82.1 F
Charlotte Amalie
Monday, August 15, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesCaribbean Nursing Conference Kicks Off with Calls for Nurses to Work in...

Caribbean Nursing Conference Kicks Off with Calls for Nurses to Work in Territory

Oct. 21, 2007 — Nurses from all over the Caribbean filled the banquet room below Divi Casino Sunday, opening the 50th Anniversary Golden Jubilee Conference of the Caribbean Nurses Organization.
All week long the health-care professionals will give and attend talks on every aspect of nursing care, from the impact of night duty on cancer outcomes to the resurgence of tuberculosis in the region. (See "Nursing Conference Starts Sunday on St. Croix.")
Senators and other high government officials were on hand Monday to praise the virtues of nurses. Several major regional nursing and other medical officials spoke to the large crowd of visiting caregivers about nursing in the Caribbean over the years. Mavis Harney Brown, who founded the CNO in 1957, said a few words, too.
"The historic event of nurses forming an organization in the Caribbean was of great interest both in and outside the Caribbean," Brown recalled. "One very early decision we made was that every country, regardless of size or the number of nurses from there, had the same number of votes. We were very proud of that equality of membership."
Sen. Norman Jn Baptiste, chairman of the Health Committee, spoke about the important role nursing plays in health care, and about the honor that should go to those who take up the calling to care for — to nurse — the ill.
"I was raised in a small seaside village that is no longer that small," recalled Baptiste, who was born raised on St. Lucia. "The nurse in that village, she was one who delivered me. She is the one who gave me a tetanus shot when I needed it. She was the most respected person in that village — more so than the mayor, the chief constable or any other official."
Gregory Caliste, CEO of Juan F. Luis Hospital, shared an anecdote illustrating the sense of camaraderie he considers an intrinsic aspect of nursing.
"My former boss was herself a former nurse," Caliste said. "I would tell her she was an administrator who just happened to be a nurse, and she would tell me no, she was a nurse that just happened to be an administrator."
Caliste joked that he hoped some nurses would decide to stay on St. Croix after the conference. Then, noting the worldwide shortage of nurses, he said he really did want the nurses and nursing students to know Juan F. Luis hospital wants to hire them.
Senate President Usie Richards made the same point.
"I'm not going to be coy and nice like Mr. Caliste," Richards said. "He said he was joking, but it was serious. We have jobs for you here. Commissioner Ebbesen-Fludd is here because we have jobs for you here."
The territory has had trouble filling a number of nursing positions, partly because there is a worldwide shortage of nurses, and partly because of other factors, such as uncompetitive pay rates for nurses in the territory.
Maria Louise Barker of the Pan American Health Organization was keynote speaker. Barker, a native of St. Kitts and Nevis, studied nursing in the United States and United Kingdom and is a midwife as well as a nurse. Barker put the history of the CNO in a broader social and historical perspective.
"The CNO began at time the Caribbean region was experiencing major changes in the economic, social and political arenas," she said. A 1934 report on health conditions in the British Caribbean found conditions bad enough that the British suppressed the report until after World War II, fearing Germany would use it against them, she said. Infant mortality was very high, and health problems stemming from extreme poverty were common.
"Some of us may remember the words 'malnutrition ward' and seeing children die from kwashiorkor," she said. "A student asked me once what kwashiorkor looks like. I told her, ‘You don't want to know.' Some of you students would not have even heard about these things."
Kwashiorkor is a condition where children who don't get enough protein have severe systemic health problems and delayed development.
As a colonial territory of Britain, Nevis and St. Kitts overly followed that country's practices, she said.
"Nursing education was completely based on the English model," she said. "It was handed down without any consideration of the local situation. I remember seeing all these beds with red woolen blankets and asking, ‘What are you doing with wool blankets in 85-degree heat?'"
Barker managed to get rid of the blankets, she recalled.
Following the ceremony and speeches, the gathered throng queued up to the buffet spread put out by Divi Casino, and the nurses mingled and networked for the rest of the evening. The conference goes on until Saturday.
Back Talk Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Keeping our community informed is our top priority.
If you have a news tip to share, please call or text us at 340-228-8784.




Support local + independent journalism in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Unlike many news organizations, we haven't put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as accessible as we can. Our independent journalism costs time, money and hard work to keep you informed, but we do it because we believe that it matters. We know that informed communities are empowered ones. If you appreciate our reporting and want to help make our future more secure, please consider donating.

FROM FACEBOOK

Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons
17 hours ago
Virgin Islands Source

Host Adisha Penn recaps the week's biggest headlines while Consider the Source correspondent Christopher McDonald sits down in the studio with Education Commissioner Nominee Dionne Wells-Hedrington. ... See MoreSee Less

Load more
Oct. 21, 2007 -- Nurses from all over the Caribbean filled the banquet room below Divi Casino Sunday, opening the 50th Anniversary Golden Jubilee Conference of the Caribbean Nurses Organization.
All week long the health-care professionals will give and attend talks on every aspect of nursing care, from the impact of night duty on cancer outcomes to the resurgence of tuberculosis in the region. (See "Nursing Conference Starts Sunday on St. Croix.")
Senators and other high government officials were on hand Monday to praise the virtues of nurses. Several major regional nursing and other medical officials spoke to the large crowd of visiting caregivers about nursing in the Caribbean over the years. Mavis Harney Brown, who founded the CNO in 1957, said a few words, too.
"The historic event of nurses forming an organization in the Caribbean was of great interest both in and outside the Caribbean," Brown recalled. "One very early decision we made was that every country, regardless of size or the number of nurses from there, had the same number of votes. We were very proud of that equality of membership."
Sen. Norman Jn Baptiste, chairman of the Health Committee, spoke about the important role nursing plays in health care, and about the honor that should go to those who take up the calling to care for -- to nurse -- the ill.
"I was raised in a small seaside village that is no longer that small," recalled Baptiste, who was born raised on St. Lucia. "The nurse in that village, she was one who delivered me. She is the one who gave me a tetanus shot when I needed it. She was the most respected person in that village -- more so than the mayor, the chief constable or any other official."
Gregory Caliste, CEO of Juan F. Luis Hospital, shared an anecdote illustrating the sense of camaraderie he considers an intrinsic aspect of nursing.
"My former boss was herself a former nurse," Caliste said. "I would tell her she was an administrator who just happened to be a nurse, and she would tell me no, she was a nurse that just happened to be an administrator."
Caliste joked that he hoped some nurses would decide to stay on St. Croix after the conference. Then, noting the worldwide shortage of nurses, he said he really did want the nurses and nursing students to know Juan F. Luis hospital wants to hire them.
Senate President Usie Richards made the same point.
"I'm not going to be coy and nice like Mr. Caliste," Richards said. "He said he was joking, but it was serious. We have jobs for you here. Commissioner Ebbesen-Fludd is here because we have jobs for you here."
The territory has had trouble filling a number of nursing positions, partly because there is a worldwide shortage of nurses, and partly because of other factors, such as uncompetitive pay rates for nurses in the territory.
Maria Louise Barker of the Pan American Health Organization was keynote speaker. Barker, a native of St. Kitts and Nevis, studied nursing in the United States and United Kingdom and is a midwife as well as a nurse. Barker put the history of the CNO in a broader social and historical perspective.
"The CNO began at time the Caribbean region was experiencing major changes in the economic, social and political arenas," she said. A 1934 report on health conditions in the British Caribbean found conditions bad enough that the British suppressed the report until after World War II, fearing Germany would use it against them, she said. Infant mortality was very high, and health problems stemming from extreme poverty were common.
"Some of us may remember the words 'malnutrition ward' and seeing children die from kwashiorkor," she said. "A student asked me once what kwashiorkor looks like. I told her, ‘You don't want to know.' Some of you students would not have even heard about these things."
Kwashiorkor is a condition where children who don't get enough protein have severe systemic health problems and delayed development.
As a colonial territory of Britain, Nevis and St. Kitts overly followed that country's practices, she said.
"Nursing education was completely based on the English model," she said. "It was handed down without any consideration of the local situation. I remember seeing all these beds with red woolen blankets and asking, ‘What are you doing with wool blankets in 85-degree heat?'"
Barker managed to get rid of the blankets, she recalled.
Following the ceremony and speeches, the gathered throng queued up to the buffet spread put out by Divi Casino, and the nurses mingled and networked for the rest of the evening. The conference goes on until Saturday.
Back Talk Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.