Nurses in Dominica are being urged to improve their attitudes on the job since this poses a major challenge to the nursing profession on the island.
“Over the past years we were faced with the issue of migration of our nurses to first world countries but in recent times there has been a significant decrease in the number of nurses migrating … maybe one a year… but at this time but we do have a problem with attitudes,” Principal Nursing Officer, Ceasarina Ferrol told DNO in an interview.
According to Ferrol, many nurses do an exceptional job and commendations are received however complaints about customer care are occurring too frequently.
She noted that customer care is important to the nursing sector and one incident is one too many.
“One bad attitude could compromise the health and life of an individual, so it is very, very critical that we pay attention to the attitudes of our nurses,” Ferrol remarked. “We want to ensure that every customer coming to our health institutions receive the best care.”
To remedy the situation Ferrol noted that a mentorship program for nurses identified with specific problems is being implemented. Furthermore the screening of new nurses is being reinforced.
“We are reinforcing our orientation program for new applicants and screening every nurse who applies for employment to ensure that the best persons who are qualified, not only with certificates but also has proper attitudes and behaviours, are recruited,” she pointed out. “We hope that with mentorship and coaching things will improve significantly.”
Meanwhile she stated that the future of nursing in Dominica appears to be moving in a positive direction.
“We have moved a very long way in terms of our basic preparation for clinical practice,” Ferrol remarked. “At this time quite a few of our nurses are trained at a Bachelor of Science degree, most of our nurse managers have some form of management education.”
She further stated that in the faculty of health at the Dominica State College, nursing educators are all trained at a master’s level and some of nurses in the clinical practice are trained at a master’s level. “Our family nurse practitioners and nurse administrators are also trained at a master’s level,” she pointed out. “We have also just established a nursing research committee. I am looking forward to the time that we can document our research and present our papers internationally and utilise scientific research in our basic bedside nursing.”
She pointed out that significant work has been done in deployment of staff depending on the needs of a particular unit.
Nurses’ Week is presently being celebrated in Dominica.