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People's Daily Online>>China Society

China's nursing homes falling behind (2)


15:47, January 18, 2012


While their applicants continue to grow in number, nursing homes are experiencing resource shortages, with low salaries and difficult working conditions preventing many from staying in the field for very long.

"I can only persuade the new graduates to stay here for two years at most," said Wang Yajie, a recruiter for the Niujie nursing home.

Four years ago, 26-year-old Yang Yaling came to work at the nursing home with 17 of her classmates after graduating from a nursing school in northwest China's Ningxia Hui autonomous region. Only Yang and one of her classmates remain.

Yang said that although the nursing home provides free accomodation, meals and social insurance, the monthly salary of 2,000 yuan (316 U.S. dollars) is far from ideal.

"I worked over 12 hours every day and did everything from fetching hot water to performing health check-ups for the residents," said Yang, recalling her early days as a general nurse before becoming head of the home's nursing department.

The emotional stress caused by watching elderly residents pass away is also difficult for employees to bear.

"Four years ago, I tended to my first resident, an older lady in her 90s. She died some twenty days later. I was not afraid, but I felt my heart ache," Yang said.

A shortage of beds is even more urgent, however. As of the end of 2010, the country's nursing homes had a total of 3.19 million beds, while the number of elderly people who were considering living in a nursing home reached nearly 12 million, according to the National Committee on Aging.

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James at 2012-01-1894.194.203.*
It seems to be that a lack of resources is a common cause for concern for nursing homes all over the world and the nurses are struggling to carry out their roles as efficiently as they would like. However, the use of technology in care homes and hospitals such as nurse call systems is helping nurses to carry out their day to day responsibilities a good deal more efficiently which will, in turn, improve the quality of patient care as a whole.

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