Jul 23, 2016 News
-but Nursing Association not pleased with decision
The Director of Nursing Services (Matron) of the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC),
Sister Collene Hicks, has been sent on administrative leave. This development was yesterday confirmed by Chairman of the Board of Directors, Dr. Carl ‘Max’ Hanoman.
Dr. Hanoman was however unable to speak to the duration of the adminiatrative leave and who will be performing the duties of Matron. This publication understands that there were at least two viable candidates who could easily fill the gap.
The Matron’s letter was signed by the hospital’s Chief Executive Officer (Ag), Mr. Alan Johnson.
A decision to send the Matron on administrative leave was taken during a Board meeting earlier this week.
That meeting considered that the Matron was written to on multiple occasions for insubordination. She is also accused of failing to be a team player. She has been opposed to moves to have nurses be exposed to specialist training and has been denying sufficient nurses for some departments that have dire need for nursing care.
A petition signed by 150 clinical personnel of the hospital, which had gained the attention of the Board, had in fact called for the services of the Matron to be terminated.
According to Dr. Hanoman, the decision to have the Matron sent on administrative leave will allow for a Committee of Inquiry to be set up to investigate the accusations leveled against her.
But the Guyana Nurses Association (GNA) is not taking this decision lightly.
In a statement issued yesterday, the GNA said that it is dissatisfied with the recent decision made by the Board of Directors and Administration of the GPHC to send the Director of Nursing Services on Administrative leave at this time,”mainly to appease the doctors”.
Speaking directly to the petition, the GNA said, “The petition has no merit. Where is the evidence to support the allegations? And who employed the “novice nurses” as mentioned in the petition. Are we the ones who misdiagnose the patients and cause them longer hospitalization stay, increasing mortality and morbidity rates?”
The GNA also highlighted in its statement that “if deaths in other departments are investigated like those in the Maternity unit it will shock the nation as wrong diagnosis and poor management contribute to an alarming number of deaths. Nurses are aware.”
The GNA has dared the doctors of the institution to spend time conducting the research to improve their clinical practice, and leave the nurses to do nursing management. This is in fact the approach that has been embraced by Sister Hicks.
According to the GNA, registered nurses have knowledge, skills and competency and always demonstrate same. The nursing body pointed out too that “sometimes the knowledge displayed by our professional nurses supersedes that of the doctors. When doctors are in training or are employed, most of them are guided by the nurses; from setting an intravenous infusion and simple dressings, to making other pertinent decisions for patients.”
The GNA in its statement asked a number of searching questions. “Why now nurses have to be treated as handmaids for doctors, so that they can satisfy their selfish desires? Since when the doctors have the authority to make decisions pertaining to nursing management?”
The GNA has added, too, that “It is quite obvious that the medical and professional services who orchestrate this petition have their own hidden agenda.”
The GNA said that it is hopeful that there is a thorough examination of the operations at the GPHC adding that “We hope that the investigations will reveal the truth.”
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