How Do We Solve The Staff Shortage In Healthcare?
How Do We Solve The Staff Shortage In Healthcare?

How Do We Solve The Staff Shortage In Healthcare?

According to the CBS statistics agency, 211,000 people work in health care, including 133,000 specialized nurses and 78,000 other nurses. About 80 percent work part-time.

On the other hand, there are figures on the need for care: in 2031, hospitals may have to deal with a shortage of 24,400 employees, and nursing homes even with a shortage of 51,900 employees. This emerged at the end of 2020 from a study by ABF Research commissioned by the Ministry of Health, Welfare, and Sport.

It is clear to all parties that we need to turn the tide. But the question is: how?

Have Staff Work An Extra Hour A Week

According to Wieteke Graven, founder of the Het Potentieel Pakken (HPP) foundation, the answer is simple: tempt existing staff to work more hours. “It is well known that the majority of healthcare workers work part-time; more than half even work less than 24 hours a week.

As a 2018 McKinsey report showed, if the part-timers work one hour more per week, you could reduce the labor shortage in to solve the problem.”

The problem, according to Graven, is that within the healthcare sector, the main focus is on recruiting new staff, while most of the dropouts of healthcare staff occur within two years of training. “We know from research that job satisfaction is the most important reason for healthcare staff to stay. Investing in the well-being of your staff therefore pays off. It also reduces absenteeism and absenteeism.”

Talk To Each Other

Graven advises healthcare institutions to talk to their staff. “Enter a conversation with employees and ask: what does it take for you to work more? By offering employees the opportunity to better align their working conditions with the stage of life they are in, you prevent people from getting stuck.”

According to Graven, both employers and employees still make many incorrect assumptions. For example, employers think that employees do not want to work more hours, while employees assume that changes to their contracts are not possible. “In order to uncover such matters, the HPP Foundation initiates discussions with and between both parties.”

Although several universities of applied sciences now have training programs, hospitals hardly make use of them.

Corine Latour, Director of Nursing Education According to Corine Latour, lecturer, and director of nursing courses at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, healthcare institutions must respond better to the changing society. “When I started my bachelor’s degree in nursing 35 years ago, I went through it – if I may be honest – with two fingers in my nose.”

According to Latour, the current courses are of a much higher level. In addition, the current batch of students also wants to follow a master’s degree after obtaining their bachelor’s degree. “Students-to-be who come to our open days immediately ask about further education.”

Not All Students Want To Gain Practical Experience For Further Education

And that is exactly where the shoe pinches as far as Latour is concerned: “While long before the corona crisis, we were always told that there was insufficient enthusiasm for the courses for IC nurse and acute care.” But that’s not true, says Latour.

“The influx of new students is definitely there, but hospitals say to students who have completed their bachelor’s degree and want to do further education: first go and gain practical experience for six months or a year. Those students don’t feel like it at all, so they prefer them a career elsewhere.”

According to Latour, this reluctance stems from trepidation: “We have always done it this way, so we will continue to do it that way. Hospitals are afraid to try out new training courses. Although several universities of applied sciences now have them, hospitals hardly use them. and department heads, however, seem to realize insufficiently that training new people and offering development prospects for their own staff leads to fewer dropouts.”

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