Initiative beats kanji knowledge

Chiba

Regarding Franz Pichler’s Feb. 5 letter, “Only Japanese-speaking nurses“: What Pichler seems not to appreciate is that it is not a question of Indonesian nurses being unable to speak Japanese. After three years in a Japanese environment, I’m sure that most of them have a level of Japanese proficiency that’s way ahead of a good number of Europeans I’ve met who claim to be fluent.

If the nurse-certification tests are like their equivalents in other walks of life, they are designed to weed out “un-Japaneseness” as decided by the civil servants who run this country. The tests will have nit-picking questions that focus on memorization of useless information rather than on practical ability.

I would prefer a nurse who uses initiative and is open to important facts such as changes in symptoms rather than one who is afraid to question the diagnoses of superiors. I couldn’t care less what language they speak or where they come from.

I would suggest that if Pichler ever needs a nurse, he should try the Sinology department of one of the top universities. That would be the only place to find a person who can read “all the kanji,” although I don’t know how much nursing experience those scholars would have.

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

jim makin