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Nursing - "Health Care with a Human Touch"

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Contact: Richmond Felix

May 25, 1998 - The Ministry of Health, Human Services, Family Affairs and Gender relations, recently formulated a new mission statement which promises to: "Provide the environment for the delivery of accessible, quality services in the most humanitarian way possible." If nursing is indeed "Health Care with a Human Touch," the theme chosen for this year for Nurses Week, then nurses will be the foot soldiers in the effort to ensure that the Ministry meets its objectives.

During the opening ceremony, Health Minister Hon. Sarah Flood, said that nurses are not always recognized for their important role in ensuring the sustainability and viability of St. Lucia’s health care services. She acknowledged that nurses have performed remarkably despite limitations in human resources, equipment, management and training, issues which are presently being examined in the health sector reform process. She said that the input which nurses can make for reform proposals is invaluable, as they can more ably assess the needs of patients and make on the sport decisions.

Whilst most workers generally interact with normal, healthy, stable individuals, the nature of the medical profession, particularly nursing, frequently bring one contact with persons who are in urgent need of physical, mental, social and even spiritual care. According to Jacintha Annius-Lee, guest speaker at the Nurses Week opening ceremony, nursing demands a holistic approach. As she puts it not just a job and requires more a "humane touch than just the human touch."

During Sunday’s opening ceremony those present took a moment to remember the nurses who had passed away, especially Patsy Gibson and Edwardline Sydney who passed on earlier this year.

Nurses touch the lives of so many people in times of pain and suffering. As this week’s observances continue, perhaps we should all take time out to reflect on the theme "Nursing ~ Health Care with a Human Touch," to take stock of the efforts of nurse practitioners and to say "thank you".


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