Jul 26, 2016 News
-call made for revision of public service rules
-specialist training for nurses being embraced
Friction between doctors and nurses at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) over who should supervise nurses on the wards has resulted in a call for the revision of the public service rules.
This is according to Chairman of the hospital’s Board of Directors, Dr. Carl ‘Max’ Hanoman, who at a recent press conference disclosed, “We have to revise the public service rules which states that supervisors in wards must be midwives…We have to be broad-based but this has to be a policy decision; it doesn’t happen overnight.”
The embattled Director of Nursing Services of the hospital, Matron Collene Hicks, is reportedly chief among the nurses against doctors supervising nurses attached to various departments of the hospital.
Hicks’ efforts at retaliating against a move in this direction were among the reasons that caused her to be sent on administrative leave to facilitate an investigation into her conduct. There are reports that Hicks has manifested behaviour in the working environment that is tantamount to “gross insubordination.”
But this can only be verified by an investigation conducted by neutral persons, according to Dr. Hanoman.
According to Dr. Hanoman, there are nurses who are of the firm belief that nurses should rotate throughout the hospital so that they can be adequately prepared for cases of mass catastrophe.
Doctors of the institution, on the other hand, have complained about losing the support of nurses who they would have helped to train for lengthy periods so that they can function well in a particular department.
According to Dr. Hanoman, “They (doctors) feel that their efforts in doing this are not respected when a nurse in that area is moved from one area to the next.” This movement of nurses is sometimes required, the Chairman noted, because of a shortage of over 200 nurses at the institution.
However, the varying perspectives of the nursing and medical practitioners have created a crisis at the public health institution.
But Dr. Hanoman observed, “Each may have its merits in the present situation, but you have to look at what is best for the hospital and best for patient care.”
The Chairman, however, said that he has a plan for the hospital. His plan is one that essentially embraces specialist training for nurses. “What we plan to do is train nurses in specialised areas and we plan to start with the Accident and Emergency,” he disclosed.
This training has in fact been approved at the level of Cabinet.
But talks about this move have only served to cause even more friction at the public hospital between some factions of the doctors and nurses of the institution. “This has been a bone of contention at the Georgetown Public Hospital and one of the reasons we are having a difficult time at the hospital,” said Dr. Hanoman.
He said that while modern thinking compared to old-fashion thinking are completely different. One cannot seek to be rigid and inflexible especially when the staffing capacity is taken into consideration.
“There is a disassociation between present-day thinking and old-fashion thinking as to the way forward and this has created a crisis in the hospital…We must realise in the world today we are heading for specialisation. Just as how the doctors specialise there will be a move for the nurses to specialise,” asserted the Chairman.
Although there has been recognition for the move towards the specialisation of the nurses, Dr. Hanoman lamented that this has not yet occurred at the GPHC.
“It must be introduced…within the medical field a doctor would specialise in surgery and be a surgeon. Similarly, a nurse, for example, within Paediatrics could be allowed to specialise in paediatric care.”
According to Dr. Hanoman, too, the GPHC in collaboration with the University of Guyana (UG) and the Vanderbilt University will soon be taking on the task of training nurses in emergency medicine.
He also disclosed his intention to have discussions with the Vice Chancellor of UG with the view of further expanding training ventures for nurses. It is his hope that “We can have certification in different other areas of the hospital so that we can gear the hospital in a more specialised way and don’t have the friction that exists.”
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