Working Conditions for Medical Professionals in Norway

BY: Ingve GrovenAccount Manager Norway at MediCarrera
working conditions for medical professionals Norway

Medical professionals are more prone to burnout, a syndrome of emotional exhaustion and depersonalization than any other profession. Factors such as increased workload, less time per patient, working long hours and inadequately equipped hospitals are the cause. The consequences include feelings of detachment and lack of empathy towards patients while some medical professionals suffer from anxiety and depression. Healthcare organisations have to improve working conditions for medical professionals and prevent that from happening.

The advanced healthcare system in Norway ensures both the medical professionals with good working conditions and patients with high-quality medical care. Here’s what the working conditions include:

1. Modern hospital infrastructure

Norway is one of the most advanced countries in digitalising its hospitals. All hospitals are equipped with high-end IT solutions that reduce the chance of errors. Moreover, the entire IT system of the hospitals in Norway is synchronised. This innovative approach to IT benefits both the doctors and patients as it emphasises the role that information sharing plays. Most hospitals in Norway have modern equipment for medical professionals to work with, while the overall structure is very advanced.

“I was positively surprised with the hospital’s equipment. Even though it’s a small hospital, they have everything they may need.”

                           Lukasz, a general surgeon from Poland working in Norway

2. Flat hierarchy in hospitals

More often than not, it’s the human approach that eases the pressure and prevents burnout. The Norwegian healthcare system opts for a flat hierarchy in the hospitals, which ensures that kind of approach. Even though everyone still has a superior, he/she will most likely informally speak to you.

“Right from the beginning, I felt very welcome at the hospital. My boss brought me to the police, tax office and so on, in order to get all the paperwork done.”

Amra, a radiologist from Slovenia working in Norway

More often than not, it’s the human approach that eases the pressure and prevents burnout. The Norwegian healthcare system opts for a flat hierarchy in the hospitals, which ensures that kind of approach.

3. Flexible working hours

Employers in Norway provide you with a flexible arrangement and are excessively patient with people and their families. You always have time for your family and their needs. If your child is sick, you can pick it up and easily log into the hospital system and complete admin tasks from home. Being entitled to a flexible working arrangement reduces both physical and mental stress.

“In Norway, you work fewer hours, and you don’t have that many patients, so you have more time to take care of each of them. In Mosjøen there’s more focus on balance between work and private life.”

Aloys, a neurologist from Belgium working in Norway

4. Not too many overtime hours

The working schedule in Norway is known to be less demanding than in other European countries. An average doctor in Norway works around eight hours a day, while the country is in the top three with the lowest working hours according to OECD. High demanding schedules make it impossible to spend enough time with a patient, and in Norway, the focus is always on the patient.

If your working hours exceed 40 hours per week, it’s considered overtime work, which can be conducted only if the need is exceptional and limited. You can choose whether you want to be paid for the overtime or take extra holidays.

“In Norway, you generally have more time for the patients and for discussing cases with your colleagues.”

Petra, a child psychiatrist from Slovenia working in Norway

5. Reasonably organised guard duties and team spirit

There’s no risk of being the only one who does the guard duties. The guards are divided between all the specialists in the department, independently of seniority. This is also a result of the non-hierarchical healthcare organisation. Furthermore, the team feeling, sticking up for each other and collaborating is very common in the Norwegian healthcare system.

“In the beginning, I had a colleague next to me, and someone always went through the descriptions I wrote in order to check that everything was correct.” 

Amra, a radiologist from Slovenia working in Norway

Are you a medical professional looking for better working conditions, flexibility and work-life balance? Register here and explore career opportunities in Norway.


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