Nursing across the globe is changing technologically and nurses must be committed and willing to evolve and embrace inevitable change.
This notion was emphasised recently by Critical Care Nurse, Janess Wong, who practices her profession in Canada. She is currently in Guyana sharing her expertise with local nurses as part of the observance of Nurses’ Week.
According to Nurse Wong, critical care is essential, thus she has been engaged in sessions to help local nurses learn how to better assess their patients.
“It is more like mentoring for me. I have some experience in that and I am hoping that when I teach them they will be able to teach the other inexperienced nurses…That is generally how we learn; we do go to school but we learn on the ground.”
Nurse Wong pointed out that while nursing care is universal there are a few aspects that may differ from country to country. However she cautioned that nursing care should never be limited.
“It is about how you do it; you have to use what you have and work with it the best that you can. Things that are available in Canada are not available here in Guyana, but that existed there before, as it is here…and soon they will get what most of the world would like to have.”
It is for this reason she noted that continuous training is imperative if nursing care is to remain relevant. She disclosed that even in Canada nurses are required to keep abreast with the changing technology and methods to improve the delivery of nursing care.
In order to ensure that nurses benefit from sustained educational sessions, the Guyana Nurses Association (GNA) has been facilitating a Continuing Nurses Education (CNE) Programme. As lead trainer of the initiative, former Chief Nursing Officer, Grace Bond, said that this programme is especially important to those practicing nurses who are required to be registered.
According to Bond, the Nurses Association has been hosting CNE sessions at the GNA’s Alexander and Charlotte Streets Hall on the fourth Wednesday of each month for professional nurses and nursing assistants. However she noted that Patient Care Assistants are not turned away although, unlike the other professionals, they will not be afforded documented recognition for their participation.
“We are doing this so when the time comes for them to be registered they can show that they have attended sessions…we wouldn’t bar anybody from coming, but only the nurses will receive the participation forms that we give out,” Bond asserted.
The CNE sessions, she revealed commenced in 2009. The first session for this year focused on HIV-related stigma and discrimination and was facilitated by Ms Melanie Thomas, Programme Officer at the UNAIDS Georgetown Secretariat.
As part of the proposed Nurses Practitioners Bill which was introduced by Minister of Health, Dr Leslie Ramsammy, it is required that nurses, like other health professionals, must undertake a continuing nursing education programme as part of the annual licensing renewal process. The Minister has emphasised that continuing education must become an imperative and not simply an option.
“It must be an absolute requirement for continued registration of nurses. Health and Medicine are changing every day, new techniques and new approaches are available on an almost daily basis.
We cannot have an end of education after graduation. Every other professional has adopted the continuing education model for licensing, so should the nurses,” the Minister noted.
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