german healthcare system

Hospitals and healthcare institutions represent one of the central cores of society, and the German healthcare system is no different. Whether you’re already an experienced nurse or are still studying at a local medical university, Germany might just be the place for you. According to official Eurostat data from 2018, the number of healthcare nurses and assistants working in German hospitals (excluding other healthcare institutions) is as follows:

  • Nursing professionals and midwives – 463,000
  • Nursing associate professionals – 51,000

of that number there are:

  • Full-time nursing professionals – 350,000
  • Full-time nursing associates – 35,000

This means that a large majority of German healthcare nurse professionals were employed full-time with all the perks and career opportunities that come with it. The German healthcare system is one of the most well-developed and self-sustaining systems out there, allowing foreign nurse professionals to easily integrate themselves into it.

Data by Statista from 2021 indicates that 1914 hospitals are operating within Germany, with 498,400 hospital beds ready for patient care. There is both a want and a need for healthcare nurses from around the EU to migrate into Germany and start working in healthcare full-time. These points don’t even take other healthcare institutions such as hospices, elderly homes, and private clinics into the equation, which adds even more professional opportunities for healthcare professionals from abroad in the German healthcare system.

However, there are certain qualifications, traits, and characteristics expected from every healthcare nurse who plans to move abroad to Germany. Here’s what you can work on if you plan to work in Germany as a healthcare nurse soon with Jobs OneGlobe.

1. Compassion and Empathy

First and foremost, healthcare nurses need to show empathy toward the patients they work with. This is the fundamental trait of a good nurse, a trait that is more than welcome in the German healthcare system. Becoming a healthcare nurse means that you should be ready to show compassion, understanding, and empathy not only toward patients but to colleagues as well. Hospital work is teamwork, and teamwork constitutes mutual understanding and communication.

2. Teamwork and Collaboration

As a nurse, you will constantly be tasked to work with others in whichever healthcare institution you are employed in within the German healthcare system. Whether you work in a general hospital, hospice, or private clinic, working with nurses and doctors is part of everyday life.

This is why institutions are always on the lookout for team-oriented nurses who are ready to work as part of a larger staff. Working with others isn’t easy as you’ll have to learn about their work styles, preferences, character traits, etc. to make the most of it. But, this will make you more of a people’s person than before and you’ll look forward to collaborating with healthcare professionals more and more every day.

3. Effective Communication

It is essential that healthcare professionals are good communicators, both when talking to patients and other nurses and doctors. To do that, you’ll need to become objective about how you communicate information, thoughts, and opinions. Working in Germany will also require you to speak German as fluently as possible to avoid communication barriers.

You can start learning German with OneGlobe Language Learning before transitioning to a certified language course either locally or online. The German healthcare system will require you to have at least an A2/B1 certificate to become employed as a nurse. While not insurmountable, it is an obstacle you should think about overcoming on time to become a better communicator.

4. Proactive and Solution-Oriented

There will come a time when you are asked to think outside the box as a nurse. You may be working a night shift and have particularly difficult patients to work with. You may work in an overcrowded ward or lack certain supplies at the moment and need to keep working efficiently.

Nurses have to be proactive and think on their feet at all times. The patients you work with will look to you for answers when they’re hurting, scared, or have questions about their state of health. Nurses cannot be bogged down by problems – they need to think about solutions and stay proactive. Working in the German healthcare system or any other healthcare system in the world will require this of you.

5. Open to New Learning Experiences

While you’ve undoubtedly gone through medical training and practice during your university years, being a nurse is a life-long learning experience. You will not only be able to learn new things daily but you will often be asked to do so regardless of your mood or energy. Nurses are often met with new equipment, medicine, patient profiles, and other unknown situations.

Adapting to your new situation and learning from it is pivotal for healthcare nurses. As your experience expands, you will gain the ability to specialize in certain fields, rise through medical ranks, and become an essential part of your healthcare institution. By learning, you will effectively widen your career opportunities within healthcare unlike ever before, especially if you work in the German healthcare system where proactivity is more than welcome.

6. Stamina and Persistence

Being a healthcare nurse is taxing, both physically and mentally. You’ll often have to endure long hours, extensive workload, and multitask on a daily. This means that nursing isn’t for everyone but it can be very lucrative for people who devote their careers to it.

According to Destatis, there were 954,000 people employed in various healthcare institutions ranging from residential care homes to support services, with 616,000 working part-time. Many people are genuinely passionate about healthcare and love to work on helping others around them. But, this does take a toll and you’ll need good stamina and mental persistence to stay in the profession long-term.

7. Discretion and Respect for Others

Being admitted to an institution in the German healthcare system isn’t glamorous – this is why many patients want you to be as discreet as possible. Some patients will be uncomfortable with the fact that they’re physically exposed to medical treatments, nursing, and other hospital-related activities.

Healthcare nurses need to be as understanding and discreet about their patients as possible. Knowing how to communicate that fact to patients will make you a great healthcare nurse and make you a favorite among your colleagues. Be mindful of everyone’s wants and needs in your institution and the German healthcare system will always have a place for you.

8. Attention to Details

While you won’t be asked to act as a full-time doctor in the German healthcare system, you’ll need to pay very close attention to your work. This is especially important for foreign nurses who are coming to Germany from other EU countries and need to comprehend German very well.

You’ll need to read and interpret medical files, prescriptions, instructions, and to understand what your colleagues are asking you to do. Having a keen eye for details will help you establish yourself as a healthcare professional fast. Mistakes can often lead to critical problems in healthcare, so being attentive and having your eyes open at all times is an essential skill to have as a nurse.

9. Long-Term Career Dedication

Nursing is a complex, multi-layered profession that will require you to learn the ins and outs of whichever healthcare institution you work for. As such, employers are looking for nurses who are ready to commit at least several years of their life at a time to the job. Both full-time and part-time nurses need to be committed to the profession if they want to move up the ladder, learn new things, and improve their career prospects.

Treating nursing as just another job that you can leave at any point won’t earn you any favor. Instead, try to map out your professional career a few years in advance and stick to it. Integrating yourself into the German healthcare system with a clear career path in mind will help your development significantly and showcase how serious and dedicated you are as a healthcare professional.

10. Flexibility and Quick to Adjust

Finally, you can never know what kind of a situation you will find yourself in when working as a nurse. Despite how well-organized the German healthcare system is, you can still find yourself in unfamiliar, challenging situations as a nurse. You may have to cover someone else’s shift, tend to more patients than you thought you would, or work extended shifts for whatever reason.

Being a flexible person who can adjust to new situations quickly will work in your favor when moving abroad to work. Your colleagues will notice how passionate you are about being a nurse and you won’t have any issues building a name for yourself within the German healthcare system with such an attitude.

Planning to Work in the German Healthcare System as a Nurse?

Now that we’ve discussed what it takes for you to be a great healthcare nurse, let’s discuss how you can apply for work as a nurse in the German healthcare system. The process of applying for a job on Jobs OneGlobe is extremely easy – all you need to do is complete 3 steps to get started:

  1. Create your Jobs OneGlobe account
  2. Use our professional CV builder to create your CV
  3. Check out the available healthcare nurse job listings and apply

We highly recommend using our CV builder to create your CV so that potential healthcare employers can read through your information more easily. Jobs OneGlobe is designed in a way that allows employers to acquire CV visibility packages. These packages allow employers to browse candidate CVs on their own time, meaning that healthcare institutions can reach out to you with job opportunities at any moment. This will make your journey toward the German healthcare system that much simpler, so start using Jobs OneGlobe today and create your CV.

Wrapping Up

Working in the German healthcare system is rewarding, challenging, and dynamic above all else. If you’re intending to apply for a job in German healthcare, consider working on some of these qualities. Healthcare employers emphasize candidates who are empathetic, compassionate and love working with others.

After all, healthcare is all about helping others, and Jobs OneGlobe is there to help you get started. Once you get in touch with employers through our platform, your prospects will skyrocket. If working in the German healthcare system is your goal, Jobs OneGlobe will provide you with the platform you need to start.

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