Sebastian Böhm experienced the hard daily work of nursing during an internship. Together with a medical student and a computer scientist, also from the Dachau district, he started the “Clapping for Future” project. The objective: to collect 168 million euros to enable nursing trainees to benefit from a grant.
SZ: Mr Böhm, how did you experience the situation of nursing staff during your internship?
Sebastian Böhm: I was deployed in geriatric psychiatry and social care. Working conditions are very bad everywhere. If you want to practice nursing today, you have before you an exhausting time and very hard physical work.
What is the reason for the bad conditions?
Because there is a shortage of nursing staff, they work on a piecework basis. As a result, those treated also suffer. They are washed in the morning and their teeth or dentures are brushed. You dress them and take them to breakfast. It happens like on an assembly line, there is no time for a pleasant conversation in the morning, but there is no other way. If you took more time, your basic needs should take a back seat.
How could politics improve conditions?
If there were more staff, we could respond much better to everyone and the nurses would be less stressed. Measures are therefore necessary to recruit staff. But the most important thing is the increase in salaries. It would be the easiest way to make the job more attractive.
The name of your project “Applause for the future” alludes to the time at the start of the corona pandemic when nursing staff were applauded.
Exactly. It was a nice gesture, but it had no effect. Recognition that goes beyond words and applause is important. For example, supporting projects that counter grievances in care. Our project creates an opportunity to do something without being politically responsible.
What is the purpose of “Applause for the Future”?
Our goal is to create a donation-funded scholarship for nursing trainees. We want to raise 168 million euros. This sum is necessary to enable all of the approximately 140,000 trainees to benefit from a scholarship of 100 euros per month, which they will receive for one year in addition to their salary. With this we want to offer an incentive to young people who toy with the idea of being taken care of. But it is also about expressing an appreciation that really brings something to the caregivers.
168 million euros is an ambitious goal. Is that even realistic?
We believe the sum is achievable. If you look at what has already been given to other projects, it is no longer so unrealistic. For example, during fundraisers for Ukraine, nearly 600 million euros were raised in less than four weeks. Of course, war cannot be equated with working conditions in nursing. But we are of the opinion that care in Germany also deserves donations.
What if the money raised is not enough?
We are recognized as a non-profit project. You only get this recognition if you make sure the money goes to charitable causes. If we cannot fund the scholarship, we will forward the donations to healthcare related institutions. Ideally, of course, to those who are actively involved in care. Our first goal is to collect as many donations as possible. But we also want to keep the topic up to date with our project. Because almost as important as the money is that the conditions of care are no longer forgotten.