Blended training for nurses being explored
Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony and CEO of GPHC, Robbie Rambarran with nurses at the programme (Elvin Croker photo)
Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony and CEO of GPHC, Robbie Rambarran with nurses at the programme (Elvin Croker photo)

–Health Minister says at programme for National Nurses Week

THE limitations created by the existence of only three public nursing schools, Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony, on Thursday, said that blended training is currently being explored, as each school only facilitates 100 students every year.

The minister made this announcement while addressing persons gathered at a ceremony held at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation to commemorate National Nurses Week.

“I think it’s important that we look at how we train our nurses, and, right now, with three public schools with a capacity of probably 100 nurses per year, we are not going to be able to train enough nurses for the services that we require,” the Health Minister said.

Minister Anthony noted that if progress is to be made in the sector and in the nursing profession itself, a lot of work still has to be done.
Blended training would consist of online training, practical, and examinations.

“So, you enroll, you will have your theoretical parts of the training be done online, and then you come to the hospital for practical… and then you have exams and so forth,” Dr. Anthony said.
The Health Minister said that they are working on a system and they are confident that once it is in place, training will be more accessible.

“We can also have persons joining the profession; I think this is extremely important and we will be able to do so without compromising quality,” Minister Anthony said.
He added: “We have a team coming in from York University and they will be here working with us to look at our curriculum, to see how we can improve it… to see how we can better improve training for nurses in Guyana.”

Dr. Anthony said that nurses are not only going to confine themselves to the Registered Nursing Programme or midwifery programme, but also areas of specialisation. He noted that an upgrade for the nursing profession is needed to have specialist nurses.

“So, we have done well in medicine to be able to have a lot of doctors specialising, but I don’t think we have been able to do the same thing with nurses,” he said.
Further, the Health Minister said that the Nurses and Midwives Bill will be debated next Tuesday.

“On Tuesday next, we are going to have the debate on the nurses’ act and I’m sure it would be passed so that we can have a nursing council established after that so that we can bring everything back to some level of normalcy,” the Health Minister said.

Also speaking at the programme, acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Georgetown Public Hospital Incorporated (GPHC), Robbie Rambarran, said that the pervasive COVID-19 pandemic has taught us the value of nursing.

“I appreciate nursing, the contribution you’re making to this institution,” CEO Rambarran said.
He added that as their acting CEO, he knows the management of the hospital, at every level, and every engagement has been advocating for better overall nursing facilities in terms of empowerment, in terms of the restructuring of a more conducive and friendly environment.

“For example, where we started leadership programmes, there is a plan to even have our nurses get scholarships that you can go on for this study in the PSE and University of Guyana. So, we are working on a comprehensive restructuring for nurses because we do recognise and accept all the challenges and what needs to be done,” Rambarran related.

The CEO thanked the nurses for their service and said that he will continue to work with them.

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