On the 23rd of February the UAF Zorgdag (care day) was organized by the UAF. UAF is a foundation that supports higher educated refugees with their studies and finding a job in the Netherlands. This workshop day was organized for newcomers who are working on their assessment to become a licensed healthcare worker in the Netherlands or follow a medical course at a Dutch university.

The aim of the day was to work on their professional development and to exchange experiences with colleagues in healthcare. In addition, the newcomers could increase their network and gain knowledge with which could strengthen their position on the labor market.

The day started with a warm welcome by Stannie Maessen, regional coordinator North West, followed by a presentation of Shabnam Ghahramani, general practitioner and board member of the VBGA. She explained her journey of getting licensed as a healthcare worker again, with all the challenges and positive experiences on the way. She motivated the newcomers to be pro-active, assertive and to never give up.

UAF and Health[e]Foundation

After the inspirational talk by Shabnam, Health[e]Foundation was granted the opportunity to introduce the Health[e]Refugees e-learning. This e-learning course was implemented in 2018 and contains five modules concerning Dutch healthcare and most common health problems among migrants/refugees and how they occur and are treated in the Dutch setting. The program is designed for newcomers with a medical or social background. Therefore it is interesting to implement in the assessment trajectory of newcomers who want to be licensed again as a healthcare worker. In the process of getting licensed, UAF students can be guided by a mentor. During the UAF Zorgdag the plan of implementing the Health[e]Refugees course in the trajectory where they can be tutored by the mentors was pitched and questionnaires for both newcomers and mentors were distributed to receive feedback and check the needs of the newcomers.

The first reactions of the group were positive and the outcomes of the questionnaires show that the newcomers are interested in the course, think it is useful for their integration and can help with the assessment procedure. Also, the mentors are positive about offering the e-learning and guiding the students. The mentors advised that contact and networking are important for the students. Therefore more meetings for groups of students are recommended.

The rest of the day was filled with parallel workshops concerning, autonomy in healthcare, shared decision making, peer review and how to be an effective mentor.

It was an interesting day and with the feedback, UAF and Health[e]Foundation will further plan and explore how the Health[e]Refugees course can be implemented in the UAF trajectory.