Nursing education has been gaining paramount attention by the Ministry of Health but training, according to Principal Tutor within the Georgetown School of Nursing, Norma Semple, is not a simple and straightforward task.
She said that there is a growing concern about the level of unpreparedness of a large proportion of nursing students, despite their increased academic levels. She said that many students are in fact finding it difficult to fit into the nursing setting.
This, she noted, is compounded by absenteeism and poor punctuality by some students. Urgent attention needs to be given to these areas as students are not taking their studentship as a priority, she added.
Nonetheless, Semple noted that the recruitment of fulltime tutors is crucial. The current severe shortage of nursing tutors places a significant physical and psychological strain on the tutorial staff.
She explained that in order to match the intake of 299 students at one meeting in a class, “we therefore demand that great emphasis be placed on the recruitment of more full time nursing tutors in order to meet the acceptable student–tutor ratio, that is, one instructor to about 10 to 12 students in the learning laboratory, and one instructor to eight students in the clinical courses.”
There is also need for audio visual materials, and relevant and current text books to enhance students’ learning in the classroom, Semple added. And given the increased class population, there is need for a public address system to effectively communicate with students, Semple noted.
In addition, there is urgent need for the employment of clinical instructors since the current curriculum lends to ongoing clinical evaluations.
“There is a dire need for clinical instructors as the fulltime tutors are burdened with classroom work and other social issues of the students,” she said.
This is especially crucial in recognising that the clinical supervision of students needs to be improved urgently to assist and to correlate theory with practice. There is also an earnest need for social workers and counsellors to assist with the various social issues, Semple added.
And over the years the Nursing School, she noted, has been able to perform with distinction, despite abounding challenges. It was just about two years ago that immediate past Principal Nursing Tutor, Ms Pearl Munroe, said that although everything humanly possible is being done at the Georgetown Nursing School to produce a significant number of nurses on an annual basis, there is still much more to be done to improve the standard of the school.
And even then she had amplified the concerns about the need for additional tutors to deliver the respective nursing courses.
But according to Permanent Secretary within the Health Ministry, Hydar Ally, “We have made some significant improvement over the years in terms of the quality of nursing education…We only have to look at the big picture…”
And the big picture, he noted, is the fact that the longevity rate has risen considerably which is the whole purpose behind health care.
Health care is to enable the population to live longer, healthier and productive lives. In essence, he asserted that the overall investment in the health sector is showing satisfactory result.
Close to 200 nursing students graduated at varying levels recently when the Georgetown School of Nursing held its 27th Biennial Graduation Exercise. As the keynote speaker at that event, Ally had speculated that the graduating batch represented one of the more successful batches ever produced by the Nursing School.
Oct 15, 2018Eagles Basketball Club and Pacesetters played both matches contested on Saturday at the Burnham hard court in the Second and First Division of the Rainforest Water/Malta Supreme/Georgetown Amateur...
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