Emergency nursing programme launched – first in Caribbean

GINA, GUYANA, Monday, November 21, 2016

Twenty (20) nurses will be the first to be trained, through the Emergency Nursing Programme that was launched today. They are to receive a Bachelor’s Degree at the end of the two-year programme.

The first session of the training is expected to be held within one week and will be conducted at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC). The training is a collaborative effort of the GPHC, the University of Guyana (UG) and Vanderbilt University, United States of America.

Minister of Public Health, Dr. George Norton, addressing nurses and other health officials at the launch of the Emergency Nursing Programme

Minister of Public Health, Dr. George Norton, addressing nurses and other health officials at the launch of the Emergency Nursing Programme

Prior to this programme being launched, nurses working at the Accident and Emergency department at referral hospitals across the country, operated under a system known to them as the Clinical Shift Leaders (CSL).

The Emergency Nursing Programme will be headed by Dr. Jessica Van Meter who has worked as a Paramedic and Emergency Nurse, trained through Vanderbilt University. It has been recognised that building capacity among nurses locally is ideal in having swift responses to emergency cases.

Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine attached to the GPHC’s Accident and Emergency Unit, Dr. Zulfikar Bux at the launch at the GPHC, explained that himself and others worked to start the Clinical Shift Leader’s initiative.

“…what we did was started a little mini residency programe, working with myself or nurses in the department, and of course the Vanderbilt Nursing University to see how we can improve care and do some amount of training, so we started it and it was very successful.”

Some of the nurses attached to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation who would be a part of the Emergency Nursing Programme

Some of the nurses attached to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation who would be a part of the Emergency Nursing Programme

After careful strides had been made in creating such a programme, UG approved the Emergency Nursing curriculum during the third quarter of 2016. The Emergency Nursing programme provides for ‘on-scene’ training for nurses who are considered to be the face of the health sector.

This being the first nursing specialty training of its kind in the Caribbean, it will encourage the diversification of nursing education within Guyana. Dr. Bux added that this training is the “best way to repay the country by being pioneers of this programme in the future.”

Nurses most likely benefitting from this programme would be those that are first year Post Registered Nurses. This programme will also make way for the training in pediatric nursing which is set to be ventured into shortly.

Minister of Public Health, Dr. George Norton, recognises the importance of the nursing profession within the health sector. “This launch is indeed a key milestone in the development of nursing profession in our country. There is no doubt about the fact that we cannot say it more often, and in more significant way that nurses do constitute the backbone of human resources for the health service delivery in the service in any country.”

The programme will facilitate nurses from Georgetown, Suddie, Linden, West Demerara and New Amsterdam Hospitals. The nurses will lend substantial support to the Accident and Emergency Unit, in ensuring that more lives can be saved.

 

By Delicia Haynes

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