HCM CITY — The poor quality of nursing education in HCM City has resulted in a severe shortage of competent nurses at a time when demand for them at hospitals is increasing, according to experts.
As a result, the city is not likely to achieve its target of having 3-3.5 nurses for every doctor by the end of this year. The current ratio is around 2:1.
Assoc Prof Dr Cao Van Thinh, head of the nursing and medical techniques faculty at the Pham Ngoc Thach Medical University, said the huge demand at hospitals coud not be met because most graduates from nursing schools failed to qualify for the job.
He blamed the poor quality of training on the lax oversight of nursing courses offered by a myriad of universities and colleges.
Truong Quang Dinh, deputy director of the city-based Children's Hospital No2, said his hospital was unable to recruit enough skilled nurses capable of performing tasks required at a first-rate medical facility.
Vo Thuan Anh, a chief nurse at Binh Dan Hospital, said nurses with university degrees were required to be skilled at providing both physical and mental care to patients, but most nurses at hospitals merely carried out doctors' instructions and looked after patients.
But he blamed it on the overload at most hospitals, which exhausted medical staff, especially nurses, leading to low quality of patient care.
In Viet Nam a nurse had to look after 10-15 patients per shift while in other countries it was only five, he said.
They were also responsible for administrative work like keeping records of patients, he said.
Nguyen Van Vinh, deputy director of Binh Dan, said managers of schools and hospitals should work together to assess the quality of nursing courses and reform them to ensure that graduates would be able to meet the requirements of hospitals.
More than 70 public and private universities, colleges and vocational schools nation-wide offer nursing courses, according to the Ministry of Education and Training.
HCM City has 13 authorised institutions offering them. — VNS