By Ervin Tan, The New Paper, 04 April 2018 at 06:00 am
TNP PHOTO: SYAMIL SAPARI
Picture posted by Ervin Tan, The New Paper, 04 April 2018 at 06:00 am
Technology, support staff will also be used so nurses can focus on complex work
From April 16, senior and experienced clinical nurses will be able to assess and refer patients for subsidised community rehabilitation at a hospital or home - a job only doctors could previously do.
This group of advanced practice nurses will also be able to prescribe medicine, as part of a team led by a doctor.
There are now 197 such nurses in Singapore, out of a pool of 40,651.
The move is part of efforts to have nurses play a bigger part in healthcare, especially with an ageing population and more patients suffering from chronic diseases, said Senior Minister of State for Health Dr Amy Khor yesterday.
Speaking at the SingHealth Nursing Conference at Singapore General Hospital, Dr Khor outlined how the nursing sector will be transformed along three key thrusts: focusing on patient care, strengthening community nursing and developing their competencies.
She noted that many nurses are bogged down by work that does not involve direct patient care, such as paperwork and topping up supplies.
"Nurses should not be drawn away from caring for patients, who should be their primary focus," she said.
"This may also erode their desire to remain in the nursing profession for the long term."
To tackle this, Dr Khor said efforts are being made to tap technology and automation, as well as to redesign nurses' work.
More support care staff are also being hired and trained to help nurses with basic patient care, freeing the nurses up for more complex work, she added.
To augment nurses' skills, more on-the-job and speciality clinical skills training will be provided, said Dr Khor.
One example is a new part-time and modular graduate diploma to be offered by the National University of Singapore in August.
Community nursing will also play a bigger role. For instance, community nurse posts have been set up since December, where nurses are attached to seniors' activity centres, Residents' Committees and community centres.
Picture posted by Leopalace21 Corporation on 01 April 2017
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