CHEd eyes creation of healthcare assistants to ease nursing shortage
MANILA, Philippines — A solution to the country’s nursing shortage that the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) is looking into is the creation of healthcare assistants and healthcare associates, which could be those who did not pass the nursing licensure exams.
CHEd Chair Prospero de Vera said that the government is eyeing immediate, medium, and long-term solutions to address the crisis. The medium-term solution was to work with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda).
“We told the President, there is a pool of nursing graduates out there who, for one reason or another, was not able to pass the licensure. Why don’t we help them pass the licensure test or re-skill them to be healthcare assistants, healthcare workers,” said the CHEd chief.
De Vera added that they are working with Tesda “to create what we call healthcare assistants and healthcare associates. You know, the hospitals are saying that the nurses have too many tasks that they are unable to focus on patient care. So we are working with the Private Sector Advisory Council in the Department of Health to identify the tasks that nurses should not be doing anymore so they can focus on patient care.”
He explained that skills such as taking blood pressure, getting temperatures, and caring for patients could be taught in a shorter time.
“This can be a certificate or diploma program issued by Tesda or CHEd or by both so that we produce—you don’t have to wait for five years to produce it; we can produce it within a year or two years so we will have supplemental workforce to address the needs of our hospitals,” said De Vera.
Meanwhile, the CHEd chief also said that the long-term solution was lifting the nursing moratorium, while the immediate solution was creating review classes for those who did not pass the nursing exam.
“We will hold special review classes for those employed in the DOH (Department of Health) and in private hospitals as aides or assistants so that they can pass the licensure test and we can produce more graduates,” said De Vera.