The Australian Nursing Federation (ANF) has welcomed a review of training for aged care workers – saying it aligns with the aims of its new national campaign to ensure employment for graduate nurses.
The review by the Australian Skills Quality Authority was announced following evidence that some aged care workers were receiving inadequate training before being employed in nursing homes.
“The ANF has long been concerned about the fast-tracking of students through aged care courses and the potential risk that these courses do not adequately prepare students for practice," ANF Federal Secretary, Lee Thomas, said today.
“Many of our members gave evidence to the Productivity Commission that qualified aged care nurses were being replaced by non-qualified workers.
“Students with inadequate training cannot be expected to be put to work in nursing homes to care for vulnerable residents, with many of them suffering a range of chronic and complex health problems.
“That’s why the Federal Government must implement better workforce staffing levels and the right skills mix and a national licensing system for aged care workers to ensure the delivery of safe patient care for older Australians living in nursing homes.”
Ms Thomas said the aged care sector needed 20,000 nurses “as a matter of urgency”.
The ANF’s new national campaign, Stop passing the buck, Australia's nursing grads need jobs, is calling Federal Government to work with State and Territory Governments to find solutions to the growing shortage of nurses and midwives by funding a range of strategies to ensure employment of graduate nurses and midwives and the ongoing promotion of safe patient care.
“One of the campaign’s strategies is for the rotation of graduate nurses through non-traditional graduate areas such as primary care and aged care as well as acute settings,” Ms Thomas added.
“This would help address the current workforce issues experienced across the aged care sector.”
For more information about the campaign, go to the campaign page.
The ANF, with over 220,000 members, is the professional and industrial voice for nurses, midwives and assistants in nursing in Australia.
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