By Naomi Marshall
Nurses and midwives play a pivotal role within society and according to the World Health Organisation, they account for nearly 50 percent of the global health labour force.
It is important to have the theoretical requirements to enter the nursing profession, but in the case of Cedina Forde, Nurse-Midwife attached to the West Demerara Hospital, her compassion, dedication and punctuality, made her dream come through.
Forde grew up in Fellowship, a village on the West Coast of Demerara, where her parents would rear sheep and cows to bring in income.
She was always happy to help in taking care of the animals and would at all times accompany her father when he was treating an injured creature. She never scorned the animals’ injuries but was rather excited to see the creatures get better.
Additionally, Forde loved taking care of persons and would make use of every opportunity she had to bandage a cut, scrape or burn as a child.
After being an Office Assistant for several years, Forde decided that it was time to go after her dream of being a Nurse-Midwife. In 1997, Forde, who was 27-year-old at the time, became one of the Guyana Red Cross Society’s volunteers which resulted in her working at the Den Amstel Health Centre, and later at the Windsor Forest Health Centre.
She was then transferred to the West Demerara Regional Hospital where a lot of life-changing events occurred. The mother of one was recognised as a dedicated and punctual worker, thus, she was rewarded with the opportunity to become a Nurse Aide.
In an attempt to become an accredited Nurse Aide, Forde joined the Patient Care Technician Programme at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) in 2003.
Upon success, she resumed working at the West Demerara Regional Hospital in the Maternity Unit as a Breastfeeding Counselor, and later as a Breastfeeding Counselor Trainer.
With love for midwifery and the motivation from her colleagues, she joined the Single Train Midwifery Programme in 2006 and in 2008, Forde graduated as a Nurse-Midwife.
In 2019, she was award by the Guyana Nurses Association for her dedicated service as a Nurse-Midwife.
A nurses’ career is knitted into a beautiful tapestry of memories and identifying one memorable moment would be hard to do, so Forde shared two memorable moments with the Pepperpot Magazine.
“When I was a Nurse Aide I loved doing dressings and at the West Demerara Regional Hospital, there was a young lady who said that she was burnt by a young man. She requested that I did her dressing every day because prior to me doing her dressing, she noticed that the burn was not healing as fast as it should be. And so every day I would go four in the morning before my shift ends and ensure that her dressing is done,” Forde recalled.
Additionally, Forde became a counsellor to the patient who confided in her and confessed that the young man accused of burning her was not guilty of the act.
“The man was charged and locked up due to the allegation so I spoke to the welfare and explained that the girl will admit that the guy is not guilty of the act, however, I don’t want her to be locked up. Thank God I got her to confess that the young man was not guilty and no charges were pressed against her,” she remembered.
The 50-year-old also recalled an incident that called for her quick thinking and action as a Midwife.
“In the maternity unit, there was a young lady who told the doctor that she was ready to deliver her baby. Instead of informing us (midwives), the doctor pursued to do the delivery on his own. While outside we heard the baby crying, then the doctor came sweating and he said this woman bleeding bad so I took over and started doing the necessary actions. I got the bleeding to stop and everything was good,” she said as she reminisced.
Forde told the Pepperpot Magazine that Nursing and Midwifery are very noble and satisfactory professions because they provide care all through people’s lives from birth to death.
For persons who are considering entering the field of Nursing and Midwifery, Forde noted that while “nursing is the way to go” the profession calls for compassion, empathy and dedication.