Making The Case For Longer Studies

Recently there’s been talk about the Malaysian Nursing Board phasing out the Diploma in Nursing programme. As a result, soon all future nursing students that want to practice the profession in the country has to complete a four-year degree (Bachelor of Science in Nursing).

Many parties have been very vocal about this, citing that many nurses cannot afford the extra costs it takes to study for four years instead of the usual two for a diploma. Some students get into nursing for that reason; it offers a quick pathway to work in a respectable profession, without the added burden of a pre-university programme after completion of secondary school.

While I understand that some nurses have to support their families ASAP, I’m here to argue that there is a hidden benefit to all nurses being required to do their degree in order to be registered practitioners.

That benefit is the extra 2-4 years of age that nurses have upon graduation.

Older… Wiser?

A few days ago there was news of a 19-year old girl who will become the youngest medical doctor in Malaysia this year. The prodigy completed her secondary education at the age of 14, enrolling straight into an Australian pre-U programme, followed by medical school.

While I applaud her achievements (it is nothing to make light of), for the rest of us entering the healthcare workforce at 19 is not the best of ideas.

A doctor fresh out of medical school at the age of 25 is six years older than 19, and will have six years of extra life experiences that will make him or her relate better to patients.

The healthcare line, as we all know, is riddled with a lot of challenges and difficulties that are difficult to teach in training colleges. There are unexpected obstacles from patients, their relatives, and colleagues that are difficult to circumnavigate without emotional maturity. When these are not handled well they lead to burnouts and depression.

Forcing the degree programme for nurses rather than diploma grants student nurses extra time to prepare themselves. Most of the time, maturity comes with age. Being a nurse (or a doctor for that matter) is an arduous endeavor in itself. There will be times when you have to react to difficult situations requiring you to make a choice. Maturity grants the wisdom to make the right ones.

The healthcare line, as we all know, is riddled with a lot of challenges and difficulties that are difficult to teach in training colleges.

Being sure about oneself

As a patient, you would want nurses or doctors who are sure of themselves for your treatment. You want those who believe in what they do and believe in the importance of their work. Not the reluctant ones.

It is common for healthcare practitioners to leave the profession within the first 5 years of working. An extra few years of study provides the extra time to contemplate on whether this career path is really for them or not. This creates better rounded nurses and doctors.

Better clinicians

Better rounded nurses and doctors, who can find the balance between their personal growth and career, make for better clinicians. They are more likely to innovate and push medicine forward. This is why countries like the US and Sweden require prospective medical school students to have a Bachelor’s degree beforehand. These countries have the most number of medical innovations in history.

Removal of bad habits

Better rounded nurses and doctors make for better clinicians.

For nurses, making BSN degrees mandatory in order to be registered means an addition 4-5 years of study; 1-2 years for a pre-university course (like STPM) and another 4 years for the degree. Contrast this with immediately hopping on the diploma programme for two years after school.

The work involved to obtain a degree is very hard. It can only be done by being mentally sound, organized, and effective. These habits are not necessarily attained in school.

An older nursing graduate has more time to become a better, organized person; to know her strong points, faults, breaking points, things she cannot do, and learn how to deal with them knowing that a harder road lies ahead.



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 A common question asked to academic counselors by prospective nursing students is: “So how’s the life of a nurse? What kind of hours to they work?” 

 It depends. It really depends on your location, academic qualifications, experience, country of practice, working environment… Really, I could make a long list but then the article would be way too long. 

 So our team at MIMS Career has sifted through the working hours of a lot of different types of nurses, so you can have an idea of what kind of career choices you’d have to make to go towards that kind of life. We’ve categorized it in five parts: a little, a bit, normal, a bit more, and a lot. 



 A little (3-5 hours a day) 

 Part-time nurse practitioners 

 These nurses mostly work doing house calls, or are doing contract jobs with non-medical institutions like schools or companies. Their employers do not require their presence most of the time, so as little as 3-5 hours per work session is pretty common. Part-time nurse practitioners usually have another job other than their nursing one. 

  Find out how to become a part-time nurse practitioner in our in-depth nursing career advancement guide HERE.  

 A bit (5-8 hours a day) 

 Locum nurses 

 Locum nurses work part time shifts in clinics or hospitals or other medical-related institutions. They are not on the payroll of the institution they work with; as they are only meant to supplement the institution’s own workforce. On average a locum nurse’s shift is about 5-8 hours. 

 It is more common to see nurses doing locum jobs to supplant their monthly income, but nurses who exclusively do locum jobs exist, albeit rare.  

  Find out part-time locum jobs for nurses on our career portal HERE.  

 Normal (8-10 hours a day) 

 Nurse instructors, academicians, dialysis nurses 

 These nurses work office hours. This is as normal as it gets. Dialysis centers and nursing schools all have regular, fixed schedules that don’t demand anything more than the usual office workday. 

 Same goes for those who work in nursing schools as teachers, trainers, or professors.  You can find out what it takes to be an academician in the nursing world in our article about lifelong learning HERE.  

 These kinds of nurses don’t normally work weekends, and their schedules are mostly the same and predictable. 

 A bit more (10-14 hours a day) 

 Those involved in direct patient care, like emergency room nurses 

 Most of the time, when nurses at the ER say they work a 12-hour shift from 7am to 7pm, they almost always never get to get out on time. There’s always something to do, someone else to cover, or some loose ends to tie up. 

 This is made even worse by working in hospitals with a shortage of staff. Nurses would be brought in to do things that are not in their job scope, because they can do those tasks. But people who are not nurses do not do nursing tasks because they cannot do those tasks. How many times have you been to an ER, and see a nurse doing clerical work at the front desk because the hospital doesn’t have a secretary or clerk? 



 A lot (14-24 hours a day) 



 Paediatric intensive care, intensive care, surgical, labor and delivery. 

 It is very common to see nurses doing double shifts in these wards. Their shifts might be 12 hours, but are sometimes to do two of those shifts back-to-back to reduce shift handovers, staffing overlap, and reduce costs. 

 Moreover, the type of work that this category of nurses do are a bit on the lengthier side. Surgeries can go up to 24 hours, including perioperative care. Intensive care can be very demanding as patients hover around critical states. 

 There is a variety of workloads for nurses. Each type of work suits different people who prioritize different things. With MIMS Career you have the opportunity of applying with ease to the jobs that you want to go into. Signup and apply with our easy, 1-click application process. Browse for jobs in Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines and Indonesia. Save jobs for later if you’re still on the fence. Also, you can opt for job alerts if nothing fancies you. 

  Signup and apply today! It’s fast, secure, and free.

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 Geriatrics is the specialty of care of the elderly. The main goal is to assist aging patients to improve their health by preventing or treating illnesses or disabilities. 

 Currently the mean age of the global populace is increasing[1]. Demand for geriatric care has rapidly risen within the past 10, 20 years. This trend is also seen in Malaysia. Unfortunately, it is a profession that not many young nurses or doctors would want to pursue[2]. 



 Definition: 

 The word geriatrics is derived from Greek. “Geron” means “old man.” “Iatros” is defined as “healer.” 

 Gerontology, a word commonly used together with geriatrics, is the study of the aging process itself. 

 Duties: 

 Geriatric nurses assist their patients in their daily life. They help them to live healthily, and improve their independence by treating or staving off disabilities that cause dependency of care. 

 It is not uncommon for geriatric nurses to ensure the comfort of their patients is taken care of as well. They also assist in recognizing and managing syndromes that are common to older adults. 

 Educating the family members of the elderly patient is also a key responsibility in the geriatric nurse. The nurses have to ensure the care provided by the family are only good practices. 

 Ultimately their job scope depends on the institution they work in. 



 Education: 

 The study of geriatrics and gerontology itself is a relatively new branch of medicine. Medical capabilities have progressed to the point where people are now living longer than ever before.  

 The global average life expectancy was at 45[3] years old in 1950-55, and it has now jumped to 76. Recently, the Baby Boomer generation has started to encroach the age of 60-70. As a result there are only a few established centers of learning for the advancement of this field of medicine. 

 Post-basic or advanced diploma courses in geriatrics can also be listed under the name of elderly care[4]. Unfortunately, not many learning institutions or hospitals offer this in Malaysia, as of time of writing. 



 Workload and Working Conditions: 

 It depends on the institution they work in. Geriatric nurses can work in mental health facilities, hospitals, private hospitals, private practices, clinics, and also nursing homes. 

 Some wards may employ geriatric nurses to assist in treatment and recovery of their older patients. For example, renal, cardiology, and neurology all often do this in larger hospitals. 



 Opportunities in Geriatric Nursing 

 As it is a rapidly growing field of high importance, the opportunities for academic study and research are very high. There is a big need for healthcare workers to be trained in the field of gerontology, so local healthcare can keep up with global standards. 

 Some geriatric nurses even can opt to open up their own practices as well. 

  Read more on advancing your nursing career into nursing education HERE . 



 Salary and income 

 The median salary of geriatric nurses is higher than that of a registered nurse[5]. However this depends on many factors, such as duties/responsibilities, experience, and work location. 

 This is expected to increase as demand for geriatric nurses continues to grow ever-rapidly. 

  Read more on how nurses can increase their income HERE.  

 Source:  
    1.  http://today.mims.com/topic/what-are-the-options-for-aged-care-in-singapore-?country=Malaysia&channel=GN-Health-Wellness   
    2.  http://today.mims.com/topic/specialist-spotlight–geriatricians   
    3.  https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/29/Life_Expectancy_at_Birth_by_Region_1950-2050.png   
    4.  http://www.imc.edu.my/elderly-care-setting-standards-elderly-care/   
    5.  http://www1.salary.com/Staff-Nurse-RN-Geriatric-Salary.html  

 Search for high-paying geriatric nursing jobs here at  MIMS Career . Sign up and apply today with our safe, secure, and free site. MIMS Career is an extensive job portal for healthcare practitioners such as nurses, doctors, and dentists throughout Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines. 

 Browse through our vast directory of job vacancies by top healthcare employers. See any jobs you like? Apply with one click, or save it for later if you need some time to think about it.  

 Can’t find what you’re looking for? Set up an email alert, and we’ll notify you when a job vacancy that meets your desired criteria becomes available.

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 Why do we, as nursing professionals, have to put in effort to continuously learn? 

 The rate of progress in technology is growing at an exponential rate. The more things we discover, the faster we do it. What we learnt in nursing school 10 years ago might already be obsolete next year. As nurses, we are at risk of endangering our patients as our skills are steadily becoming more outdated. 

 Lifelong learning is a term that is freely being thrown around these past two decades. Lifelong learning means that education does not end at the academic level upon graduation; it means new skills, knowledge, and practices are always there to be learnt to improve oneself. 

 New Methods of Nursing 

 Take CPR, for example. 

 A vital procedure, many lives are saved with it. You would think that for something used so much in hospitals, it would be a science that’s very well established. 

 Unfortunately, no. Researchers and new observations change the way CPR is done. A decade ago, CPR was considered futile after a certain amount of time. Now, you are encouraged to  not give up  those chest compressions until medical help arrives. 

 Even the steps for CPR ten years ago are in different order. It used to be A-B-C; clear Airway, apply rescue breaths, then begin compressions.  Now compressions come first and foremost . The reason is because rescue breaths lower chest cavity air pressure, slowing circulation (which is exactly what we do not want in cardiac arrest). 

 The new methods are more effective than the older ones. And it took only ten years for the old methods to become obsolete. 

 Not knowing the newer, more effective method could cost someone his/her life. 

 Renewing Your Nursing License 

 In Malaysia, you have to renew your license every year. 

 When you renew your license, they will check your CPD points:  Continuous Professional Development  points. These are points that you gain when you go for any nursing related courses. 

 For example, attend a Midwifery course and gain 5 CPD points. Attend a Wound Management course and get 3. 

 These points accumulate throughout the year, and when you want to renew your license, you need about 20-30 points. Otherwise, you will not be able to renew, thus leaving you without any form of registration. Meaning you can’t practice nursing! 

 Improving care towards patients 

 Nurses with a higher level of education are able to think more critically of their patients. They are able to aid in diagnosis, notice patterns in communication, and other physical cues that would help in determining the best course of treatment. 

 A nurse with a post-basic in cardiology is much more useful to a cardiologist compared to a general staff nurse. They can work together, exchange information, and execute procedures that the latter would not normally have the ability to do. 

 21st Century patients 

 Nowadays, patients are have more access to information than ever before. They are more learned, and have different set of expectations. They query a lot; so nurses have to be armed with the right set of information to cater to these patients. It goes a long way in establishing their trust towards you. 

 A good nurse-patient relationship is very important to achieve successful recovery. 

 Great nurses are always on the lookout for new, exciting, and better opportunities to grow their career. Find out your next employment with MIMS Career, a fast, secure, and convenient portal to connect you to top-class healthcare employers in MY, SG, ID, and PH.

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 Gynaecology is the medical practice of dealing with the health of the female reproductive system and the breasts. Literally the term gynaecology means “the study of women.” The opposite of gynaecology is andrology, which deals in male-specific medical issues. 

  Almost all modern gynaecologists are obstetricians : physicians who deal in the branch of medicine and surgery of childbirth and labor. These two fields overlap in many areas, therefore in many institutions Obstetrics and Gynaecology are lumped together as O&G. 

 Gynaecology is concerned with the health of the female reproductive organs and the ability to reproduce. It also encompasses paediatric and adolescent problems to post-menopausal ages. 

 History 

 From ancient Egypt circa 1800 BC, the Kahun Gynaecological Papyrus is the oldest known medical text of any kind. It writes about women’s complaints; gynaecological diseases, fertility, pregnancy, contraception, etc. In the 4th century BC Hippocrates wrote texts about gynaecological diseases that were common afflictions to Greek women at the time. 

 J Marion Sims is widely considered to be the father of gynaecology. He operated during the 19th century at Jefferson Medical College, New York. However the title is now being scrutinized due to his unethical development of his surgical techniques. He operated a lot on slaves, many of whom were not given anaesthesia. 

 Training 

 Post-basic courses on midwifery, gynaecology, and obstetrics are considered to be part of gynaecological training. If desired, a nurse can opt to pursue a Masters in order to carry out research work in the field, and proceed to doctorate studies. 

 Training is given out to encourage the study and advancement of the practice of gynaecology. It is also done by the publication of clinical guidelines and reports on aspects of the specialty and service provision. 

 Gynaecology is a vast field. Nurses who work in this area have sub-specialties in high-risk obstetrics, fertility care, or minimal access surgery. The job most deals with healthy women, where unexpected challenges can present themselves on a daily basis. Work includes a large number of hands-on procedures, and training reflects that. 

 Common Cases 

 Patients range from those who have chronic disorders which are not life threatening, to those who require immediate acute emergency treatment. 

 Nurses in this field are often required to provide assistance during operative procedures. Some of the common procedures a gynaecological nurse with oversee include: 

 
	 dilation and curettage 
	 Oophorectomy 
	 Exploratory laparotomy 
	 Treatments for urinary incontinence 
	 Cervical excision procedures 
	 treatment of polyps 
	 surgery for cancers 
 

 A major part of a gynaecology nurse is the delivery of infants. Their work includes: 

 
	 assist delivery using instruments (forceps or vacuum) 
	 C-sections 
	 Foetal health 
 

 Career Opportunities 

 
	 Independent Nurse Consultant 
	 Educator 
	 Training programme director for gynaecology nursing 
	 
	 Research in public and private sectors 
	 
	 - 
 
   

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