Childcare helps women surgeons
Ways to meet the needs of women surgeons who are mothers yet, like their male colleagues, also work night shifts and carry out lengthy procedures, was again discussed at the 125th Congress of the German Society of Surgery (DGCH) in April.‘There is no doubt that there should be a stronger female influence in surgery, which is why the Federal Minister of Family Affairs, Dr Ursula von der Leyen, held an important lecture on this topic, followed by an open discussion,’ explained the DGCH President Rainer E J Arbogast MD.
Emphasising the need for a flexible approach to child care, the Murnau Trauma Centre in Germany was mentioned. This has an in-house nursery, where opening hours reflect hospital shifts. Carers look employees for 365 days a year. The scheme has not only increased staff satisfaction but also, said Erwin Kinateder, Administrative Director of the Centre, it has saved on costs. ‘This is largely based on the fact that we have lower staff turnover and less time taken off work. In 2004, an in-house study showed that we saved about 82,000 euros.’
Since the nursery opened in 1977 the number of places has increased continuously to reach the 100 available today. From 5.15 a.m. until 9.30 p.m. the carers tend babies from aged eight weeks and children up to ten years old – who not only eat and sleep at the nursery but are also helped with their homework
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