Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Why do Chinese nurses leave practice?

Roger Watson, Editor
There is a worldwide shortage of nurses and nurse turnover is an issue facing most health services in most countries and this includes China where the required number of nurses in the years ahead will probably run to tens of millions.  The reasons for nurses leaving practice in China is reported in an article by Zhu et al. (2015) titled: 'A qualitative exploration of nurses leaving nursing practice in China' and published in Nursing Open.  

The study involved in-depth interviews with 19 nurses who had left nursing practice and were theoretically sampled from one provincial capital city in China during August 2009–March 2010.  'Mismatched expectations' described one of the major reasons for leaving and this may be a result of the way people enter nursing in China; in the words of the authors: 'The majority of participants said that they were transferred into nursing studies without true desire to be nurses. While different levels of education between the universities and colleges became fiercely competitive with a market orientation, Chinese students are required to accept the pre-condition for getting a university admission offer ‘I agree to be transferred to other subjects’. Although nursing is an unwelcome career choice in current Chinese society, involuntarily transferring students into nursing studies from other subjects has been taken for granted. As a nursing teacher now, Yuan thought that a lack of proper support for students who involuntarily entered nursing study has a negative impact on students’ learning attitudes and their leaving the nursing practice early.'  Clearly, if more nurses are going to be encouraged to stay in nursing the way that they are
recruited and then the expectations once in practice may have to be reviewed to avoid even bigger problems in future.


Zhu J, Rodgers S, Melia K (2015) A qualitative exploration of nurses leaving nursing practice in China Nursing Open doi: 10.1002/nop2.11

Machine translation and ethnic diversity

Roger Watson, Editor

When it comes to machine translate there are at least two fundamental questions: does it work? If so is one translator better than the rest?  In the early days of online translators many of us sought amusement in some of the howlers that were generated.  It seems that these machine translators are much better these days and are worth studying, especially on the context of research into ethnic diversity where language can be a facilitator and a barrier. 

 A recent paper by Taylor et al. (2105) titled: ‘A prospective observationalstudy of machine translation software to overcome the challenge of includingethnic diversity in healthcare research’ and published in Nursing Open reports an investigation to compare two online translation packages.  Translation of English into Spanish and Chinese was used to test the translators with some interesting results.

One translator was better than the other and Spanish translated better than Chinese.  However, in the words of the authors: ‘Machine translation software is not currently accurate enough to provide translation of documents used in research or health care and would not recommend its use without the involvement of professional proofreading and editing.’

Which were tested and which was best: read the article!