Anastasia Gonţa, primary health care nurse in the Republic of Moldova, chose not to emigrate
"Nothing can compare with the work that I do with all my heart, in my country, and to which I have dedicated my life." – Anastasia Gonţa
This year, it will be 34 years since I started work as a nurse in the health system. I can hardly believe that all these years have passed…I began my career in 1979 when I graduated from medical school in Chisinau. Ever since I was a child I had dreamed of becoming a health professional, probably because I was a rather sickly child. Hence, the image of the doctor in the white coat has remained forever in my memory: the white coat is like a saint's symbol for me – something immaculate and extremely valuable. So, I followed my dream, I studied and have since dedicated my life to this noble profession.
Transition to family medicine
For a good part of my career I worked in the Soviet medical system, alongside a therapist-doctor. Since the 1990s, when the country switched to family medicine, things have changed. Nurses have started to gain more responsibility and this has reconfirmed the need for people with tolerance, empathy, warmth and concentration.
Today I work in one of the most modern institutions for primary health care: the University Clinic of Primary Health Care, established in 2003. I am part of the family doctors’ team. We care for a population of 1500, including pregnant women; people of all ages, from new-born babies to elderly people; and patients with chronic diseases. We offer care from the very first days of a child’s life: to complete the vaccination schedule, verify any post-vaccination reactions, monitor infants’ development indicators and visit them at home whenever necessary. We monitor the health of people with chronic diseases and elderly people, and carry out tests and check-ups. We also ensure that patients in other risk groups have all the necessary screenings and controls. We discuss the importance of vaccination and healthy diet with the mothers-to-be, and the importance of healthy lifestyle, physical activity and correct adherence to treatment with the patients with chronic disease.
Modern facilities and continuous education
In the University Clinic of Primary Health Care we have the chance to work with modern techniques and to constantly improve our knowledge, as nurses are always involved in different training and courses in family medicine. Qualities such as altruism, care and attention for the patient, and patience are essential for good professionals. I think that a good nurse should be well trained and have broad experience. Beside the good working conditions in the Clinic, the health workers also have access to medical literature and the Internet.
Decision to remain in the Republic of Moldova
I did think about leaving the country and working abroad. Many of my relatives are well settled with their families in Europe, especially in Italy. Together with a good friend of mine, I started to gather all the necessary documents for the so-called working contract in Italy, for employment as a carer in an asylum for elderly people. I was extremely glad that this would provide a better salary and also enable me to take my family with me. But then I understood that it was all a big lie – that we wouldn’t have a contract and that we were about to give money to some fraudsters. We withdrew our application immediately when we understood that we were about to be deceived. I did keep the envelope containing the documents for Italy but recently ripped it up. Nothing can compare with one’s family, homeland and roots. I am glad that I can continue my work in a model institution in the Republic of Moldova, helping my patients and living at home, where I also have a lot of joy (as well as difficulties).