Golden opportunities in store
With post-war baby-boomers fast approaching retirement, Hong Kong is facing many challenges associated with elderly care, one of them an ongoing shortage of skilled professionals to provide such services.
'We notice a significant manpower shortage in the medical and welfare field, which includes nurses, physiotherapists and occupational therapists,' says a spokeswoman for the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals (TWGH).
As well as providing 23 residential care-homes, TWGH offers medical consultation, nursing care, rehabilitation and counselling and referral services. 'We formulate an individual care plan for every elderly resident,' says the spokeswoman.
TWGH also operates a range of community support services through its 25 service facilities, including district community, neighbourhood elderly, day care and home-care service centres. Given its wide range of operations, TWGH is willing to hire individuals from all walks of life, so long as they are passionate about serving the elderly. 'We require numerous professionals from various disciplines to work as frontline care staff in our residential homes and elderly services centres,' explains the spokeswoman.
TWGH currently has vacancies for a supervisor, an assistant supervisor and several nurses. Applicants need to be registered social workers or have recognised nursing qualifications. Candidates should also hold a bachelor's degree or a recognised qualification, and possess relevant experience.
The Group also has vacancies for physiotherapists, occupational therapists, health workers, care workers, service assistants and administrative staff.
TWGH staff members all receive close support and on-the-job training. This includes the opportunity to acquire specialist skills such as wound care, tube feeding, drug safety, and infection control. Staff are also invited to participate in the planning and implementation of new services.
Looking ahead, the TWGH spokeswoman expects greater career opportunities in the sector to increase. 'As our elderly population continues to expand, job security and positive career development prospects can almost be guaranteed for those committed to elderly care.'
Ivy Fung, executive officer at the Alice Ho Miu Ling Nethersole Nursing Home, in Kowloon Bay, agrees. 'There are career development opportunities across the entire scope of [elderly] services. We are looking for experienced people committed to caring for the elderly and who have the skills and ability to provide holistic physical, psychological, social and spiritual care.'
The Alice Ho Miu Ling Nethersole Nursing Home is looking for trained nursing candidates. Applicants should be Registered Nurses (RN) and possess a Certificate of Registration (Part I) and a valid Practising Certificate issued by the Nursing Council of Hong Kong. Enrolled Nurses (EN) should possess a Certificate of Enrolment (Part I) and a valid Practising Certificate issued by the Nursing Council of Hong Kong.
The institution is also looking for people listed on the Register of Health Workers. Suitable applicants include those who have completed the Personal Care Worker training programme run by the Employee Retraining Board and related centres.
The Hong Kong branch of the Salvation Army, another provider of elderly residential and care services, also aims to boost increase its headcount.
'Like other elderly-care organisations, we continue to face the challenge of recruiting people with the required skills,' says a spokesperson.