Nursing – A mission of the heart

DPI, Guyana, Friday, January 24, 2020

Midwives and nurses play a pivotal role in the provision of quality health care to mothers, babies and the general public.

The Department of Public Information sat down with three of these professionals to learn what drives them as they administer much-needed health care daily to those who need it.

Merlene Johnson, who is currently stationed at the Industry Health Centre, ECD, has been a midwife for 25 years.

“I started as a cleaner at Linden Hospital Complex, but I would always go among the nurses at the outpatient department to help with something and from there I grasped a lot. Then one day, I received a call to enrol for the nursing assistant programme and from that day I never regretted my decision,” Johnson recalled.

Working her way up the ladder, she added that her commitment was always to ensure the good health of her patients.

“This profession taught me to be a giver, a nurturer, and I will never stop caring for persons who are in my care, even after I retire next year. My greatest joy and fulfilment comes when my patients return with the good news that they are doing even better than before,’ she remarked.

A little further up the East Coast at the Plaisance Health Centre are Head Nurse Monique Ward-Towler and Midwife Latoya Kellman, who related some of their experiences.

Ward-Towler disclosed that originally her dream was to become a journalist but after much consideration and encouragement from her family, she took the step that now sees her in her seventh rewarding year of nursing.

According to Ward-Towler, her job as a nurse has taken her to several communities across Guyana. “I was stationed at the New Amsterdam Hospital when I finished my training. I did a year out-station at Mibicuri Cottage Hospital, then I was transferred to Region 4 and placed here at the Plaisance Health Centre.”

The Head Nurse noted that her profession had given her a deeper appreciation of life. “Many of us work with patients who had just 24 hours or less to live and it can be quite physically and emotionally taxing on the nurses, but we try to make them comfortable and console the surviving family members… it’s a job that will make you appreciate life more.”

Midwife Kellman, who has been in the profession for more than eight years, related that the midwifery runs in her family and her greatest accomplishment is ensuring mothers and babies receives the best healthcare delivery.

“Sometimes it is an early referral or advice that saves someone’s life; therefore, I take my job seriously. For those considering entering the nursing sector, I want to them to understand it takes great patience and challenging oneself to do better will pay off in a positive way that will benefit those who rely on us,” she explained.

All three healthcare professionals noted their appreciation for the UN’s dedication of 2020 as The Year of the Nurse and Midwife since they feel it would help to highlight the pluses and challenges they face.

Since 2015, the Ministry of Public Health has implemented massive upgrades in the public health infrastructure and provided necessary equipment and training to ensure citizens have access to quality healthcare in all 10 regions.


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