Sixteen GPHC nurses graduate from cardiac care programme

Some the cardiac nurses who received their certification on Wednesday evening during the simple graduation exercise at Cara Lodge. Seated in front of them are (from left to right): Dr. Wayne Warnica, Co-director, GPACC Programme; Dr Karen Then, University of Calgary Instructor; CEO of the GPHC Brigadier George Lewis; Deputy CEO of the GPHC Elizabeth Gonsalves; Assistant Director of Nursing Celeste Gordon; and Registrar, Cardiology Unit, GPHC Dr. Terrence Haynes.

The service being offered by the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU) of the Georgetown Public Hospital (GPH) has been boosted with the addition of 16 cardiac care nurses, who received their certification on Wednesday evening during a ceremony at Cara Lodge.

The graduates are the first cohort of nurses to complete the Cardiac Intensive Care Nursing Programme, which began last year. The programme is part of the collaboration between the GPH, the Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta, the University of Calgary and the Guyana Programme to Advance Cardiac Care (GPACC) to improve cardiac care in Guyana.

Dr. Karen Then, University of Calgary Instructor for the CICU nursing programme, said in her remarks said there is both huge success and huge potential at the CICU.

“The highlights I have of what has really progressed is your knowledge; your knowledge has been huge. We started with the basics and the development I have seen here is tremendous. It is no different from what I have seen at any other country that I have taught at and you have to be really proud of that…What we know is that as a team when we work together, we learn together, we support each other, we all benefit and most importantly, our patients and their families benefit, which has to be our ultimate goal… We have to remember that there are going to be challenges, there is going to be conflicts but as a team at GPH we can overcome those things,” Dr. Then stated.

“In closing, I want you to know that your dedication has led to the saving of many lives. You have improved the quality of life for Guyana. So, I want you to celebrate tonight, for your accomplishments and be proud of what you have done and what you will do and continue to support each other, encourage each other and work towards improving the care of all patients,” she added.

Similarly, Assistant Director of Nursing at the GPH Celeste Gordon said despite challenges faced, they can now boast 16 cardiac nurses as well as modern facilities to provide optimal and free services to the people of Guyana.

Gordon noted that cardiac care aims to develop theoretical knowledge and specialised skills that are essential for nurses to expertly assess and manage patients at the different hospitals with cardiac conditions. “While I am confident that we have prepared you for the many challenges that lie ahead as nurses, you must continue to learn and grow both professionally and personally. I would like you to utilise your knowledge and expertise to continue to provide outstanding patient care… for me, the sky is not the limit but as you climb, take others with you. Let us work as a collaborative team to improve the quality and effectiveness of nursing services we deliver while we operate in a challenging environment,” she added.

Meanwhile, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the GPH Brigadier (Ret’d) George Lewis pledged his support to providing the resources needed to ensure that nurses are properly trained. “We have to work to develop our nurses… during the time I remain at the Georgetown hospital—however short it may be—I would consider that we should continue to work diligently to help our nurses. I want to say that the board of directors and the administration of the hospital is committed to providing you with whatever is necessary within our limited financial budget so that we can ensure that our nurses are properly trained,” the CEO remarked.

He noted the vision of the hospital that is shared by both him and the board, saying, “Our aim is to improve healthcare for our patients…It means that the patient is the most important person. Without the patient, all of us can go home and relax. So, you nurses have a job on your hands to ensure that you put our patients first and demonstrate in a tangible way out motto which is, we care.”

He added, “Continue to work diligently to improve yourselves and to practice whatever you learn along the way. I want to also ask you this evening to continue to work diligently for the development of healthcare at the GPH and the healthcare in Guyana as a whole.”

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