New patient care assistants urged to show love, empathy
Stabroek News
December 2, 2003

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Patient care assistants were reminded of the need to have a love for their profession and to show responsibility, compassion, sympathy and empathy when performing their duties.

Chief Executive Officer of the Georgetown Public Hospital, Michael Khan, gave this charge to 35 patient care assistants who graduated last week.

Speaking at the graduation ceremony, Khan said that nursing was at the top of the institution's agenda for constant upgrading. He advised the graduates to put into practice what they already knew.

He observed that the hospital's nurses were hard workers and most of them displayed positive attitudes and showed a willingness to fulfil their mandate.

But he pointed out that many nurses and other health care personnel were still leaving the country. "This is a bane of every Third World country, Guyana being no exception. We just have to continue training and training."

He mentioned that patient care assistants serving the non-technical aspects of nursing, complement the work of the nurses. He told the graduates entering the profession was always a serious decision. "Many of us sometimes take certain things for granted without realising that the services we provide here are many people's only means of staying alive."

He called on the graduates to be proud of their job, but cautioned that while there was reason to be proud, they have no licence to display attitudes of arrogance and disrespect. Over the years several persons had complained about the sometimes rude and uncaring behaviour of some hospital staff.

Khan said sometimes the hospital received complaints about employees including some nurses treating patients, their relatives and clients with disregard as though they were offering them favours. "We are not granting the public any favours in executing our duties. We are here to care and we must do so in a timely, efficient and effective way that will leave indelible prints on people's minds about our professionalism."

Meanwhile, Gloria Bayley, Nursing Education Co-ordinator, in her report said 41 persons began the course in May. Two females were withdrawn because of poor performance, three for personal reasons and one for cheating.

The 35 students received formal preparation in the areas of: English Language, Mathematics and Personal Hygiene, which included hand-washing techniques and bed-making. They were also trained in diet and nutrition therapy with emphasis on types of diet served at the hospital and presentation of meals. Other areas taught on the course were communication, professional ethics, care of the individual, basic psychology and sociology, occupational health and safety, basic structure and function of selected systems of the human body, basic growth and development of the individual through the various stages of the life cycle, basic principles of infection control, and the use and care of hospital equipment.