This Monday marks the start of a recruitment campaign for Public Assistance – Hospitals of Paris (AP-HP). If the process takes place every year, this year the Ile-de-France University Hospital has worked hard to carry out “a major campaign to increase its recruitment capacities” of 4,000 people in the fields of care, logistics and technical as well as administrative, for its 39 hospitals. In detail, 2,000 nurses are particularly sought after, as well as 900 nursing aides and orderlies. Objective stated: “to strengthen the attractiveness of AP-HP and retain the professionals who work there”.
At first glance, the task does not seem easy. The Covid-19 crisis has highlighted the lack of resources, and professionals are at their wit’s end after 15 months of health crisis. “The staff are exhausted. Physically, because of the number of months spent struggling and psychologically, because we lacked equipment, we had to make choices about which patients to send to intensive care, that we spent months in the Covid, in work like at home without being able to recharge the batteries, ”summarizes Thierry Amouroux, spokesperson for the National Union of Nursing Professionals (SNPI).
Unlike in previous years, there has been no summer break, generally a slack period during which staff can take a breather. “According to our survey of 70,000 nurses in France in October 2020, they were 37% to consider leaving the profession in the long term and 40% in April,” said Patrick Chamboredon, president of the National Order of Nurses.
A gap between the dream during studies and the reality on the ground
At first glance, not enough to make the next generation dream, and yet… “The Parcoursup platform shows that the nursing profession is in high demand. There are around 100,000 requests for 35,000 places in IFSI, ”notes Patrick Chamboredon, who underlines that the revaluation of salaries with the Ségur de la Santé has partly contributed to this attractiveness. But, for the two representatives of the sector, the problem is not at the entrance, but inside the hospital. “There is a gap between what we project during the studies and the reality on the ground”, explains the president of the National Order of Nurses.
“In training, we learn that each patient is unique and must be treated as such. But when you arrive at the hospital, you are faced with a much more industrial process, where you don’t have time to support the patient, to listen. There is then the feeling of doing one’s job poorly and a loss of meaning, ”reports Thierry Amouroux. He recalls that, according to the Directorate of Research, Studies, Evaluation and Statistics (DREES), 30% of young nursing graduates abandon the profession within five years of leaving school. “They change their voice, go liberal or go abroad, to countries which will pay them better”, explains the spokesperson for the SNPI.
“Re-enchant the hospital”
The real issue therefore lies less in attracting new professionals than in keeping them. To achieve this, several solutions. Patrick Chamboredon insists on the fact that it is absolutely necessary to offer a career thread. “Whether for those who want to specialize in administration or management, those who are interested in advanced practice or those who would like to hang up medical studies. In short, it is both giving direction and meaning to a profession that needs to evolve according to the needs of patients and new technologies ”. The AP-HP seems to be aware of this, and has also made it its campaign slogan: “Enter for your job, stay to evolve”.
Unsurprisingly, retaining the loyalty of health personnel will also have a price, underlines Thierry Amouroux, according to whom it will be necessary to “re-enchant the hospital”. “The more working conditions are degraded, the more people leave, the more the conditions deteriorate, the more people leave. There is a snowball effect ”. He therefore considers it necessary to reopen beds, create jobs and upgrade salaries “which, despite Ségur, remain 10% below the average European salary”. So many measures to be put in place in the coming years so as not to run into disaster. The Drees estimated that it would take nearly a million nurses by 2040 to meet the needs of an increasingly aging population, with chronic diseases, and also a large number of staff who will retire. .