As Dominica joins the rest of the world in celebrating International Nurses Day on Thursday, May 12 , Minister for Health and the Environment, Dr. Kenneth Darroux, has highlighted the efforts of nurses to pursue higher education.
In his national address to observe the day, he divulged that 100 percent of educators at the Dominica State College (DSC), and 78 percent of nursing supervisors are trained at graduate and undergraduate levels.
This, Darroux stated, in addition to new programs offered at DSC, facilitates a higher level of basic training in nursing.
“This has facilitated a higher level of basic training in nursing to meet the demands of the health care environment,” he explained. “I refer to the introduction of the generic and accelerated Bachelor of Science degree in nursing program and the Bachelor of Science degree in midwifery now taught at the Dominica State College.”
He went on to reveal that several Dominican nurses are currently pursuing specialized training, to adequately address issues of chronic non-communicable diseases, and to improve maternal child health, among other areas.
The areas of training include, Advance Practice Nursing, Intensive Care, Public Health, Mental Health, Maternal and Child Health, Counselling, and Nursing Administration. The training is being undertaken at tertiary level institutions in the region and internationally.
There are also provisions for short-term training in Oncology and Dialysis, in the United States, on an ongoing basis, as well as disaster management and mass casualty management, locally.
The Minister reiterated the Ministry’s commitment to the development of the nursing service.
Meantime, Darroux implored the continued support of nurses in improving the resilience of the health system.
Cooperation, he said, will be especially vital with the introduction of state of the art facilities, technology, and equipment, and improved working conditions will be significantly improved, upon the completion of the new hospital.
“I therefore, take this opportunity to implore the continued co-operation and support of our nurses as a force for change in their various roles at all levels, as they contribute to improving the resilience of the health system during the anticipated challenges throughout the construction of the new hospital,” he said.
He expressed his appreciation for nursing service at all levels and pledged that the government will endeavor to continue the initiatives to provide a safe work environment and overall improvement in health care.
Darroux noted that nurses are the largest single group of health professionals in the Ministry of Health.