In the footsteps of Albert Schweitzer
Even as a child, Anett knew she wanted to work in the health care sector and go overseas. She is now Director of Nursing at a Munich hospital and development worker in Yemen. With an IUBH Distance Learning bachelor degree programme in health management, she is now adding an academic backbone to her career.
When I was 10 years old, I read Albert Schweitzer’s book “Letters from Lambaréné”. His reports about building a hospital in Central Africa, diseases, cultural differences and challenges made a lasting impression on me. I knew I wanted to work in paediatric nursing and development aid. As a GDR citizen, my freedom to travel was severely restricted at that time and the only way to build a career in the health care sector overseas was as a development worker. The prerequisite for this was a nursing training programme, so I starting my training as a paediatric nurse in my hometown of Leipzig.
“The country and its way of life still shape me to this day”
The reunification of Germany in 1990 opened up completely different possibilities. Right after completing my training programme, I moved to Munich and at the age of 20 and started my career as a paediatric nurse at Munich University Haunerschen Children’s Hospital. Then I went to Yemen as a health care development worker, where I have worked for over five years. During this time, I have taken on management responsibilities, helped set up a quality management system and trained paediatric nurses. The country and its way of life shape me to this day and have a positive, lasting impact on my current work as Director of Nursing at the children’s clinic. I have learned to improvise and be open-minded, and am thankful for the high standard of living in Germany and being able to speak Arabic. Speaking the language often benefits me when I translate for Arabic- speaking children and their relatives – mostly refugees without an interpreter.
Flexibility and academic knowledge are important for the career
After returning from Yemen, I knew that I wanted to focus professionally on the area of nursing management and completed the required educational qualifications to be a director of nursing. I have now worked in this position at various children’s hospitals in Munich. One of the big challenges is leading the staff – there are currently about 320 employees. I love the job because I like working with people.
Another challenge is dealing with the economic aspects of health care, an area of increasing importance. In order to stay on par with the board of directors, doctors, colleagues etc. I need background knowledge at an academic level. As Director of Nursing, I also serve as a role model. With regard to the increased demand for academic qualifications in the nursing profession, an academic degree is indispensable for me. The online degree programme at IUBH is the perfect choice for me: tailored to my personal life circumstances the IUBH degree programme gives me the highest flexible and provides up-to-date pertinent specialist knowledge. In a field of work that is changing as fast as the health care market, this is very valuable.
It’s worth the effort
Of course, it is hard to keep up with the coursework in addition to work and family. The results however, make the effort worthwhile for me. Today I understand significantly more about budget negotiations and key financial indicators than before my studies. I not only look forward to completing my bachelor’s degree at IUBH but also plan to continue my personal and professional development with a subsequent master’s degree so that I can take on additional professional assignments overseas.