Integration of migrants and foreign-trained workers is often a challenge for themselves and for health care institutions as well. Employees need to have a shared understanding of the structure, functioning and culture of the institution and be able to communicate effectively with colleagues in order to deliver high quality health care. To turn the challenge of integration into an opportunity, the know-how, experience, skills and talents of all employees need to be valued and activated. Doing so, institutions provide a base for employees to develop their full potential.
There are a number of strategies that health care institutions can use to promote integration of foreign workers and contribute to shared values and practices among staff. These may include language classes, diversity awareness training, information sessions and social activities.
Diversity awareness training aims to promote teamwork and respect among employees, as well as prevent offensive behaviors and unintentional antagonism. Training topics may include diversity as an opportunity for the institution and the teams and diversity as a challenge in regard to discriminatory behaviors at work. Local language classes for foreign-language speaking doctors, nurses or other employees are keys to promoting effective communication among employees and with patients. Social activities that contribute to integration may include team-building events, mentoring schemes, sport and cultural activities.