In an urgent application for the corona crisis, the Greens are calling for short-term measures to avoid overloading nursing staff in intensive care units. Intensive care units are “a matter of life or death every day,” said the nursing policy spokeswoman for the Greens parliamentary group, Kordula Schulz-Asche, the Tagesspiegel Background Health & E-Health. “If the number of Covid-19 infections does not drop quickly now, there is a risk that intensive care will finally collapse after months of overload.”
In order to prevent this, three things are needed above all, according to the initiative to be decided this afternoon by the parliamentary group in the Bundestag. In order to create incentives for the re-entry of trained specialists, a “WellComeback” immediate program must be set up. In concerted action by the care industry, hospital society, employers’ associations and unions, a “care emergency reserve” should be built up for emergency situations such as the current pandemic. And in order to increase the continuity of care, health promotion in the workplace must also be promoted. This includes, for example, “to refrain from measures to extend the maximum daily working hours and to shorten rest times”. The nursing, assistance and support staff have received continuous training in dealing with Covid-19. And if necessary, psychological support must also be guaranteed.
Now, in the corona crisis, it is becoming apparent that the shortage of skilled nurses in this area, which has been known for years, is “becoming the bottleneck in supply,” said Schulz-Asche. One now has to take countermeasures quickly and ensure that care professionals can bring their knowledge and experience to the care. “We want to strengthen the back of the nursing staff by providing more staff at short notice and enabling closer cooperation between the health professions.”
In any case, from the Greens point of view, it is not enough to focus solely on the number of beds in the treatment capacities. At the same time, a minimum number of nurses must be ensured, according to the application. Scientific staffing instruments should be introduced in the hospitals that take into account the level of qualification and are based on the actual care needs of the patients – “also and especially in intensive care and pediatrics”. And in the part-time and fixed-term law, the possibility of flexible full-time should be created. With 30 to 40 hours per week, this instrument would make it easier for employees to “adjust their working hours up or down as needed”.