international nurses dayDominica joins nurses across the globe in observing International Nurses Day on Tuesday.

As part of this observation, nursing supervisors at hospital and district levels are articipating in a public speaking competition at the Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) Acute Psychiatric Unit (APU) building.

Principle Nursing Officer, Letitia Lestrade-Wyke, who was delivering an address to mark the occasion  said the topic for presentation, which is also the theme for International Nurses Day, will be “Nurses a Force for Change, Care Effective, Cost Effective”.

She explained that participants of the competition are, “whom we believe needs to understand the landscape of healthcare delivery as they provide guidance to the junior staff and help in the management of their various units.”

She said the theme as presented by the International Council of Nurses (ICN) reflects nurses’ commitment for action to strengthen and improve health systems around the world.

“The International Council of Nurses leverages the contribution that nurses can make and acknowledges that as a profession nurses should reach people both in urban, rural and remote communities more so than other practitioners,” she stated.

Lestrade-Wykes stated that nurses are considered as one of the most critical groups of healthcare providers and hence, “it is a good time to reflect on what we can do as it relates to reducing cost but maintaining delivery of quality care.”

“We are well aware and as reemphasized this year by the International Council of Nurses, global health cannot be achieved without nurses and without our proactive contributions and participation at all levels in the healthcare system,” she remarked.

She stated that the day-to-day activities of a nurse involve use of medical supplies, drugs and equipment.

“These are considered major contributors to increase cost in health facilities,” she said. “Without prudent use of these resources, cost effectiveness would not be achieved. Therefore nurses can have a great impact in reducing health cost and increasing quality of care.”

She stated further that in several countries government are pursuing cost cutting measures, however it is imperative they do so without reducing access to quality healthcare.

“I wish to implore that quality of healthcare must never be compromised…,” she stated. “As nurses, being one of the largest work forces we must equip ourselves for this difficult task.”

Lestrade- Wyke mentioned that inspite of government’s cost reducing measures, nurses should not lose sight in the need to do their best in ensuring a healthy populace.

“We must also remember that our greatest duty of care is to deliver quality healthcare to the populace,” she said.