Phenomenal growth throughout Asia – both economically and in terms of population – has led to a series of revolutions in daily life. With the continent’s total population expected to grow by another billion people over the next 20 years, the increased demand for services, jobs, and everything else will continue to accelerate at a rapid rate.
Perhaps no better example of how population growth and aging affect society can be found than in the realm of healthcare. Hundreds of millions of people lack guaranteed access to healthcare coverage and care – and with hundreds of millions more likely to be born in the coming years, the strain being felt on the broader system is incredible.
While not a total guarantee of universal, proper healthcare access, nurses are on the front lines of ensuring basic access to medical care is available throughout cities, towns and villages everywhere. Some specific nursing roles are in demand more than others: here are 5 vital nursing professions that most Asian communities are in major need of currently.
Infant mortality and newborn care are major struggles for developing communities. They also happen to be strongly correlated with economic potential and overall rates of development: communities that have comprehensive access to infant care and lower mortality rates ultimately produce healthier and more robust work forces.
Midwives are a crucial component in reproductive healthcare in communities throughout the world. Midwives serve a variety of purposes. Not only are they relegated to being caregivers during the delivery of babies; these vital nurses also help guide expecting mothers throughout their pregnancies, securing doctor appointments and providing guidance in terms of diet and self-care. Many midwife nurses also serve as front line providers of reproductive and gynecological care in communities where access or affordability limits these services.
The World Health Organization estimates that roughly 2 million additional midwife-focused nursing positions will be needed in Southeast Asia by 2030, making this profession a prime example of where need is substantial.
Nursing has a plethora of different specialties and focuses, but the standard nursing role – often referred to as registered nurses – is a major example where Asia is in dire need. Registered nurses often fill a variety of roles in primary and specialty healthcare settings, able to perform a litany of tasks in conjunction with doctors and other healthcare professionals.
Many Asian communities isolated by geography have difficulty attracting registered nurses to their communities, but there are options. For instance, online accelerated BSN nursing programs make it possible for local residents to pursue qualified registered nursing programs without attending a physical campus. It is possible for students to complete online accelerated BSN nursing programs in two years or less, paving the way for these individuals to provide comprehensive care to their neighbors.
From providing patient care to managing caseloads in medical settings, registered nurses form the backbone of healthcare in most communities. This is why the profession is in such dire need throughout most of Asia.
Home Health Nurses
With an aging population throughout many Asian countries growing by the day, the need for specific, individualized forms of healthcare continues to grow. One of the most notable examples of nursing that gives users a comprehensive, custom guarantee of healthcare access is home health nurses. Mobile healthcare and nursing in Asia continue to grow exponentially, lagging development compared to many other parts of the world.
Home health nurses make it possible for patients to receive care without leaving the home. This is an important option for the hundreds of millions of people throughout Asia currently suffering from a lack of mobility, disability or geographic isolation. Home health nurses provide comprehensive care in a comfortable setting for patients, which can often alleviate the stress or fear of seeing a doctor.
The body of global evidence points to one clear reality: home health care lowers prices for patients and medical facilities while also providing an increased level of care to an otherwise under-served population.
As has been mentioned already, infant mortality and overall newborn health challenges are a major factor in measuring overall healthcare quality. Even if a pregnancy ultimately results in a successful birth, there are a plethora of potential congenital or life-threatening situations post-birth that could affect newborns. At the center of the fight against this scourge, you’ll find neonatal nurses.
Neonatal nurses ultimately provide care to premature and otherwise ill newborns. These nurses work in neonatal intensive care units inside hospitals, ensuring that newborns who are suffering from one or more critical health problems are immediately given the care they need. In just China and India alone, there are roughly 5 million premature births every year, and the demand for neonatal nurses is only growing.
Neonatal nurses require proper training, culminating in a bachelor’s degree or higher. Traditional and online accelerated BSN nursing programs are viable options for students pursuing this career.
The types of nursing professions are varied, but so is when and where they are needed. A variety of registered nurses and other more specialized nursing roles are sorely in need throughout schools in Southeast Asia. The reason for this need is simple: with many not receiving access to healthcare due to geography or financial limitations at home, school nurses serve as the first line of defense against the illness for children.
School nurses not only provide access to basic care for students who are sick or injured while at school, but they also help develop and adapt plans to minimize the likelihood of illness for the entire school population. In a world where pandemics are increasingly a major reality, these services are vital for local communities.
School nursing is still a very underdeveloped form of nursing throughout many Asian countries, meaning that a massive build-up and change in attitudes will be required to sufficiently fill the demand for this profession.
Fundamentally, the Asian healthcare industry at-large is growing rapidly and providing vital care to a seemingly countless number of patients. However, there are still areas where great improvement will be needed in the coming decade and beyond. These five fields in particular are some of the best examples of where demand currently outpaces growth.