Experience of Tommy, a physiotherapist in Switzerland
Tommy is 25 years old and went to Switzerland in 2018 to work as a physiotherapist. After working in Switzerland for half a year, Tommy is happy to share his experience with us.
“I had just graduated and couldn’t immediately find a job in the Netherlands, so I decided to look beyond my own country. I have worked abroad a few times before, which was always very good. Since I really like mountain sports, such as snowboarding and mountain biking, I went to see if I could work in Switzerland as a physiotherapist.
The last few months of my internship I had been looking for work. At one point I saw something nice passing by on www.caretomatch.nl in Switzerland. They helped me by guiding me and arranging several job interviews. In September I had a job application where I could finally start October 1st. I was well supervised and I first had job interviews by telephone. Subsequently, at CareToMatch’s expense, I went to Switzerland to conduct interviews with Dutch owners at a number of practices. In the end I chose my current practice, which turned out to be a good choice. CareToMatch gave me a handy step-by-step plan with tips for all the things I had to arrange. Visa, residence, language course and registration with the Swiss Red Cross (SRK) for recognition of my diploma (similar to the BIG recognition in The Netherlands).
Working in the mountains
The reason why I wanted to work in Switzerland was because of the nature. I now live near a ski area and there is also a lake nearby for water sports enthusiasts. Now that I live there, I discover more and more what there is to do. It is also easy to get to know people here. This way you can easily register with associations. I myself have noticed that Swiss people can sometimes be a bit closed to really become friends with. But they are very nice and friendly.
In addition to a nice job and environment to live in, it is also important that you speak the language. I’m taking a German course and that makes a difference. Swiss German is very different, much more dialect. In the past year I have asked a lot of patients if they can speak High German so that I can understand them too. In addition, you must have completed a German course for your Anerkennung at the SRK. It is of course important to be able to communicate with your patients, which also occasionally involves terms that are important as a physiotherapist, such as the names of limbs.
Quality, intervision and administration
I also really enjoy working here. For example, we have a kind of internal training every week, where we discuss new techniques. And if someone has been on a course, we can all learn a lot from it. Because I have worked here a lot and have worked many hours, I think that as a starting physiotherapist I have already been able to learn and see a lot.
The biggest difference between working here and working in the Netherlands is that they require less administrative work from the health insurer. In the Netherlands they determine a lot of what you have to record. Here I record what I do, for example measurements. And then I make a report of that, but that is more for the patient rather than for the health insurer.
I would say do what you like! If you think it’s too much work, go for it! I was completely free to go where I wanted to go. Just do it. Look at the country you want to go to, make sure you speak the language a bit. Also ensures that you are more easily included in the environment where you live and work. And I wouldn’t hesitate. If you’ve always had the desire, go on the adventure and see what happens. You can’t regret never doing it, even if it didn’t work out.”
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