Posts in the Nursing category

Text & Photo: Minna Metsäportti, M.A. Senior Lecturer in English, Language Centre, Tampere University of Applied Sciences 


Taitava Neonataalihoitaja (Skilled Neonatal Nurse, 30 ECTS) is a specialised professional study programme organised by five Finnish university hospitals. It is intended for nurses working in neonatal intensive care units, high dependency units and neonatal wards. The professional English studies (2 ECTS) belonging to the study entity were provided by TAMK Language Centre, this spring for the third time.  

A total of thirty-six neonatal nurses from the university hospitals of Tampere, Helsinki, Oulu, Turku and Kuopio studied in our Tabula learning environment. The aims of the course included practising how to successfully instruct English-speaking parents to participate in the care of their premature baby, as well as improving one’s competence to read and utilise scientific publications.

One of the characteristic methods throughout the course was collaborative learning.

The shared contributions led to productive threads which enabled the participants to get familiar with other hospitals’ care practices and to learn from other nursing colleagues’ experiences.

Part of the professional English studies was implemented with a colleague from the University of Tampere. Working on research articles was integrated into a Finnish course on written communication with the purpose of supporting the participants  in their overall learning process during the ongoing programme, as well as encouraging self-study to stay updated with current neonatalogy practices also after the completion of the course.

The course was received well by neonatal nurses, achieving the set goals successfully. Flexible schedule and specifically tailored course content were appreciated by the participants, many of whom felt strongly motivated to continue improving and maintaining their English.

For an educator the opportunity to design a professional language course to respond to working life requirements is a rewarding experience. Intense collaboration with professionals and authentic course elements offer a welcomed insight into a special field, thus paving the way for the design, development and implementation of similar training programmes in the future.


Text and photo: Kirsi Saarinen & Minna Metsäportti


The fourth Fast Track to Professional English course took place in spring 2018. Students from the fields of engineering and health care accomplished their compulsory professional English courses by studying together in our 5-week Tabula-based web course.

This spring we had a German colleague participating in the course. Mr. Hubertus Weyer gave an interactive Skype lecture on “Tool box meeting as a communication act in health and safety”.

One of the main aims in Fast Track English is to form mixed teams, plan and work on the final project. In the earlier courses, students have designed and worked on a variety of topics such as “Healthy Building” and “Microchip Technology in Paramedicine”.

This spring we chose another approach.  Students discussed, reflected on and presented their views on what the forthcoming digital learning environment of Tampere3 should be like.  The students’ suggestions were included in the initial planning stage of the environment development.

The fifth Fast track English will start in autumn. The concept will be developed further and new approaches will be adopted. A special emphasis will be given to examining and analyzing students’ experiences of studying and learning in a multi-professional student group.


Senior Lecturers of Nursing Taru Lehtimäki and Sanna Laiho are involved in an Erasmus+ funded project Communication for Professionals-Nursing (2014 – 2017). The purpose of the project is to create a multilinguistic learning environment for language learning purposes for (pre)professional nursing staff. The goal of the end-product (learning environment NoM= Nursing on the Move) is to support mobility and encourage immigration of nurses.

Part of the project involves student cooperation between Finnish nursing students and Belgian communication students. The students record videos about nursing situations, which will be used as a learning material in the e-learning platform NoM.

There has been two workshops, in May 2015 in Tampere, and in September 2015 in Antwerp. The mobility to Belgium for five students and two teachers from the School of Health Care was funded by Erasmus+ exchange programme.

The international and multicultural cooperation with students and teachers has been very productive, inspiring and educational experience for all the participants.

relatives Antwerp

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Text and photo: Sanna Laiho