Ms. Mawahib Wang
Executive Director of Nursing Administration (SNA)
“Serious and inequivalent investment in developing a stronger nursing and midwifery workforce should be part of every government strategy”
What role has medical technology played in helping nurses in their day-to-day roles?
The two biggest effective technologies that helped keep nurses safe, while caring for COVID-19 patients, were telemonitoring and advanced communication devices that helped minimize the exposure to infection.
We’ve been able to enhance these interactions by utilizing multimedia platforms to keep nurses up to date.
Additionally, to assist the day-to-day nursing activities, there are organizations that are working on developing robots that carry out repetitive nursing skills to relieve pressure off nurses, so they are enabled to focus more on urgent tasks.
We are hoping to deploy these innovations and that more advanced technologies being developed will help mitigate upcoming severe nursing shortages.
What can countries do to face the challenge of global nursing & midwifery shortage to stabilize healthcare after the pandemic?
What we know so far is that there is an increasing global nursing shortage. The World Health Organization has estimated that we would need 9 million extra nurses by 2030.
We are also aware that nurses and midwives make up 50% of all healthcare workforce; therefore, if we are short on the workforce that we need most, then there will be no sustainability of healthcare systems.
Moreover, a recent report by the UN High Level Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth concluded that investments in education and job creation in the health and social sectors result in a triple return of improved health outcomes, global health security, and inclusive economic growth.
The answer is then clear, serious and inequivalent investment in developing a stronger nursing and midwifery workforce should be part of every government strategy to establish not only the security of healthcare systems but also to fortify the economic growth of the country.
Going forward, as innovations continue to transform the healthcare industry, are there any existing or future initiatives advancing the patient care and safety journey for caregivers?
The SNA will continue to provide support for all nursing and midwifery staff.
The biggest step that SNA took was pushing for the legislation of safe staffing ratio and making it a part of the national regulation in the upcoming Saudi Central Board for Accreditation of Healthcare Institutions (CBAHI) edition.
SNA also observed that the rate of infection among nurses was higher than in other countries which led to taking the cross-infection indicator as a crucial outcome for nurses’ adherence to clinical guidelines and protocols. This has reinforced our commitment to advocating the utilization of innovative solutions to increase safety for all nursing staff, both mentally and physically.