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How important is the nursing profession in Laos?

Medical staff around the world are working hard to combat the coronavirus. On International Nurses’ Day we salute nurses for their expert care. They are also educators and counsellors. In Laos, it’s important that our nurses try to raise their standards to match those of other countries. Vientiane Times asked members of the public for their thoughts on the nursing profession.

Ms Vilaithong, an official in Oudomxay province: I’m impressed by the bravery shown by medical staff. Doctors, nurses and public health officials work hard every day even when we don’t have a pandemic. Currently, medical personnel around the world are engaged in the fight against Covid-19 and many have died. It is lucky that the toll due to the coronavirus in Laos is very low compared with other countries. On this occasion I wish everyone involved strength and good health in the fight against Covid-19 and at all times.

Ms Daly, a student at the University of Health Sciences: I like this job because nursing is an honourable profession, and nurses are the heart and soul of the healthcare system. Everyone needs a nurse when they get sick. If we compare our system of working to that in other countries, we are still low quality because we don’t have enough materials for treatment or nurses and doctors with highly developed skills. It’s very important that we improve our education system so that we become better with a lot of experience in treatment. Students should go out into the field, and not only study in classrooms because they can learn more this way. If possible, they should go to witness real treatment at hospitals to see what’s it’s like.
Mr Soukphaxay, a resident of Vientiane province: I don’t know much about nursing standards but I have a few things to say about the nursing service and medical treatment in Laos. I think our nurses are quite nice and seem to be doing the best with limited resources. In general, nurses must see their patients as often as they can. I know nurses in Laos might be underpaid but this is unethical and places the patients of less well-off families in a very difficult position. I think the authorities should increase the salary paid to nurses, especially those who work in rural areas.
Ms Buaphaeng Sipaserd, a resident of Sikhottabong district: Doctors and nurses are very important because everyone needs them when they get sick. Compared to other countries, nursing skills in Laos lag far behind. I think our nurses can again good experience and skills, like those in other countries, if they receive good education and attend training courses. They should also be trained in the use of modern technology. It would be good if our nurses could improve their skills and have greater awareness of ethics because they are responsible for the treatment of patients and hold their lives in their hands.
Ms Nom Phommachan, an employee in Xaysettha district: Nurses spend more time with patients than doctors do. Nurses should know that they are helping people and trying to do everything to make patients feel better, including taking care of their health and feelings. But sometimes nurses in Laos fail in this regard. I know nursing is hard, but a good nurse must always display patience and talk to sick people kindly, even when they don’t follow instructions. They have to be careful about how they talk to patients and provide the best possible treatment. In addition, I would like to advise anyone who wants to be a nurse or a doctor to consider whether their hearts are kind enough for this job and whether they have the necessary patience.

By Lamphone Pasanthong
(Latest Update May 14, 2021)

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