Second Georgetown nursing annex launched

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The Ministry of Public Health, in recognising the need to build capacity in nursing, has launched a second nursing annex of the Georgetown School of Nursing on Friday. The school became operational at the Critchlow Labour College on Woolford Avenue on July 2.

The Critchlow Annex initiative serves as the Ministry of Public Health’s recognition that there needs to be more training in human resource to sustain the health care sector.

Public Health Minister, Volda Lawrence officially declared the nursing school open on Friday.

First batch of nurses at the Critchlow Annex (DPI photo)

The Minister said “the Ministry has recognized that in order to address the challenges…and many [other[ challenges — there are of the ever growing increase in non-communicable diseases and other diseases– we need to expand our core of nurses.”

The Minister said this is to provide quality and accessible health care to every person in the country.

The Public Health Minister also encouraged persons to join the nursing profession to boost inpatient and outpatient care.

“Go and tell your friend, tell your brother and your sister that they need to pay attention to their teachers, do their CXCs and concentrate on the core subjects maths and English and come join us in the health family,” the Minister said.

Minister of Public Health, Volda Lawrence (DPI photo)

The Critchlow Nursing School enrolled 60 nursing assistants and 30 registered nursing students who are representing all the regions in the country.

Currently Guyana has a nurse to patient ratio of about 12 nurses to 10,000 patients.

“Human resources are our nemesis in the health sector, according to the data from the Chief Nursing Officer, gaps in the region for registered nurses total 550,” the Minister said.

According to the Minister, the gaps in the nursing assistance is even higher as it is at 686.

Director of Health Sciences for Education, Seriah Validum said the Critchlow Nursing school initially started in 2010 but only lasted a few months.

“There are limits to capacity within the nursing schools, despite this however additional classrooms are being acquired to enhance the students intake and this is how the Critchlow Nursing Annex became in existence in the year 2012, now with the rebirth of the Critchlow Annex we will continue to enhance the intake of students,” Validum said.

Validum said that in the past nursing students intake were 40 to 50 students per year, however the intake has grown significantly to 200 students per year.

During the period 2018/2019 eighteen new nursing tutors were also employed.

Meanwhile, the Minister with Responsibility for Housing, Annette Ferguson, said despite many challenges, the health sector has made significant advances over the past four years.

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