Keeping patients safe: our next #Europeanhero is a hospital cleaner

Juliana and her colleagues outside the hospital where she works
Juliana and her colleagues outside the hospital where she works
By Alexandra LeistnerEmily Commander
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When Juliana Vintala was working as a tax consultant in Romania, she never envisaged working as a cleaner. But in Vienna, she found work as a hospital cleaner, and this #Europeanhero is pleased to make patients more comfortable.


From tax consultant to hospital cleaner: it's not a classic career path, but it's the one that Juliana Vintila has taken, and one which will be familiar to other economic migrants within Europe.

Juliana Vintila moved from Romania to Vienna in Austria four years ago, and immediately started working as a cleaner. She has since progressed to the position of forewoman of a team that works in a hospital. She looks after the other cleaners' schedules, checks their work, and is in charge of planning... but she still cleans hospital rooms herself, too.

Essential service

Their job may not be glamorous, but hospital cleaners do vital work. By making hospitals visibly clean they can improve patients' sense of safety and wellbeing. Cleanliness can also help to prevent the spread of infection. Hospital cleaners, as well as doctors and nurses, merit the title of #Europeanheroes for their largely unsung contribution to public health.

Juliana enjoys the fact that her work "makes a difference to other people because patients feel more comfortable in their rooms when they are clean". Patients are "always very friendly, and they thank the cleaning staff for their work".

This makes for a good atmosphere at work, and Juliana enjoys the good relationship she has with her team and her boss.

Economic considerations

Cleaning hospitals earns Juliana Vintila a higher salary in Austria than she had as a tax consultant in Romania, and this was the reason that she took the job in the first place.

It's not just Juliana that benefits economically from her work. She introduced her husband to the cleaning company she works for, Reiwag, and he now cleans for them too, meaning that the couple are able to spend more time together.

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