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Nurses are essential to health system

Update: May, 12/2018 - 08:54
President of the Vietnamese Nurses Association Phạm Đức Mục.– Photo suckhoedoisong.vn

May 12 is International Nurses Day. To mark the occasion, President of the Vietnamese Nurses Association Phạm Đức Mục talks to the Việt Nam News Agency about the indispensable role played by nurses in the country.

What are the basic skills that a registered nurse needs to have?

A registered nurse is required to manage the daily schedule of the patients. They are the most essential part of the healthcare system. They are the health care contributors who act as a mediator between the doctor and the patient’s family. These professionals provide knowledge about the patient’s medical condition, treatment and the physician’s instructions to their family members.

A registered nurse is required to possess certain qualities and skills to become a qualified nurse.

What’s a nurse’s role in connecting the information between the treatment doctor and his/her patients?

Family members and the patients themselves want to have good relationship with the doctors. They also want their voice to be heard by the doctors during the treatment given to their family members, particularly regarding their health problem and how the problem will be handled.

However, in many hospitals, information channels between medical workers and patients’ families have not operated properly. This is one of the main causes leading to anxiety in the patients and their family members.

So, the flow of information from doctors and nurses to patients and their family members is very important. The information is essential in reducing the rate of fatalities among patients.

What is the key role of the nurse?

In developed countries like the USA or Canada, the concept of “the patient being the centre” was initiated in 1970s, and it has since become a mandate in the health service in many nations. It is one of the six essential measures in high quality health care services.

Nowadays, compared with other ASEAN nations, all of our hospitals have faced a big shortage of nurses. To reach the number of nurses per capita of Thailand, we would have to double the number of nurses. To compete with Malaysia, we’d have to triple our current number of active nurses. And if we want to reach the number per capita in Japan, then we have to increase our current number by 12 times.

Việt Nam has set a goal to take the patient the centre in our health service. To achieve this goal, we deem it necessary to raise awareness among all the health workers. In my opinion, however, the bottle neck of the problem in our current public health care service is the money.

The current health insurance payment policy has become a barrier in giving high quality care service to the patient.

In my opinion, this is something we need to analyse carefully, for the benefit of the patients, particularly the poor. We also need to ensure the fair treatment of all health workers in the public sector.

Undoubtedly, the nurses’ salary will be affected as they don’t generate direct income for the hospitals or medical services. This is something, in my opinion, that the authorities should think about. They should give the nurses what they deserve, to compensate for their hard work.

In the meantime, I suggest that we should recover the career of the hospital orderly, whose main function is to take care of in-patients in hospitals. In the past, we had many hospital orderlies, but nowadays the demand for the job to take care of in-patients is very high.

Last but not least, we need effective policies to ensure that patients will become the centre for all health care activities. VNS

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