Forty nursing supervisors from across the island are being trained to be better able to improve the quality of nursing in Dominica and to strengthen their nurse management skills as a two-day Nursing Service Mentorship management gets underway on Wednesday.
The workshop is being organized by the Ministry of Health and Environment.
According to Principal Nursing Officer, Caesarina Ferrol, the workshop will be conducted in two-block sessions to improve the management capacity in the nursing service.
“The two main contents of the workshop will focus of the characteristics of nursing management and leadership and nursing management and leadership skills,” she said at the opening of the program at the Old Acute Psychiatric Unit (APU) at the Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) on Wednesday.
Ferrol continued, “The purpose is to strengthen the level of efficiency and effectiveness of nurse managers and supervisors in their daily functioning, thereby improving the quality of nursing care services delivered to clients.”
She said Nurse Managers must be empowered, “to lead, to guide, to support and motivate nurses in various roles in order to ensure competent, productive and efficient and effective staff at all levels.”
Additionally she stated, “Nurse Managers must be equipped with the necessary knowledge, skills and behaviours in the area of management and leadership as well as clinical competence in order to effect the changes that are so necessary in the workplace.”
Ferrol hopes that at the end of the two-day workshop, participants will use the knowledge and skills of nursing management, “to effectively carry out their management supervisory duties, to demonstrate skills that will strengthen their management and leadership capabilities as nurse managers and supervisors and senior clinical staff in the clinical areas.”
Meanwhile, Professor at the Miami Dade College and Facilitator of the program, Dr. Agathine Scotland, noted that workshop is important in order to create a safe environment for patients and a better working environment for nurses.
“This workshop is my contribution and commitment to continuing education and lifelong learning for nursing in Dominica,” Dr. Scotland revealed. “The reason why this program is important is to create a safe environment for our patients and a better work environment for nursing employees.”
She noted that all nurses are managers and leaders in patient care.
“They do not only support the patient in what they are unable to do for themselves, but lead them to a vision and a personal goal of better health and self-care,” she said.
Dr. Scotland, who is a graduate of the Princess Margaret Hospital School of Nursing, continued, “The majority of nurses also find themselves in leadership positions to either facilitate activities among other groups or among colleagues, or in community.”
She said, however, most of the nurses who are managers had no formal training and they had to learn on the job.
“For nursing management to be effective, nurse managers must understand the organization’s structure and function where they work and also the need to implement specific leadership and management strategies such as; conflict management, relationship management, supervising of fellow staff members, coaching, evaluating and understanding cost of patients care,” she stated.
Dr. Scotland hopes that at the end of the workshop nurses will gain a better understanding of the culture and the environment of care and will be able to use strategies to provide quality of care for patients and to create an effective work environment.