Nurse shortage

Nurse shortage

Supply of nurses not keeping up with rising demand. Nurses tend to move to less demanding jobs with higher salaries.



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Economics
MEDICAL SERVICES

Nursing profession in dire straits

11/06/2012
Soonya Vanichkorn

Chronic shortages of professors and lecturers in the nursing sector is a pressing concern that threatens the sustainability and attractiveness of Thailand's medical services in the long term, says the Thailand Nursing and Midwifery Council.

"I am not at all worried about the brain drain and the migration of nurses to countries such as Singapore and Brunei when the Asean Economic Community kick-starts in 2015. What worries me more is the shortages of nursing lecturers in the country," said Prof Dr Wichit Srisuphan, the council's president.

She said Thailand has faced a shortage of nursing lecturers for the past decade, and as services expand in cities and rural areas, both the quantity and quality of new nursing graduates may be at stake

Currently, the ratio of lecturers to students in the nursing sector is between 1:6 and 1:8, considered rather high.

However, those training for high-risk areas such as delivery rooms and intensive-care units require one-on-one supervision or a student-teacher ratio of 1:2.

There are now 4,000 nursing lecturers nationwide, but 2,000 more are needed to meet rising demand and replace those who will retire. Out of the 160,000 nurses registered in the country, 5,000-6,000 are 60 years old or older. Each year, 10,000 nurses graduate from training institutions under the Public Health Ministry, accounting for half the new nurses.

Despite being the largest source of nurses in the country, the ministry has trouble attracting lecturers.

"Because it is not an educational institution per se, some of the rules and regulations are not conducive to the upward mobility of these lecturers, unlike in traditional universities, where lecturers can be promoted to higher ranks after a certain period in service," said Prof Dr Wichit.

Traditional universities have higher requirements for lecturers, with half holding doctorate degrees and half holding master's degrees. Currently, less than 20% of all nurses in the country have PhDs.

Doctorate-degree scholarships and scholarships to send nurses abroad were plentiful in the early 1990s but dried up after the 1997 economic crisis.

"We really need more funds, and it would be great if the the government could provide more sponsorship for nurses to become lecturers," said Prof Dr Wichit.
Another problem the nursing industry faces is new graduates tend to leave the profession for careers that are less demanding and offer higher financial rewards, said Prof Dr Wichit, adding that new mechanisms are needed to retain nurses, as new graduates earn 20,000 baht a month.

The abolition of ranks in the civil service has also taken a toll on the nursing sector.

"Having no civil service rank, new nurses feel their careers are not stable. With bargaining power reduced, salaries may not increase, and many nurses are hired for positions lower than their qualifications," said Prof Dr Wichit.

Supply will be further strained as government services expand into remote areas, and new regulations require nurses at tambon organisations and factories.

Schools also file requests for nurses to be sent from the Public Health Ministry.

"We'll need 40,000 more nurses then," said Prof Dr Wichit.

The government is also expanding specialised clinics across the country, particularly in rural areas.

(Source: Bangkok Post, Economics, MEDICAL SERVICES, Nursing profession in dire straits, 11/06/2012, Soonya Vanichkorn, link

Nursing Profession Vocabulary

nursing profession - teh job of taking care of sick people, "nursing is a profession within the healthcare sector focused on the care of individuals, families, and communities so they may attain, maintain, or recover optimal health and quality of life. Nurses may be differentiated from other health care providers by their approach to patient care, training, and scope of practice. Nurses practice in a wide diversity of practice areas with a different scope of practice and level of prescriber authority in each. Many nurses provide care within the ordering scope of physicians, and this traditional role has come to shape the historic public image of nurses as care providers. However, nurses are permitted by most jurisdictions to practice independently in a variety of settings depending on training level. In the postwar period, nurse education has undergone a process of diversification towards advanced and specialized credentials, and many of the traditional regulations and provider roles are changing" (See Wikipedia)

profession - a type of job requiring advanced training and education
nursing profession

sector - a part of the economy ภาคเศรษฐกิจของประเทศ (public sector = government, private sector = all businesses, household sector = families and consumers, banking sector,...) (See Wikipedia)
nursing sector 

in dire straits - in a very serious and bad situation เลวร้ายมาก แย่มาก เลวร้ายมาก

shortage - when there is not enough of something การขาดแคลน
chronic - existing for a long time
chronic shortage - when there is not enough for a long time

pressing - very urgent and important ที่เร่งด่วน
concern - a worry ความกังวล
a pressing concern - a very important thing that must be done quickly that you are worrying about

threatens -
causes danger, may cause something bad to happen in the future
sustainability - situation or activity can continue for a long time
threatens the sustainability and attractiveness of Thailand's medical services in the long term

Nursing profession in dire straits. Chronic shortages of professors and lecturers in the nursing sector is a pressing concern that threatens the sustainability and attractiveness of Thailand's medical services in the long term, says the Thailand Nursing and Midwifery Council.

brain drain - a situation when educated people with special skills leave the country to earn more money in places where pay is higher

migration -
moving to another place to live and work (example: migration to Bangkok; migration to another country)
kick-starts - something quickly (like "kick-starting a motorcycle" with your foot)

decade - a period of ten years ทศวรรษ, ระยะเวลา 10 ปี
for the past decade

expand - to become larger ขายตัวออกไป
services expand

rural - connected with the countryside outside big towns and cities ในชนบท, บ้านนอก
rural areas  - in the countryside

at stake - at risk, may lose it 
quality is at stake  

"I am not at all worried about the brain drain and the migration of nurses to countries such as Singapore and Brunei when the Asean Economic Community kick-starts in 2015. What worries me more is the shortages of nursing lecturers in the country," said Prof Dr Wichit Srisuphan, the council's president. She said Thailand has faced a shortage of nursing lecturers for the past decade, and as services expand in cities and rural areas, both the quantity and quality of new nursing graduates may be at stakeCurrently, the ratio of lecturers to students in the nursing sector is between 1:6 and 1:8, considered rather high.

training - to teach people how to do an activity or job การฝึกฝน
training institutions - schools

risk - the possibility that something dangerous or unpleasant might happen ความเสี่ยง
high-risk areas - areas where there is a lot of danger (examples: surgical theatre, ICU, delivery room)

delivery rooms - the room in the hospitals where babies are born

intensive - involving a lot of effort, energy, or attention
intensive-care units

supervision - the process of making sure that something is being done properly การควบคุมดูแล การตรวจตรา
one-on-one supervision - when there is one supervisor for each worker (so the worker can learn a lot)
 
student-teacher ratio - the number of students per teacher

nationwide - throughout a whole country ทั่วทั้งประเทศ

demand - the need and desire to buy goods and services by households and businesses
rising demand

replace - to put a new person or thing in the place of something or someone หาคนมาแทน

retire - stop working after many years of work when you are old
replace those who retire

registered - officially recorded with the government (and given permission to work or operate)  
nurses registered in the country

source - the place or person something comes from or starts at, or the cause of something ต้นกำเนิด, แหล่งกำเนิด
the largest source of nurses in the country

ministry
- a government department dealing with an area of activity กระทรวง

However, those training for high-risk areas such as delivery rooms and intensive-care units require one-on-one supervision or a student-teacher ratio of 1:2. There are now 4,000 nursing lecturers nationwide, but 2,000 more are needed to meet rising demand and replace those who will retire. Out of the 160,000 nurses registered in the country, 5,000-6,000 are 60 years or older. Each year, 10,000 nurses graduate from training institutions under the Public Health Ministry, accounting for half the new nurses. Despite being the largest source of nurses in the country, the ministry has trouble attracting lecturers.

institutions - large and important organizations, such as universities or banks สถาบัน
educational institution - a school

per se -
considered by itself (strictly speaking, considered all by itself) 

it is not an educational institution per se

regulations - official rules that control the way that things are done ระเบียบปฏิบัติ  ระเบียบ ข้อบังคับ
rules and regulations

mobility - when people can move and travel easy from place to place

conducive to

mobility - being able to move to different places
upward mobility - being able to move to a higher job or better social position

rules and regulations are not conducive to the upward mobility of these lecturers

traditional
- things (clothes, music, customs, etc.) that have been part of a country or society for a long time
traditional universities

promoted - moved to a higher position in the organization
promoted to higher ranks

lecturers can be promoted to higher ranks after a certain period in service

scholarships - money given to a student to pay for the cost of education ทุนการศึกษา
doctorate-degree scholarships

doctorate-degree scholarships and scholarships to send nurses abroad

plentiful - lots of it available

crisis
- an urgent, difficult or dangerous situation วิกฤตการณ์ วิกฤต
1997 economic crisis

funds - money needed or available to spend on something เงินทุน

we really need more funds - we really need more money

provide - to give someone something that they want or need

it would be great if the the government could provide more sponsorship for nurses to become lecturers

"Because it is not an educational institution per se, some of the rules and regulations are not conducive to the upward mobility of these lecturers, unlike in traditional universities, where lecturers can be promoted to higher ranks after a certain period in service," said Prof Dr Wichit.  Traditional universities have higher requirements for lecturers, with half holding doctorate degrees and half holding master's degrees. Currently, less than 20% of all nurses in the country have PhDs.  Doctorate-degree scholarships and scholarships to send nurses abroad were plentiful in the early 1990s but dried up after the 1997 economic crisis.  "We really need more funds, and it would be great if the the government could provide more sponsorship for nurses to become lecturers," said Prof Dr Wichit.

tend - to be likely to behave in a particular way or have a particular characteristic มักจะ
tend to leave the profession

mechanisms

retain - keep staff, keep employees (when employees do not leave a company to go work for another company)
retain nurses

Another problem the nursing industry faces is new graduates tend to leave the profession for careers that are less demanding and offer higher financial rewards, said Prof Dr Wichit, adding that new mechanisms are needed to retain nurses, as new graduates earn 20,000 baht a month.

civil service
- the group of government workers in a country

abolition - ending
abolition of ranks - ending of ranks
abolition of ranks in the civil service

toll - the number of people killed or injured in an accident, battle, attack, etc. (here: meaning the people who have left the profession)
taken a toll on the nursing sector


rank - the position or level that an employee has in an organisation; official position in the armed forces, police, fire services, etc. ตำแหน่ง
civil service rank - level in civil service (employment system of government workers)

stable - not changing suddenly or a lot, therefore predictable and easy to work with มั่นคง คงที่, มั่นคง ไม่เปลี่ยนแปลง

Having no civil service rank, new nurses feel their careers are not stable.

bargaining
- try to get a better deal from someone (for example, a better price for something you want to buy)
bargaining
power reduced, salaries may not increase

qualifications - the abilities, qualities, degrees, etc. that you need for a particular job or activity
nurses are hired for positions lower than their qualifications

The abolition of ranks in the civil service has also taken a toll on the nursing sector. "Having no civil service rank, new nurses feel their careers are not stable. With bargaining power reduced, salaries may not increase, and many nurses are hired for positions lower than their qualifications," said Prof Dr Wichit.

strained - being put under pressure, business has become more difficult

Supply will be further strained

remote - far away in distance ไกล far away from cities, difficult to get to ที่ห่างไกลจากความเจริญ (ของเมือง)

government services expand into remote areas

file - to take official action ยื่นคำร้อง
file a request

file requests for nurses - ask for nurses officially (according to government procedures)

clinics - places where people go to receive medical treatment

specialised - specially trained in a particular narrow area of knowledge
specialised clinics - clinics that deal with certain diseases or medical problems

Supply will be further strained as government services expand into remote areas, and new regulations require nurses at tambon organisations and factories. Schools also file requests for nurses to be sent from the Public Health Ministry. "We'll need 40,000 more nurses then," said Prof Dr Wichit. The government is also expanding specialised clinics across the country, particularly in rural areas.

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