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Posted: Thursday 13 May, 2021 at 8:01 AM

Nurses are on the forefront of patient advocacy

By: Staff Reporter,

    CHARLESTOWN, Nevis - JUNIOR MINISTER OF HEALTH in the Nevis Island Administration, Hazel Brandy-Williams has called on nurses on the island to find new ways of providing care to those in need.


    This, according to the Minister, is to keep up with the growing trends of technology within the health sector.


    Minister Brandy-Williams made the call in her address to mark yesterday (May 12) as the International Nurses Day.


    “Our nurses need to explore new models of care which would include transforming quality and safety across the health care system, to keep abreast of new technologies and a rapidly-evolving health care system. This will require new ways of thinking and practising,” the Minister explained.


    She added: “Nurses play a crucial role in health promotion; primary, secondary and tertiary health care; emergency and rehabilitative care. Over the years, their roles have expanded in scope. As the professional who spends the greatest amount of time delivering patient care, they are on the forefront of patient advocacy.” 
    The Minister explained that modern-day nursing entails a more holistic approach to promoting and creating a culture of health and wellness across the continuum and not just treating patients physical ailments.
    She noted that nurses are now becoming community leaders and change makers who seek to create systems that bridge the delivery of health care and the social needs of their community.


    “Nurses therefore have valuable insights and unique abilities to contribute as partners in improving the quality and safety of health care,” added Minister Brandy-Williams.
    With the evolving nature of the work and role of nurses, the Health Ministry recognised the need for more staff and new capabilities in all settings.
    Currently, there are just over 100 nursing, hospital and community staff combined on the island, and efforts are being made to increase the complement, Minister Brandy revealed, encouraging those in the system to continue their education to be prepared to meet these shifting future demands and expectations.
    “The arrival of COVID-19 has highlighted the urgent need for critical care nurses. An aging population will see the need for more geriatric health professionals. We are now seeing more of our younger nurses wanting to pursue advanced degrees in critical areas such as anesthesia, intensive care, geriatric and theatre techniques.
    “To further ensure our nurses are well-prepared, the Ministry will continue to focus on training and competency-development to include nurses in leadership roles. 
    “Our nurses should be fully engaged and be able to assume leadership roles in redesigning health care in Nevis. They can make a critical contribution to health care reform and the demands for a safe, patient-centred accessible, affordable and quality health care system. There is no doubt that nurses are poised to assume roles in advancing the future of health here on Nevis,” the Minister explained.



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