusual times, such as the situation with Covid-19, homesickness or the longing for local customs is not uncommon. "I have long since overcome the culture shock and I feel incredibly comfortable in Germany and love my job," adds the deputy ward manager. "Nevertheless, it is important to have people in your environment who have experienced something similar to what you have experienced yourself. For example, other Brazilians who share certain experiences and understand and support you, because of course not everything is always rosy. But even if there are difficult days, there hasn't been a single day when I didn't want to go towork, let alone change my job".
... offered to me, am very grateful for everything I have learned so far and consider myself very happy".