Guiding hand for Indonesian nurses

Program helps hospital ease assimilation for newcomers

Cultural barriers faced by Indonesian nurses who come to this country to work are gradually being lowered, but the government has yet to help the Japanese hospital staff adapt, according to Keio University professors who recently launched an in-house training program to teach the employees how best to welcome the new additions.

Staff at Saiseikai Yokohamashi Tobu Hospital in Kanagawa Prefecture received training earlier this month from Naomi Sugimoto, a professor of communications studies in Keio’s faculty of nursing and medical care, prior to the arrival of two Indonesian nurses last week.

“The government runs training courses for the Indonesian nurses, but I saw that there was no training for the Japanese staff who are taking them in,” Sugimoto said. “The fact that hospitals are accepting foreign employees for the first time means that their staff have never worked with foreigners, so they are very nervous.”