The third year of the new nursing training started in September. “New” because it is now a generalist training: Apprentices no longer learn the professions of geriatric care , health and nursing or pediatric nursing. Rather, they all go through the same training and at the end obtain the qualification of a nursing specialist.
The training still lasts three years. The first section consists of what is known as an orientation assignment, which the trainees complete with their respective provider, either in children’s nursing, in a hospital or in a nursing home for the elderly. Overall, about half of the training takes place in practical assignments – not only at the company’s own agency, but in all areas – and the other half at school.
This structure offers the advantage that the young people do not have to commit themselves to one care area from the outset. They gain insight everywhere and, after completing their training, can decide on the area that suits them best. This flexibility is certainly a great thing. I also believe that it is an advantage for nurses in hospitals, for example, if they know more about caring for older people. After all, a large proportion of the patients in the clinic are old.
But there is also another side.
No one has completed generalist training yet. However, one thing is already clear: the graduates will no longer reach the same level in the individual areas as before. Because the training is broader, the learning content no longer just includes nursing for the elderly, the sick or children. But all areas. As a practical instructor, will I overwhelm the trainees with my questions when they work in the intensive care unit – if they do one at all, because it is no longer mandatory? I assume that further training will be necessary after the training in order to learn the specifics of the individual areas – further training that does not currently exist.
In addition, the different care areas are paid differently: in geriatric care, you usually earn less than in a hospital. If a nurse’s qualification allows it now, will most choose nursing and thereby increase the shortage of skilled workers in elderly care?
There are many question marks in our minds as to whether the generalist training is a good or a less good development overall. It is always a challenge – and the rest will show.
Pola Gülberg is an intensive care nurse. In this column, the 38-year-old talks about her work at the district clinic in Ebersberg every week. The collected texts can be found at sueddeutsche.de/thema/Auf Station .