I SYMPATHISE with Datuk Shahrul Azila Mohd Salleh, the CEO of Institut Sains dan Teknologi, Johore Baru on the decrease in the number of students enrolling for nursing courses because of the new entry requirement “Number of nursing students set to drop” (The Star, Dec 10).
When the new entry requirement was announced in April/May 2010, I expressed my views to the Higher Education Ministry (The Star, May 25, 2010) that the five credits should be in Biology, Chemistry, Maths, Bahasa Melayu and one other subject for two reasons.
One, because Maths and pure Science subjects will facilitate critical thinking and learning of the Anatomy, Physiology, Biochemistry, Microbiology, Epidemiology, Pharmacology and all aspects of Medicine and Surgery as well as Nursing Sciences.
Two, because Maths and Bahasa Melayu serve as basic requirements to enter public universities, thus preparing them for life-long learning towards a degree in nursing.
Nursing is a professional discipline. It draws its knowledge from the natural and basic sciences (Chemistry, Biology, Physiology and Physics), the Social and Behavioural Sciences (Communication, Sociology and Psychology) plus a unique body of Nursing Science which is a synthesis of Medicine, Pharmacology, Nutrition, Social work, etc.
In addition, the role of nurses constantly change in response to the growth of biomedical knowledge, changes in patterns of demand for health services and the evolution of professional relationship among nurses, doctors and other healthcare professionals.
Now more than ever, nurses have to specialise in various clinical fields in tandem with clinical specialisation in medicine to ensure a continuing commitment to practice that demands expert knowledge and skills.
The five credits required of nursing without Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Maths are indeed an antithesis and a demand to lower them would create a pathetic fallacy, especially amidst thousands of nurses who are unemployed.
For many years now, the production of nurses has become a competitive venture among businessmen.
The nursing shortage is being played as a numbers game. To win the game, with its current rules, the more nurses they can produce, the closer they will be to winning the game.
The problem that nursing is facing now does not lie with the businessmen who want to make millions out of nursing but rather with nursing which allows the businessmen to use nursing to make millions.
All it needed then was proper enforcement and vigilant monitoring and to this end, only nurses can safeguard the quality of the nursing profession.
A NURSE Kuala Lumpur The STAR Online Home News Opinion Thursday December 13, 2012