Nurses’ role in improving health systems’ resilience underscored – at International Nurses Day observance

(Ministry of Public Health – May 12, 2016) – The important role played by nurses in improving health systems’ resilience locally, was underscored today, as the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) observed International Nurses day.

This year, International Nurses day is being observed under the theme “Nurses: A force for Change: Improving Health Systems’ Resilience”.

Speaking at the GPHC’s observance in its East Street Car park, Public Health Minister, George Norton said that one has only to imagine for a moment a world without nurses to realise how vital are their services.

Public Health Minister Dr George Norton addresses nurses on International Nurses Day




“Every day, nurses provide leadership, innovation and advocacy to meet the health care needs of our citizens. I can also safely say that they also help in making the lives of our doctors easier, he asserted.

Minister Norton pointed out, in addition to their technical skills; nurses must bring to their duty posts, a generous dose of compassion in dealing with patients who are severely ill and in need of not only constant care, but also emotional support and encouragement.

“We have recognised that nurses are an essential part of the healthcare workforce, and as such we want to give our nurses attractive career opportunities and pathways, so that they can fulfill their aspirations. The Ministry of Public Health will continue to advance its training opportunities in the areas of professional nursing and midwifery,” he assured

Meanwhile, Director of Nursing Services at the GPHC, Collene Hicks stressed that nurses are a vital force for changes that the health system needs.

However, she pointed out that in order to improve health system resilience, nurses must seek every opportunity to improve their own flexibility.

“Improving our health system resilience or improving our health system capacity to recover from difficulties, for us to do that we must maintain our health and our well-being,” she emphasised.

Hicks highlighted the growing pressure which nurses face, including coping with changes to service delivery and models of care, financial pressures and enhanced expectations.

According to her, nurses have the responsibility to look after themselves and develop strategies which will help them to recover from their own difficulties.

Nurses gathered to observe  International Nurses Day



Chief Executive Officer of the GPHC, Allan Johnson urged the nurses to use the occasion to do some introspection. He applauded those who have been doing well, and urged those who have not been doing so well to step up.

“We can’t do without you but we need you to do well. It is you who deal with the patients; it is you who report to the doctors,” he emphasised.

Others gathered to celebrate Nurses Day included: Mayor of Georgetown, Patricia Chase-Green; Chairman of the GPHC Board, Dr. Max Hanoman and Chief Nursing Officer- Ministry of Public Health,  Tarmattie Barker.




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