Saturday, January 22, 2022

"Need a turnaround" Study: Nurses are fleeing the job en masse

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Experts are calling for a trend reversal in nursing: According to a new study, numerous professionals want to give up their work. Many complain that they can no longer do their job properly.

Bad pay, high stress and not enough time for old people: According to a new study, many geriatric nurses in Germany want to give up their jobs.

Forty percent of those surveyed are considering quitting their jobs, said Bernadette Klapper, managing director of the German Professional Association for Nursing Professions, on Thursday about the study “Care for the elderly in focus” initiated jointly with the Vincentz Network geriatric care publisher. “That is alarming. We need a trend reversal in elderly care.”

For the study, a total of 686 employees in inpatient care were surveyed in August and September 2021. At the same time, the Bertelsmann Stiftung criticized the fact that important information on the quality of nursing homes, such as the deployment of staff, was available in all countries, but was often kept under lock and key and was not made available to consumers. People who are looking for a nursing home are thus withheld information on key selection criteria.

According to the specialist publisher, experts have calculated that around 500,000 nursing staff will be missing by 2030. 73 percent of those surveyed said that the shortage of staff had worsened in the past two years, in the middle of the corona pandemic. In 2018, 71 percent said this. 68 (2018: 60) percent said it was becoming increasingly difficult to ensure good care.

This is also due to the fact that there is too little time for the residents, said 67 (2018: 65) percent of those surveyed. 56 percent said new quality inspection rules created more bureaucracy.

The employees carried these worries home, because more than one or two people feel negative effects on family and private life, the study found. In addition, the challenges and effects of the corona pandemic have been a burden for two years. According to the information, 96 percent of those surveyed did not even believe that politicians understood the situation and were trying to improve it.

According to the study, a total of 67 percent of respondents are planning a career change – either by upgrading their skills in nursing (41 percent), studying (14 percent) or switching to another employer (22 percent).

According to an estimate of 90 percent of those surveyed, keeping more skilled workers in the care of the elderly or recruiting them can only succeed if more staff are employed. If it is not possible to improve staffing levels, the existing staff will not be retained – and potential additional staff will be deterred.

Klapper then called for a whole range of measures: more staff, better salaries and a reform of long-term care insurance. According to the study, only 8 percent of those surveyed said that their salary had improved significantly in the past two years, while 38 percent said that the situation in nursing would only improve if nurses were paid better.

Prof. Herrmann Brandenburg, holder of the chair for gerontological nursing at the Vallendar University of Applied Sciences, emphasized that the problem was not just that nursing staff earned too little. They also experienced the dilemma of a disproportion between what they understand by good care and the fact that they are controlled by others.

In this context, he criticized private chains on the German market, claiming that there are often quality problems there. The private sector must be scaled back, he demanded. Recruiting abroad is also an “indictment of poverty”.

The board of directors of the German Foundation for Patient Protection, Eugen Brysch, told the German Press Agency that more than two thirds of the elderly care workers doubted being able to guarantee good care. “The victims of this misery are 820,000 nursing home residents and over a million people who are also cared for at home by an outpatient service,” said Brysch.

He called for a sustainable and attractive concept to keep people in the job: “It must also be clear that, unlike the skilled workers, those in need of care cannot escape their fate.”

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