Ex­cit­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties in the health sec­tor

Irish Examiner - - Front Page -

Hav­ing come through a pe­riod of un­cer­tainty, the Ir­ish health­care sec­tor has seen a large in­crease in va­cant per­ma­nent po­si­tions in the pub­lic and pri­vate health­care sec­tors, ac­cord­ing to Niall McDe­vitt, Di­rec­tor of CPL Health­care.

“It is widely known that a nurs­ing qual­i­fi­ca­tion opens doors world­wide, and Ire­land is com­pet­ing in the global mar­ket which has an ac­knowl­edged world-wide short­age, to at­tract and re­cruit new staff, as well as re­tain its ex­ist­ing staff,” he ex­plains. CPL Health­care is Ire­land’s largest health­care staffing agency, fill­ing both tem­po­rary and per­ma­nent va­can­cies across the pub­lic and pri­vate sec­tors.

“It has been seen as an ex­tremely pos­i­tive step that all of the nurses who grad­u­ate in Ire­land this year will be of­fered a per­ma­nent job within the Health Ser­vice Ex­ec­u­tive. Early in­di­ca­tion from the Stu­dent Nurses is that the vast ma­jor­ity will ac­cept the of­fer to re­main in Ire­land, and prac­tice what they’ve learned over the last 4 years of study.”

Whilst this re­cruit­ment will more than likely fill posts in generic ar­eas such as Medicine and Surgery wards, ex­pe­ri­enced nurses are still sought by large acute hos­pi­tals in spe­cialty fields such as; ICU, CCU, HDU, Emer­gency and Theatre, to in­crease the hos­pi­tals’ staffing skill mix, or to pro­vide a more bal­anced work­force ex­pe­ri­ence wise.

“Some of these ex­pe­ri­enced nurses are Ir­ish qual­i­fied who re­lo­cated abroad for em­ploy­ment in years gone past, and who now bring home with them a wealth of ex­pe­ri­ence and skills to share with their new col­leagues in the health ser­vice. Job prospects at se­nior/man­age­rial level, ed­u­ca­tion op­por­tu­ni­ties and be­ing closer to fam­ily/ friends are usu­ally the driv­ing fac­tor for Nurses re­turn­ing to Ire­land in re­cent times,” he adds.

As well as nurses, health­care staff in a num­ber of other dis­ci­plines in­clud­ing doc­tors and al­lied health are see­ing an open­ing up of per­ma­nent and con­tract op­por­tu­ni­ties, com­ing on the back of years of re­cruit­ment mora­to­ri­ums. “For many, es­pe­cially new grad­u­ates, the only op­tion avail­able was work­ing abroad, where the health ser­vices of the UK, Aus­tralia, New Zealand, Canada and Sin­ga­pore wel­comed our grad­u­ates with open arms and ben­e­fited hugely. Thank­fully we are now see­ing a re­ver­sal of this trend with many al­lied health pro­fes­sion­als and doc­tors re­turn­ing home to take up se­nior and spe­cial­ist roles within the pri­mary and sec­ondary care sec­tor.”

New grad­u­ates are also ben­e­fit­ing with in­creased fund­ing within the dis­abil­i­ties sec­tor and wait­ing list ini­tia­tives which have seen large num­bers of ther­apy pro­fes­sion­als re­cruited on com­ple­tion of their cour­ses. The es­tab­lish­ment of Tusla Child and Fam­ily Agency and the cre­ation of Na­tional Safe­guard­ing and Pro­tec­tion ser­vice within the HSE, along with op­por­tu­ni­ties within the pri­vate sec­tor has en­sured So­cial Work­ers now have many op­tions when plot­ting their ca­reer paths.

“Al­lied health pro­fes­sion­als work­ing within di­ag­nos­tic ser­vices are also highly sought af­ter with ra­dio­g­ra­phers, sono­g­ra­phers and clin­i­cal phys­i­ol­o­gists see­ing in­creases in va­can­cies across all grades as hos­pi­tals and clin­ics ex­pand their di­ag­nos­tic ser­vices through em­brac­ing new tech­nolo­gies avail­able,” Niall McDe­vitt con­cludes. “In sum­mary, Ire­land is open for busi­ness and wel­com­ing of highly skilled health­care work­ers.”

CIT cour­ses of­fer ca­reer path­ways to boom­ing leisure in­dustr y

The Ex­er­cise, Health and Fit­ness in­dus­try is one of the fastest grow­ing sec­tors in the economy.

As a re­sult of so­ci­etal changes lead­ing to in­creased seden­tary time, ris­ing lev­els of over­weight and obe­sity, in­creased life ex­pectancy and a greater knowl­edge of the im­por­tance of health and well­ness among the pop­u­la­tion; it is an­tic­i­pated that growth in this sec­tor will con­tinue into the fu­ture, ac­cord­ing to Dr. Con Burns, Course Co-or­di­na­tor and Se­nior Lec­turer in the Cork In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy’s Department of Sport, Leisure and Child­hood Stud­ies. “In fact, it has been es­ti­mated that over €700 mil­lion was spent in the Repub­lic of Ire­land on gym, fit­ness cen­tre and sports club mem­ber­ship in 2016 alone, and that this could rise to al­most €750 mil­lion in the next 3-5 years.

This has cre­ated a de­mand for highly qual­i­fied health and fit­ness pro­fes­sion­als with spe­cial­ist knowl­edge and skills in this broad field. Note that the breadth of this field ex­tends to health and fit­ness for all life stages, in­clud­ing child­hood, youth, adult and older adult.”

He adds that wor­ry­ingly, 60% of adults and 25% of chil­dren are over­weight or obese in this coun­try (Dept. of Health, 2013) while the WHO fore­casts that Ire­land could top the Euro­pean League Ta­ble in the near fu­ture. “The Recre­ation & Leisure Man­age­ment and Sport & Ex­er­cise Man­age­ment pro­grammes in Cork In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy are well placed to meet this de­mand in the economy pro­vid­ing highly qual­i­fied grad­u­ates with spe­cial­ist prac­ti­cal knowl­edge and com­pe­ten­cies cou­pled with a strong busi­ness man­age­ment base.”

The BBus. Recre­ation and Leisure Man­age­ment is a three year pro­gramme in CIT’s Department of Sport, Leisure and Child­hood Stud­ies. Stu­dents who suc­cess­fully com­plete this pro­gramme are el­i­gi­ble to progress to the 1-Year add-on BBus. (Hons) Sport & Ex­er­cise Man­age­ment pro­gramme of study.

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