Stefan (Växjö, Sweden)

Stefan is a medical technician, who used to work in KBC Osijek and now lives and works in Sweden.

“If anyone decides to live in Sweden and work as a medical technician, they should be aware of the fact that they will be able to work in any department that they wish, when they wish to and to decide on the percentage of working time that their contract will be signed on (I speak of indefinite contracts, of course). As in the majority of European countries, there is a shortage of nurses/medical technicians in Sweden. Considering how current the situation is, I had expected that this shortage would have greater implications for my job when I first started working. I had worked in this profession for three and a half years in Croatia, so I do know what this means and what the consequences are. However, in this regard, the norms and working conditions are pretty high here and there is no digression at any cost. Due to such a system, we are able to enjoy a top-quality team work, work in satisfactory conditions, work with the most contemporary professional technology and the option of further education in the form of specialized studies for nurses or vocational education is available for all and free of charge. The system is exactly as it should be, and it is distinguished through its superb implementation of medical care and the holistic approach. Another fact, that is useful for us, is that this system, as many others, is well acquainted with foreigners. In fact, there are foreigners from all parts of the world, so there is no stigmatization or discrimination. I needed a relatively short period of time to be able to say that I feel very content and foremost especially respected as an expert in my profession. Honestly, I had no low expectations, but I have to admit they were all more than met.

The job interview went better than expected, in a friendly atmosphere and without stage fright, and I got an even higher salary than requested. And there, today, after 8 months of working and living in Sweden, with no doubt in my mind, I can say that all the hard work, all the time spent in learning the language and this whole journey of investing in myself and my future has certainly and is still being paid off with every day. With regard to the salary, which is exceptionally good, one also has the opportunity to choose independently whether you will work over-time. Apart from these hours being exceptionally well paid, these hours are also counted in the bank of working hours and you can trade them for days off later”.   

Branka i Nenad (Ljungby, Sweden)

Branka i Nenad are a nurse and a medical technician. Prior to their departure, they used to work in a hospital in Vukovar and now they live and work in Sweden.

“The moving process lasted a while; however, without the help of the agency it would hardly be possible. With regard to organisation, the journey for an interview was organised, the employment and all the necessary documentation that we obtained rather quickly in Sweden. The journey was paid and organised; we only had to board the plane and fly away. We were received warmly at the clinic, as it is usually the custom in Sweden. Regarding documentation, self-employment played a significant role, through which we got all the papers (personnummer). We were always treated kindly and our expectations were fulfilled. We warmly recommend this agency to anyone who wishes to start a life in Sweden, Denmark or Norway. For those who plan to move to Sweden, we also advise to learn the language intensively because it is essential, of course jointly with the education that one has obtained”.

Jasminka i Renato (Graz, Austria)

Jasminka is a radiologist and Renato a surgeon. Before their departure they worked in a hospital in Čakovac, and now they live and work in Austria.

“We started working in Austria a little under one year ago. The children adjusted well and they have already learned German. We are happy with our jobs, there are a lot of advancement and learning opportunities and the relations at work are great. We are happy with life in Austria. Everything is better organised and the salary is better than in Croatia.

Nermina (Jönköping, Sweden)

Nermina has a master’s degree in pharmacy and she used to work in Slavonski Brod, and now she lives and works in Sweden.

“In Sweden, a pharmacist does exactly what their job is. For those of us coming from Croatia, it is no easy task to get used to calling the doctor for every detail that is noted as irregular. You control the doses and you consult doctors in this regard. The doctors are grateful when you notice a mistake. Regarding the system of work – it was perfected! Everything is subordinated to good work and wellbeing of the patient. You have all possible information at your disposal, and the process of issuance of medicines also includes a review of potential interactions. The possibility of mistake when issuing a drug has been brought down to minimum due to a great number of points at which the correctness of the medicine is checked. Issuance of generic medicines is self-explanatory, but it is regulated at the state level, i.e. every month the cheapest generic medicine, i.e. producer is chosen, who is then issued as a priority and the patient has the option to pay the difference in price if they choose a different brand. The medicines are ordered automatically through in advance set parameters, and there are individual orders for patients. People work slightly more than in Croatia, but the salary and quality of work and life is therefore ten scales above the Croatian standard. There is a guaranteed 45-minute and two 15-minute breaks. Every minute of overtime is paid. Generally, the system itself has been elaborated till the tiniest detail and care is taken, so that every detail functions perfectly.

My son has adapted wonderfully to life in Sweden, as well as my husband, who also got a job in his profession. Throughout the two years that we have been living in Sweden, I can say that we have been very happy and content and we are very pleased that we had decided to take the first step and really move abroad. Now my sister, who has a master’s degree in pharmacy is also coming with her family”.  

Jasna (Växjö, Sweden)

Jasna used to work as a specialist pathologist in Zagreb and now she works and lives in the city of Växjö in Sweden.

“I have to say that I am very happy in Växjö and I believe it will remain that way. Although my stay here has only been short, I have already noticed numerous advantages.

The first advantage is certainly the salary, which is a lot better than in Croatia. Also, the laboratories are modernly equipped with the majority of the methods available today. There is a large library with books on pathology (both modern and older) in the department itself, good microscopes, good and well-equipped rooms (table and chairs with the option of height adjustment, everything else in medical rooms is adjusted to the work of the designated specialist), good allocation of the number of autopsies according to the number of pathologists. Nobody in the department gets too many or too few.

What I definitely consider as an advantage and is important to emphasize, are excellent relationships between colleagues and collaboration possibilities, both with the laboratory personnel and with fellow doctors. Working hours are flexible and can be adjusted according to personal needs. Also, the hospital invests continuously into its staff members by enabling them a variety of educational programs, seminars, congresses, vocational education and similar”.

Review – Dubravka (Esbjerg, Denmark) pathologist

Dubravka used to work as a specialist pathologist in Bjelovar, and today, she has been living and working for more than two years with her family in Esbjerg, Denmark. “In Denmark, as a pathologist, one focuses on a narrower area of pathology, which means 2 to maximum 3 areas of pathology, e.g. gastropathology, uropathology and similar, as it is done in Croatia at larger clinics. However, here, this is the case in every hospital. This allows you to dedicate your work fully to your particular area of specialization and always be informed about novelties related to your area. The guidelines are elaborated in detail here and are revised on an annual basis. You are regularly informed about the revisions and you are allowed to participate actively in their elaboration via different working groups in which you can present your opinion on the new guidelines.

Working conditions and the equipment are terrific, numerous modern methods are available and detailed analyses are conducted according to highest world standards. Team approach to patients is very important, so multidisciplinary meetings are held several times a week, during which doctors with different specializations plan the therapy and further diagnostics for every patient with malign disease or if there is a doubt of a malign disease.

Also, the way the medical personnel, e.g. surgeons, send you the materials for analysis is standardized. Everything is marked according to prescribed standards so that you can assess everything needed for a right diagnosis based on the provided materials.

The are only a few autopsies. They are only conducted in cases of unclear death cause. I, for example, do not personally conduct autopsies. I could if I wanted to, but I am not expected to. This allows for more time and for full dedication to microscope-analyses.

To write the findings, a voice recognition system is mainly used, which means that you dictate the findings on your computer and it automatically writes the findings. Sometimes the findings are dictated to a secretary or codes are used, which after entered, offer a standardized finished text for a particular diagnosis. All in all, writing of findings has been facilitated as much as possible.

My impression is that pathologists in Denmark play a more important role than in Croatia. They are not marginalized, but rather they are an integral part of the team, whose findings are equally taken into consideration in further planning of therapy.

Regular vocational education is important. Hence, regular participation in professional congresses, different courses and professional working groups is enabled.

Last, but not least, the salary. The salary is very good and one can live without any problems on one salary if the spouse decides not to work. We both decided to work”.