It’s no secret: Belgium is struggling with a shortage of nurses. If it is suffered in the hospital environment, the lack of vocations also affects home care nurses… This is all the more worrying because care for seniors at home is an increasingly widespread reality, thanks to a faster return home after hospitalization, for example.
65+: one in four Belgians
“Home nursing is the present and the future,” said federal deputy Caroline Taquin (MR). “In 2030 there will be more than 2.7 million over-65s in our country. In 7 years! The 65+ will represent 26% of Belgians in 2050, we must do everything we can to help and promote nursing work at home. »
The Hainaut member of parliament regrets an insufficient appreciation of the territorial network of independent nursing, these nurses who visit patients every day. “Every effort should be made to support this work in the field, close to home, which is essential for access to care at home, whether you are undergoing chronic treatment or following an accident. »
Add to that, according to the Belgian Association of Nurses, home care is currently underfunded for 62% of them. “Strictly nursing care duties are influenced by other services that reduce optimal pure nursing care, while serving a meal, transporting the patient, measuring blood pressure or providing hygiene care could be performed by nursing assistants or non-nursing staff. staff, given the non-exclusive nursing nature of these duties. »
Motivation at half mast
Tasks that weigh directly on the motivation of nurses. “Confronted with this shortfall, there are concrete measures for refinancing and improving working conditions,” resumes Caroline Taquin who makes a new, very specific proposal (co-signed by four of her running mates, Benoît Piedbœuf, Denis Ducarme, Philippe Pivin and Daniel Bacquelaine ): “I want to strengthen home care for patients and improve the working conditions of independent nurses. Currently, a supervision of at least four nurses, grouped full-time, is required to employ a nursing assistant on the team. If we approve this deployment with the supervision of two nurses instead of four, we would take a big step forward. That’s what nurses want.
Caregivers who would therefore perform delegated acts such as hygiene care, tracking nutrition and hydration, monitoring drug treatment, measuring blood pressure, changing dressings or even assisting the patient with mobility.
Twenty patients a day
“Home care providers need to be supported much better than they are now,” continued the Liberal MP. “Most of the actions they undertake are underfunded and their working conditions are difficult. They have a lot of patients in a day, an average of 20 to 22, that’s a lot and it’s them who say it. Is it normal for them to administer a drug intramuscularly within 89 seconds? An intravenous drug in 90 seconds? Obviously not. Coordination of the home care work takes place via the nurse and the nursing assistant, so it is necessary to facilitate the formation of these mixed teams under the supervision of the nurse. »
For Ms. Taquin, the comfort and well-being of nurses and patients comes at a price. “Changing this mandatory criterion from four to two nurses would be very good for improving the working conditions of nurses through their collaboration with nursing assistants, thus strengthening the care and support of the patient at home. »