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a blog by Chris Barrow

The growing problem of nursing shortages

Given the panic that was evident earlier in the year around the potential shortage of PPE, I'm wondering when the same will happen around the shortage of qualified and experienced dental nurses?

Yesterday I spoke with Cheryl Walters, founder of Lifeline Dental Agency and with Lisa Bainham, President of ADAM, on this subject.

They both agreed that experienced nurses aren't just leaving practices who may not have treated them well this year - they are also leaving the profession.

It's about the combination of adverse working hours/shifts/conditions, lack of appreciation and relatively low pay.

On the latter point, Sainsburys are advertising "store colleague" opportunities from £9.30 to £9.90 an hour (depending on the post code), to which they will add benefits and allowances.

Just saying.

For older team members, maybe it "just ain't worth it" if the domestic demands of Covid-life outweigh the psychological as well as material benefits of having a job.

Of course, there are many in nursing who follow their vocation and have been quiet heroes all year - long may they continue.

Be mindful, however, that attracting, training and/or retaining good nursing staff is going to get tougher.

You would be well advised to ask yourself:

  • How well do I pay?

  • How well do I support with benefits - even as simple as £116 for GDC registration or a bursary for post-graduate education;

  • How well do I show my appreciation for what they do?

  • Is there a career pathway in my business for those who have ambition?

  • Is recruitment a constant activity in my business?

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