|Nurses at a quarantine centre in northern province of Hòa Bình . VNA/VNS Photo Trọng Đạt|
Phạm Đức Mục, President of the Vietnamese Nurses Association speaks to Việt Nam News Agency on the role of his association in taking care of Vietnamese people over the past 30 years since the Association was established.
What are the roles of nurses in the national health system?
Medicine is both a science and an art in giving care to a patient. A doctor’s role is to diagnose a patient’ illness while a nurse’s role is to giving care to their patient. The job of a nurse is not to assist the doctor, but to assist a patient. The job description of a nurse is much wider than what the doctor has instructed what the nurse has to do.
In the past few years, their quality of care for patients has improved considerably. And their image in the people’s eyes has also improved.
A registered nurse is required to manage the daily schedule of the patients. They are the health care contributors who act as a mediator between the doctor and the patient’s family.
In the current COVID-19 pandemic, nurses have done a very important job giving care to their patients. Việt Nam’s success in the fight against COVID-19 should be attributed to the hard work of nurses all over the country.
What’s the role of the registered nurses today?
Since 1990, with special attention from the Ministry of Health, Việt Nam has had an extensive nurse system nationwide. A registered nurse is required to possess certain qualities and skills. And the number of registered nurses in the country is still low. The ratio between nurses and doctors is still very low. In its Resolution No 20, the Party Central Committee has set a target that by the year 2025 Việt Nam will try to have 25 nurses/10,000 people and then by the year 2030 the ratio will be 35 nurses/10,000 people.
The World Health Organisation has recommended that Việt Nam should do three things; namely to raise the quality of nurse training to the standards set by the ASEAN in terms of both quantity and quality. WHO has also recommended that in the course of planning and developing its policies, the Ministry of Health should ask for recommendations from the Association of Nurses and Midwives in the course of developing the national health policy.
The World Health Organisation selected the year 2020 as the international year of nurses with an objective to show the world people’s appreciation of their important role in taking care of patients. Has Việt Nam developed any policies to further promote the role and responsibility of Vietnamese midwives and nurses?
According to the WHO, it is projected that by the year 2030, the world will need another 9 million nurses and midwives. In his speech, the WHO Director General has once said midwives are the 'skeleton' of any healthcare system. WHO has called on countries worldwide to pay more attention to training of midwives and nurses and consider it part of their commitment towards better health for everyone.
In Việt Nam the network of nurses and midwives has spread nationwide. Each year, more than 1.5 million babies are born while the population of people living in urban area accounts for some 35 per cent and people living in rural area accounts for 65 per cent. These figures speak of the imperative need to pay attention to the contingence of midwives and nurses in the task of health care for the people and both mothers and children. — VNS