Survey: Happier Nurses Means Better Care
Given nurses'perception that their profession is in need of more warm bodies to deliver the care that Canadians need, it is somewhat disconcerting to note that fewer than half of today's nurses would advise a friend or family member to choose a career in nursing (47%).
What does the future hold for our nursing profession? Currently, a lot of attention is being paid by government and hospitals to finding solutions to help attract and retain the healthcare system's front-line caregivers.
Nurses themselves point to a host of solutions that would help
them in their work. They are asking for more staff (54%), more
funding (20%) and more consistent training (20%). They'd like to
see better access to the proper equipment and supplies to help
deliver care (14%). They'd like higher wages (12%), a more
manageable workload (7%) and to work in an environment with
good morale (7%). They'd like recognition and respect from the public (5%), and they'd like to have more time to spend with patients (2%). In short, they'd like to have the resources to allow them to care for Canadians in the way that they know Canadians deserve.
As for making nursing a more appealing career choice, nurses suggest that much can be done to demonstrate that nursing is a respected and valuable profession. They suggest higher salaries (9%), value and respect from the public (9%), better working conditions (8%), guaranteed full-time work (8%), putting caring back into nursing (5%),more hands-on training (4%), reorganizing shift work (4%) and improving the image of nursing (4%).
Currently, federal and provincial governments are searching for ways to sustain the healthcare system,using emissaries such as Roy Romanow, to talk to Canadians about the future of healthcare. Let's not forget that it's when a nurse gives a reassuring smile, or takes the time to explain what's happening to a sick relative, that Canadians feel they can rely on the system to care for their family. Canadians want to see their nurses smiling.
* From the 2001 Annual Health Care in Canada survey, sponsored by Merck Frosst Canada Inc., the Coalition of National Voluntary Organizations, Canadian Healthcare Association, Canadian Medical Association, Canadian Nurses Association, Canadian Homecare Association, Canadian Association for Community Care and the Frosst Health Care Foundation.
About the Author(s)
Nicole Noxon is Vice President of Healthcare with POLLARA. For questions or comments about this column, or similar matters, she can be contacted at 1-888-POLLARA or email@example.com
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