SINGAPORE: The first local poll on continuing education needs among speciality nurses found that their number one topic of interest was nutritional needs during pregnancy and early childhood.
The poll was conducted by Danone Dumex Singapore with participation by the Obstetrical and Gynaecological Society of Singapore and Singapore Pediatric Society.
About 200 Obstetrical and Gynaecological (O&G) and paediatric nurses participated in the poll.
128 were O&G nurses while 70 were paediatric nurses from Mount Alvernia, Raffles Hospital and Thomson Medical Center.
To address this, a programme that focuses on nutrition for early childhood development will be initiated this year called Dumex Preci Maternal & Child Education for Nurses.
Besides nutrition, the one—day course will include modules on handling common pregnancy—related complications and managing illnesses in infants.
The initiative aims to train 200 nurses over three years.
The first training session is on 22 September for about 80 nurses.
The poll also found that while nearly all nurses felt that continued education training is essential for upgrading their skills, an average of 30 per cent did not attend any training last year.
The poll did not ask the nurses what were the reasons for not attending. But those in the professional field said this could be due to a lack of time or topics were not in their area of interest.
Assistant director of nursing at Mount Alvernia Hospital, Susan Kok, said: "Give them the working hours to attend the courses or training so they don’t feel it will infringe onto their social time.
"So that’s one way the hospital can help by giving them time—off to attend. To me, training is very important, so whether it is beyond me, I will try my very best to make sure that I will go for training as much as I can because knowledge is power and training is a way that we can upgrade ourselves."
The majority of nurses who attended training last year were of a senior—level.
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