Training Nurses in Hospitals Draws INO Flak

Training Nurses in  Hospitals Draws INO FlakTraining Nurses in  Hospitals Draws INO Flak

The Iran Nursing Organization has called for the immediate cancellation of the plan to train nurses in hospitals.

The proposal was announced in October by the education department of the Ministry of Health, Treatment and Medical Education on the grounds that there was a shortage of nursing staff.

“Hospitals are not well qualified to train nurses and the plan will undermine this crucial medical discipline,” INO deputy Mohammad Sharifi Moghaddam was quoted as saying by ISNA.

“The nursing profession must meet certain criteria which hospitals obviously cannot ensure as they are overwhelmed with their own constraints.”

He also pointed to the shortage in the INO panel of experts in proportion to the number of nurses, adding that state and public nursing faculties cannot ensure proper supervision of nurses’ training in hospitals as the latter are not even able to provide quality facilities for interns.

Moghaddam said implementation of the plan will tarnish a major subject with an academic background spanning almost a century.

Nursing will be the first major in medical sciences to be excluded next year from the Iranian university entrance exam (known as Concours/Konkour), a standardized test used as one of the means to gain admission to higher education in Iran. This will demoralize students in acquiring professional knowledge, he said.

Assigning nurses’ training to the non-academic sector is simply not in the interest of the profession, he stressed.

He also voiced opposition to the proposal to appoint contract trainers for nursing trainees and said students have a right to be trained by members of the panel of experts, failing which it will lead to lack of supervision.

 Nursing Aides

On the role of nursing aides who are responsible for patients’ primary care, he said they have a legal status and 30,000 trained nursing aides are currently waiting to fill up the vacancies.

He opposed the idea of gradually replacing nurses with nursing aides and said this will lead to unqualified persons taking care of patients.

Nearly 60,000 non-nursing staff is at present employed by the Health Ministry. In spite of the shortage of professional nurses, the Management and Planning Organization is not sanctioning new appointments because it believes that non-nursing staff must gradually replace nurses and that “there are other ways to address the problem if that does not help.”

Moghaddam stressed that nurses must be employed from among those who have the academic qualification for the job. “We announced vacancies on the INO website and within 48 hours 700 people from different provinces applied.” This means that there are sufficient educated nurses to be recruited.