Sunday, 15 January 2017

Concerns of an Olah who is a Dietician


The previous two posts have focused on details related to types of salaries and working conditions for health professionals in Israel. These can be seen on the links here:
 

Following the second post, I received a message from a dietician who has given me permission to share her experience. 
 
"Hi! I saw your post on the FaceBook group "Keep Olim" about health professionals. I am a registered dietitian who made aliyah recently. In American hospitals, dietitian salaries are often much lower than other healthcare professionals (~$40,000 or so per year), even though we are managing tube feedings, ordering and evaluating labs, etc. the reasons given for the low salary tends to be that we are a female dominated profession, and that we don't make the hospital money -- joint commission requires all admitted patients be seen but we are not a "billable service" such as PT, etc. Anyway, apparently full time hospital dietitians in Israel only make 6000 NIS per month. I don't understand how people survive like this. I have my MS degree, had to do a year of clinicals, took a national exam to get my license, and have to get continuing education credits to maintain my license. I've heard many dietitians work multiple part time jobs. I read one post from a dietitian who said she is cleaning houses for money on top of her regular job. I still have to take the exam to get licensed here but I'm worried I will have to give up a career that I love and am passionate about in order to survive here.

I have five years experience, including being the cardiac dietitian and cardiac intensive care unit dietitian for a hospital, which is ranked #5 in America for cardiology! I have a concern as to how will I ever be able to pay back my American student loans with this salary? I can not begin working in Israel until I have my license and have to wait for the next date to write my exam."

This is a very understandable concern and one that many Olim face. Have you found a similar situation? How did you overcome it?  

This post is prepared for you by
Occupational Therapist, healing facilitator, certified infant massage instructor, freelance writer and co-author of "Tuvia Finds His Freedom" and author of "Healing Your Life Through Activity - An Occupational Therapist's Story"
 

Monday, 9 January 2017

Further Information Regarding Health Professionals in Israel






Yesterday I posted an article in response to a message I had received from a registered nurse regarding low salary and conditions for nurses and other health professionals in Israel. I have had two responses to this. 


The first response in came from another nurse. She says:
   "Hi. I am a nurse with 30 years experience. I work in an NICU, and have a B.N., and an M.A. I have completed an ICU course.The work is challenging, and the pay is about half of what I'd receive if I were working abroad. The staffing sucks, as despite the fact that the Ministry of Health has agreed more nurses are required, the Kupot haven't found the money to increase the staffing. After almost 20 years of working here, and over a decade abroad, I make about 60 shekels an hour. On addition, due to the staffing situation, at times you are almost bullied to suck it up and come to work, even if you are under the weather. Yes, this happens, even if you are endangering the health of those around you. But this is the situation... Maybe before I retire things will improve, but I won't hold my breath."

Some hours later I received a message from a Physio who says:  "I am a Physio. When I first made Aliyah I worked in a hospital for about 24₪ an hour with a little   more for on calls and extra for Shabbatot. It is horrible pay. I left after 5 years and the pay had risen to about 29₪ and that was with 2 pay raises. 
I had 2 years experience when I began working and I started to work there about 10 years ago, left 5 years ago. I still work as a PT in a different facility." - The reader should note that this salary would go back to 2007 - 2011 or 2012. Have the salaries improved at all?

I am not sure and I wish I could say that they have. I do know that 2 years ago when I was asked to cover an occupational therapist on maternity leave therapist the facility wanted to pay me ₪23 an hour.

Salary scales such as these are low and depressing. How are high school students supposed to be motivated to spend time studying for a profession that will reimburse them for hard, responsible work at such a low salary. How do we expect to inspire those in the diaspora to Make Aliyah when their chances of earning within their profession will be met with low salaries?

What about the working conditions? It is not acceptable to expect health professionals to work in a state of health that will become a danger to the health and well being of those around them.  There has to be a solution to this.

If you are a health professional and have worked in Israel, please be in touch and let us know your experience. Also, if you have any suggestions as to how to improve conditions for health professionals in Israel, we'd love to hear them. 

Lastly, if you are an occupational therapist and interested in working privately, please be in touch to join our monthly privately practitioners meeting.

This post is prepared for you by
Occupational Therapist, healing facilitator, certified infant massage instructor, freelance writer and co-author of "Tuvia Finds His Freedom" and author of "Healing Your Life Through Activity - An Occupational Therapist's Story"
 

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Possible Salary and Conditions for Health Professionals in Israel


I received a message from a nurse in Israel in response to my promoting my book about occupational therapy. Within the content of a long message was something that bothers me. She expressed that the job situation is Israel is generally bad and salaries are low across the board. She continued to share a few thoughts of nursing in Israel which were quite concerning. 

She asked if an OT earns more than ₪35 an hour continuing to say that a nurse working in a hospital will be treated like a slave. This is not only in terms of pay but denial of sick leave. I was particularly alarmed to hear that a nurse might be expected to come to work even with a raging temperature. How can that be? What about risk of infecting those around her especially the patients? Is this an isolated incident? I'd love to hear from other nurses, I hope this nurse was just having a bad day. Expecting a nurse to work when ill is a problem on many levels.

Some of the discussion came back to low salary and reminded me of a dietician stating that if an OT is offered work at ₪40 an hour, that would be more than what she receives with well over 25 years experience. 

Low salaries is the reason one OT shared as to why she gave up being an OT after 18 years in the profession. These facts are the reason that organizations for Olim tend to recommend cleaning houses which can bring in ₪40-60 an hour. Why are salaries so low for health professionals? 

What are your thoughts about professionals in Israel? Do you agree they deserve better salaries? What about working conditions? Have you experienced being expected to over work? I'd love to hear your experience. If you have a story you would like to share as a guest post, do be in touch.

Wishing you a blessed week.

This post is prepared for you by
Occupational Therapist, healing facilitator, certified infant massage instructor, freelance writer and co-author of "Tuvia Finds His Freedom" and author of "Healing Your Life Through Activity - An Occupational Therapist's Story"

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