Your Brain is Green
Of all the brain types, yours has the most balance. You are able to see all sides to most problems and are a good problem solver. You need time to work out your thoughts, but you don't get stuck in bad thinking patterns. You tend to spend a lot of time thinking about the future, philosophy, and relationships (both personal and intellectual).

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Florence, Where Are You When We Need You?

Yahalom slams nursing plan

Judy Siegel-Itzkovich Jun. 1, 2004 (Jerusalem Post)


Charging the Health Ministry with aiming to "destroy schools of nursing" through a plan that is "liable to be catastrophic to the health system," Knesset Labor, Social Affairs, and Health Committee chairman Shaul Yahalom has demanded the ministry "immediately halt" its plan to allow training only for academic graduates.

Yahalom (NRP) demanded that the ministry wait until the plan is reassessed and presented in an organized and clear way.

Ministry nursing administration head Dr. Shosh Reba presented the plan, which includes the closing of nursing schools and and transferring students to universities and colleges, at a meeting of the committee on Monday.

Under the plan, non-academic registered nurses and practical nurses will not be trained, but only academically trained nurses.

Opponents of the plan said it will produce "an army of senior officers without soldiers." The US, England, and Australia, which had adopted such a program, are now suffering from a severe shortage of nurses and reopening nursing schools that offer various levels of training.

There are even cases of importing foreign nurses, they said. The opponents said that even though the plan has not been formally approved, registration for nursing schools attached to hospitals has declined to half, and that the fate of new classes in September is in doubt.

The ministry responded by saying that "there is no danger at all to the training of nurses."
A conference to discuss the plan is to be held on Thursday, and the program will be brought to Health Minister Dan Naveh for approval.

The ministry has promised that the plan will not be implemented until it is presented to MK Ilana Cohen, who is also chairman of the Israel Nurses Union, and members of the Knesset committee.

"Without any connection to the plan, the ministry has been asked following a cabinet decision to reach an agreement with the universities on finding a solution for academic training of nurses. They would study for an academic degree and get clinical experience in the hospitals like other medical professionals," a ministry spokesman said.

"In addition, the ministry and the Council for Higher Education are working toward a solution in which students at hospital nursing schools without an academic framework will be able to get academic training in the universities."

Oh, just how stupid we can be. Israel's nurse/patient ratio is already appalling and the pay and job conditions are discouraging to anyone of intelligence, and now the Ministry of Health wants all nurses to be academic degree holders, in the way America has gone. At least 90% of Israel's 10,000 hospital nurses are RNs without degrees--there has just been a massive struggle to upgrade all Practical Nurses to Registered Nurse status (and it was a struggle since almost all nurses in Israel are married women with children who had neither the time to study nor could afford the loss in salary while reducing their working hours to accomodate the time the courses took.)

This is a country where electric beds are virtually unknown: "if you can't lift it, drag it" is the motto; one nurse can be responsible for as many as 30 patients on some wards with completely inadequate supplies of linen and basic equipment like thermometers (but there are three CT scanners and three facilities with an MRI in Jerusalem alone) , the work week is six days long, and the gross pay for a nurse working full time, all shifts in the same week and at least two Shabbatot is less than $2000 per month. And now, they think the situation will get better by requiring women who've just done two years in the army and are already 21-22, to invest in a further four years, at great expense (you might be able to get a BA in Literature and wait on tables at night at the same time, but I want to see a nursing student put in a 40-hour week in class and on the wards and then hold down a second job). And if, as is most likely in this very family-oriented country, she's married and a mother before 25...the mind boggles.

Moreover, I have strong doubts--had them over a quarter of a century ago in the States--about the actual value of an academic degree in nursing. The first degree graduates began working when I did--and they lacked all practical experience. We studied and worked simultaneously, so that the classroom lessons were given immediate reinforcement. A senior nursing student could function quite well as a head nurse if need be. When I was being interviewed in the UK as a prospective student midwife, the Director of Nurses in one hospital said to me, "I have a difficulty with American nurses--they know everything there is to know about the theories of pillow placement, but they're incapable of adjusting the pillows so the patient's comfortable". It was a point well taken.

And they want to bring it here? Oy!

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