Nursing services undergo a change in focus

Wu Ruofan
Shanghai commission celebrates the dedication of the city's nurses as it outlines the future of services and a change from a disease-centered approach to a patient-centered one.
Wu Ruofan

Nursing in the future will focus more on the physical and mental health needs of patients to provide them with comprehensive care, the Shanghai Health Commission said during a press conference on Tuesday, International Nurses Day.

Zheng Jin, a spokeswoman for the commission, said the concept of nursing services had changed from "disease-centered" to "patient-centered."

Shanghai currently has more than 97,000 nurses, almost half of the city’s medical workers. Almost 60 percent are under 35 years old.

Since 2005, 15,000 nurses have received training in specific areas, including intensive care, trauma and blood purification. 

Special nursing outpatient services such as breast disease and diabetes care are available in many key hospitals.

In the next step, more nursing services, including home care, will be available at every community health center.

For example, the Meixiaohu home care service at Changning community health center is able to treat 2,000 patients a year.

The city’s nursing team has also made steady academic achievements, with three medical schools doing research in evaluation of nursing equipment and around 50 nurses joining international nursing organizations.

The commission thanked nurses, not only in celebration of the 109th International Nurses Day, but for their work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chen Zhen, a senior nurse from Huadong Hospital, was among the first batch to head to Wuhan on New Year’s Eve. She was responsible for two wards at that city’s Jinyintan Hospital.

“The experience in Wuhan has taught me more than I’d already learned as a nurse. Apart from professional skills, a kind heart willing to help others is very important. The public sent a lot of warmth to us this year, and I’m proud to be a nurse,” she said.

Chen Li was a surgical nurse at the Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center, taking care of critical cases during the pandemic.

“Some patients weighed two or three times most of the nurses, which was really a challenge for us to turn and clean their bodies. It felt like fighting a war after we finished. People might judge my generation as self-centered, but we are growing up to shoulder more responsibility,” she said.

Feng Sheng, a male nurse at the Shanghai Children's Medical Center’s ICU, stressed the importance of paternal care for children. Currently, 2.1 percent of nurses in Shanghai are male.

“The father plays a significant role during a person’s childhood. When a child is sick, the determination and strength of male nurses can be a solid backup for the care given by female nurses,” he said.

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