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Exploring Absenteeism in Nursing: IELTS Reading Passage With Questions & Answers

Updated on 08 February, 2024

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad abroad Editorial Team

Short Intro:

Absenteeism in the nursing profession is a significant concern that impacts healthcare delivery worldwide. This IELTS reading passage will explore the causes, effects, and potential solutions to this issue, providing learners with the opportunity to practice their reading comprehension and test-taking strategies in preparation for their IELTS exam.


Absenteeism among nursing staff is a multifaceted problem that healthcare institutions globally grapple with. It is characterized by habitual absence from work, beyond what is deemed acceptable within the nursing profession. This phenomenon not only places a strain on healthcare systems but also compromises the quality of patient care.

The reasons for nurse absenteeism are varied and often interconnected. They range from burnout due to high-stress work environments and long hours to personal health issues and family responsibilities. Additionally, workplace conflicts and low job satisfaction contribute to the increasing rates of absenteeism.

The repercussions of this trend are far-reaching. Overburdened staff, increased workload, and heightened stress levels can lead to errors in patient care. Furthermore, the continuity of patient care is disrupted, and the remaining staff members may suffer from decreased morale.

Addressing absenteeism requires a comprehensive approach. Flexible scheduling, adequate staffing, and workplace wellness programs are potential strategies that could mitigate this issue. By acknowledging the complexities of absenteeism, healthcare institutions can implement policies that support their staff and promote a healthier work environment.

Questions & Answers:

Q1: What is absenteeism in nursing characterized by?

A) Occasional absence due to illness

B) Habitual absence from work

C) Taking planned vacations

D) Attending professional development courses

A1: B) Habitual absence from work

Explanation: The passage describes absenteeism as habitual absence from work, indicating that it is a repeated pattern rather than occasional or one-time instances.

Q2: Which of the following is not listed as a cause of nurse absenteeism?

A) High-stress work environments

B) Family responsibilities

C) Generous salary packages

D) Low job satisfaction

A2: C) Generous salary packages

Explanation: Generous salary packages are not mentioned in the passage as a cause of absenteeism. In contrast, the other options are identified as contributing factors.

Q3: True or False: Nurse absenteeism does not significantly affect other staff members.

A3: False

Explanation: The passage explicitly states that the remaining staff may suffer from decreased morale, indicating that absenteeism does affect other staff members.

Q4: What can be a consequence of overburdened staff due to nurse absenteeism?

A) Improved patient care

B) Errors in patient care

C) Higher job satisfaction

D) Increased staffing costs

A4: B) Errors in patient care

Explanation: The passage indicates that overburdened staff and increased workload can lead to errors in patient care as one of the repercussions of nurse absenteeism.

Q5: Fill in the blank: Implementing ________ scheduling is one way to address absenteeism.

A5: Flexible

Explanation: The passage suggests that flexible scheduling is a potential strategy to mitigate the issue of absenteeism in nursing.

Q6: What does the passage suggest is disrupted due to nurse absenteeism?

A) The implementation of technology

B) Research and development

C) Continuity of patient care

D) Healthcare legislation

A6: C) Continuity of patient care

Explanation: The continuity of patient care is mentioned as being disrupted by nurse absenteeism, which affects the overall quality of care.

Q7: Which strategy is not mentioned as a way to reduce absenteeism?

A) Increasing salaries

B) Adequate staffing

C) Workplace wellness programs

D) Flexible scheduling

A7: A) Increasing salaries

Explanation: While the passage discusses several strategies to address absenteeism, increasing salaries is not one of them.

Q8: Fill in the blank: Absenteeism can lead to a(n) ________ in morale among remaining staff members.

A8: Decrease

Explanation: The passage indicates that the morale of the remaining staff may decrease due to the added stress and workload from absenteeism.

Q9: True or False: The passage suggests that personal health issues are a minor factor in nurse absenteeism.

A9: False

Explanation: Personal health issues are listed among the varied and often interconnected reasons for nurse absenteeism, indicating their significance.

Q10: Fill in the blank: To combat nurse absenteeism, healthcare institutions must implement policies that ________ their staff.

A10: Support

Explanation: The passage concludes by stating that healthcare institutions need to implement supportive policies to promote a healthier work environment and address absenteeism.

IELTS Reading Test Preparation Tips:

Tip 1: Always read the passage thoroughly before attempting the questions, paying close attention to keywords and main ideas that are often revisited in the questions.

Tip 2: Practice skimming and scanning techniques to quickly identify relevant information in the passage that relates to the questions asked.

Tip 3: Develop the ability to distinguish between main ideas and supporting details, as this will help in answering comprehension questions accurately.

Tip 4: Familiarize yourself with different question types and practice them regularly to build confidence and improve your test-taking speed.

Tip 5: Enhance your vocabulary by learning new words in context and understanding synonyms, as IELTS often paraphrases the information in the questions.

By applying these tips and carefully analyzing the passage provided, students can improve their chances of excelling in the IELTS reading section. Remember, consistent practice and a strategic approach are key to success in the exam.

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upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad abroad Editorial Team

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The above tips are the Author's experiences. upGrad does not guarantee scores or admissions.