Ramp up efforts to attract more to community nursing

It is troubling that healthcare facilities find it difficult to recruit nurses, despite the fact that the needs are growing rapidly owing to Singapore's ageing population ("Community nursing no walk in the park"; Aug 15).

Nursing seems to be one of the least desirable jobs among Singaporeans, especially if the job requires caring for the elderly.

Nurses not only have to tend to the demands of the elderly, but could also be overstretched and overloaded with duties that are out of their job scope.

Sometimes, their patients may become too reliant on them, which adds to the stress levels of the nurses and, in turn, the system .

More needs to be done to encourage nurses to go into the community-care sector, where demand is set to increase.

Besides providing training and rewards in terms of bonuses, there also needs to be adequate resources allocated to community nurses so they are able to carry out their jobs more efficiently.

In addition, people in the community should change their attitudes towards nurses.

In feeling valued and supported by the rest of the community, nurses will then become more dedicated and encouraged to do their jobs to their fullest.

However, going beyond just providing a service, community nurses should also assist the elderly towards being able to fend for themselves.

This can help boost the elderly's self-confidence and reduce their over-reliance on external help.

Community nurses, in this case, serve as an enabler to their patients, not just a service provider.

As Singapore's population ages, it is imperative that the Government and our community put in more efforts into encouraging nursing.

Lin Lejia (Miss)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 29, 2016, with the headline 'Ramp up efforts to attract more to community nursing'. Print Edition | Subscribe