Alberto Garcia, who was trained as a registered nurse in Spain, could not work in his profession without official recognition. Since Garcia has received his letter of recognition, he has been working as a health care worker and nurse in Baden-Württemberg and receives remuneration appropriate to his qualification.
New country, new language, new culture – it was the desire for change that brought Alberto Garcia from Spain to Germany. Since July 2013, the registered nurse has been living in Bad Peterstal-Griesbach in Baden-Württemberg. In the meantime he has already settled in very well: "I had expected to have more problems. But actually the cases are not as acute here as I thought, and the language caused problems only initially."
At the MediClin orthopaedic rehabilitation clinic, Garcia concluded a permanent contract immediately, but due to the missing recognition he was employed only as an auxiliary nurse at first. At the beginning the 26-year-old received some help from his colleagues at MediClin and his superior even assisted him in gathering all the documents needed for the recognition procedure.
In order to work as a registered nurse, completing a course of study is required in Spain, unlike in Germany. "For that reason it was difficult to find out which documents are important for the equivalence. I had to fly to Spain to gather all the paperwork – that's why everything took a little bit longer," Alberto Garcia recounts. In December 2013 he was finally able to submit all documents, and in February 2014 he received full recognition. "Thanks to the recognition I can work in my profession and receive the corresponding pay."
Based on his work experience and his solid education in Spain, Garcia didn't have to undertake any further training. But the nurse was happy to take the German language instruction course: "Since the German language was still new to me, I had to start doing the simpler tasks. And the reason was not that I couldn't master the other tasks! As time passed by, I learnt all the words that I need for my work and then was allowed to do the rounds with the physician."
But friendships outside the workplace are also important for the young Spanish nurse to feel at home in his new country. "At the football club I found a lot of mates who support me and help me if problems arise. I can always count on them."
Photograph: © Portal “Recognition in Germany“/BIBB
The interview with Mr Garcia was conducted in July 2014.
Saad Wakil had just completed his bachelor’s degree in engineering. War then broke out in Syria and he was forced to flee the country. The certificate assessment in Germany opened up new opportunities for him.