Over 300 trained nurses for public health sector

GINA, GUYANA, Thursday, September 1, 2016

Three hundred and ten ( 310) nurses, including midwives and professional students have completed training and  will be added to the health sector to further improve health care delivery services.

Nurses entering the auditorium of the National Cultural Centre at the beginning of the graduation ceremony.

Nurses entering the auditorium of the National Cultural Centre at the beginning of the graduation ceremony.

The graduation ceremony of the Georgetown School of Nursing, held today, at the National Cultural Centre was attended by both Minister of Public Health Dr. George Norton and Minister in the Ministry, Dr. Karen Cummings. Pan American Health Organisation/ World Health Organisation’s (PAHO/WHO) Representative to Guyana Dr. William Adu-Krow was also present.

Dr. Adu-Krow’s feature address highlighted the qualities of Florence Nightingale that are in line with the responsibilities of the nurses. One of those is to make the best of a bad situation  just as Florence Nightingale carried out her nursing duties during the period of a war.

Dr. Adu-Krow  told the nurses that, “you should think above the status quo because the world is changing.”

Dr. Adu-Krow announced that, “ we facilitated 13 scholarships given by Brazil, eight of them for Masters in nursing and five for Doctorates in nursing,  so nurses, ladies and gentlemen, don’t let your studies end where you are.”

Minister of Public Health Dr. George Norton giving brief remarks

Minister of Public Health Dr. George Norton giving brief remarks

Minister Norton told the graduating batch, “Graduands, you have gone through a tedious journey, one that can only be successfully completed through hard work, diligence and determination. The nursing curriculum is very intense and elaborate, through thick and thin, through trials and tribulations … you did it!”

Minister Norton acknowledged the integral role of nurses in the country and their contributions to the local health sector.

He further told the graduands that he knows their job will not be an easy one, but encouraged them by saying that the Government of Guyana will do more to create a better  work environment across the board.

Dr. Norton pointed out that nursing has been given priority in the health sector as more than $56M has been allocated for the construction, and rehabilitation of several nursing school facilities across the country.

A nurse graduating from the Post Basic Midwifery course

A nurse graduating from the Post Basic Midwifery course

In the principal’s report, it was pointed out that 310 graduating nurses is indeed the largest batch in the history of the institute’s graduating ceremonies as the director of the Health Services Faculty, Wilton Benn highlighted that, “growing numbers mean progress.”

Benn told the nurses that, “graduating is the first step in your journey of 1000 miles. It is not the government that has invested in you, but rather the Guyanese public through the paying of their taxes.”

Principal, Cleopatra Barkoye,  highlighted a number of challenges faced by tutors, but nevertheless, they still render adequate and efficient service to students.

Dr. William Adu-Krow delivering the feature address

Dr. William Adu-Krow delivering the feature address

The faculty currently has 16 full time staff including nine tutors, but has a large complement of part-time staff. In keeping with the motto ‘working together towards a successful studentship’, the principal on behalf of all the full time tutors who are nurses and teachers lobbied  for ‘duty free concessions for them.

Amidst all the challenges with lack  of potable water at some facilities, small number of full time students, poor internet access, no air conditioning units among other issues, the small team of tutors did their part in equipping students with the requisite knowledge for them to become nurses.

The Ministry of Public Health was praised for managing to secure the nursing building for students to continue their career.

One of the cultural items

One of the cultural items

There were a number of cultural items included in the programme. The ceremony came to a close with prizes and award presentations for top performing students of individual faculties. The graduating nurses also took the nursing oath, the ‘Florence Nightingale Pledge’ along with the lighting of candles representing the flame being passed between nurses.

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