Nurses celebrate Nursing Week 2021

Members of the Antigua and Barbuda Nurses Association will embark upon a series of activities in observance of Nurses’ Week 2021. The events will run from May 10-16th.  The theme this year is: “Nurses: Resilient Frontline Healthcare Providers.”

In a 2014 report coming out of the U.S. Bureau of Labour, the nursing profession was listed as the largest healthcare profession with 2.7 million registered nurses. The nursing profession is gender neutral, has various career paths with certifications in specialised areas of training.

Nurses continue to set high standards throughout the world as they work at multiple levels within a range of settings such as: classrooms, community health departments, hospitals, home care, labs and business establishments.

The continuous shortage of nurses in Antigua & Barbuda poses a problem as more and more are leaving for what is perceived to be greener pastures. Many end up in the USA, U.K. and Canada each year, leaving a huge gap in the system.

Despite the present pandemic with all its trials, nurses continue to demonstrate their commitment to administering quality healthcare. In an effort to offer relief and save lives, many continuously go beyond the call of duty.

President of the Nurses’ Association, Soria Dupie-Winston described nurses as the backbone of the healthcare system.

“Nurses cannot work from home or maintain social distancing while at work. Nursing is a hands-on profession and despite the many challenges associated with the COVID-19, nurses continue to provide an essential service, while putting their very own lives at risk – this is what you call self-sacrifice and labour of love. Nurses play a pivotal role in patient care and in the health care system, they are the link between all other healthcare providers (doctors, nutritionist, lab technicians) and the patient.”

Dupie-Winston also voiced her concerns regarding the mental health challenges which some struggle with. She also spoke of the activities which will be taking place in the upcoming week.

“Many of our nurses face emotional and mental health challenges, associated with this pandemic; we have to ensure their mental health are taken care of, we have to ensure that someone cares for the carer. One of the topics that will be covered in our educational sessions will be, “Managing Stress during the COVID-19 pandemic.” ”

Other topics that will be covered are: Infection Control and Prevention by Anne-Marie Zachariah-King, an infection control nurse and the Effect of Nursing Care during a Pandemic by Patsy Henry, the president of the Nurses’ Association in Jamaica.

Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, most of the events earmarked will be done virtually, including an award ceremony honouring those who have given more than twenty years of faithful service to the nursing profession in Antigua and Barbuda.

The observance and honouring of nurses throughout Antigua & Barbuda began in 1948, some 73 years ago. There are approximately 200 registered nurses in Antigua and Barbuda.

In the words of Maya Angelou, “they may forget your name but they will never forget the way you make them feel.” To our hardworking and overworked nurses, it is our privilege to honour you, keep striving.

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