Nurses play vital role as caregivers

Editorial

IT is rather disappointing that the International Nurses day yesterday went by without much fanfare.
They are often the first and sometimes the only health professional that people see and the quality of their initial assessment, care and treatment is vital.
Historically, as well as today, nurses are at the forefront of fighting epidemics and pandemics – providing high quality and respectful treatment and care.
Yesterday also marked the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale as the World Health Organisation (WHO) joined hundreds of partners worldwide to highlight the importance of nurses in the healthcare continuum and thank nurses for what they do.
The theme for this year is “Nursing the World to Health”.
Nurses account for more than half of all the world’s health workers, yet there is an urgent shortage of nurses worldwide with 5.9 million more nurses still needed, especially in low and middle-income countries.
PNG suffers from a critical shortage of human resources for health.
Most recent estimates of health worker densities reflect 0.5 physicians per 10,000 population and 5.3 nurses per 10,000 population (WHO, 2008).
We have only 4,335 nurses 425 doctors.
This position is indefensible for a pandemic outbreak if left unchecked and controlled.
PNG’s health workforce is characterised by an aging workforce; low numbers of critical cadres, such as midwives and community health workers; a de-motivated workforce due to poor working conditions including low wages and poor physical infrastructure; insufficient training capacity to produce the number of health workers to meet population needs; and mal-distribution of specialist clinical and technical skills, where 30 per cent of skilled health professionals occupy administrative and management positions.
The Covid-19 pandemic is a stark reminder of the vital role nurses play.
Without nurses and other health workers, we will not win the battle against outbreaks, we will not achieve the sustainable development goals or universal health coverage.
Quite simply, without nurses, there would be no response.
A nurse’s primary duty is patient care.
The patient and the nurse spend a great deal of time together.
Nurses assess and observe patients, help doctors create a care plan, and carry out that care plan with medication and treatment administration.
Nurses and other health workers are at the forefront providing high quality, respectful treatment and care, leading community dialogue to address fears and questions and in some instances, collecting data for clinical studies.
PNG will continue to encounter problems relating to shortage of medical personnel to cater for the growing population.
Our medical personnel especially nurses should be respected and appreciated for their job.
The Government should ensure the occupational safety and health of nurses and all health workers, including notably, unhindered access to personal protective equipment so they can safely provide care and reduce infections in health care settings.
Nurses and all health care workers have access to mental health support, timely pay, sick leave and insurance; as well as access to the most up-to-date knowledge and guidance required to respond to all health needs, including outbreaks.
The Covid-19 reinforces the need for investment in nursing jobs, education, and leadership.
This year, now more than ever, it is essential that the Government support and invest in our nurses.

One thought on “Nurses play vital role as caregivers

  • The nurses in late 1980s and 1990s should be appreciated, because they work whole heartedly unlike 2000s nurses are like police officer or army. they ague and gramble alot. They don’t work with smile, greet sick and talk politely.
    Your kindness will heal the sick, even without medicine. Nursing is caring for needy, so do the work as the founder as done. Know the history of your career and do it diligently.

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