An evident gap between doctors and nurses in the delivery of Emergency Care at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) was the driving force behind the introduction of an inaugural Emergency Nursing. Officials at the launch of the Emergency Nursing Specialty Program. Standing is Dr Zulfikar Bux and second from left is Minister George Norton in the company of specialists from the Vanderbilt Medical Centre.
The program, which was in the making for the past three years, was spearheaded by GPHC’s Head of Emergency, Dr. Zulfikar Bux, who secured support from the Vanderbilt Medical Centre in the United States. Dr. Bux himself, among others, was a beneficiary of Specialist Emergency training from the Vanderbilt Medical Centre. With doctors so trained, it became glaring that there was a need for nurses to also be similarly trained in order for emergency care to be improved. According to Dr. Bux, “Our nurses were not up to standard, (it was no fault of theirs) but for me as Head of Department it was my mandate to ensure that we brought you (nurses) to a level that is expected, so that we can deliver together effective and emergency care,” related Dr. Bux. He also stated - “From day one, my challenge was to figure out a way to get this happening…” especially since there was not much local support forthcoming. But according to the Head of Emergency he was driven by his desire to make what seem impossible possible. However with the support from Vanderbilt a specialist emergency program for nurses has now been realised with doctors and nurses being able to work together to resuscitate patients and do so very swiftly.
Dr. Bux, in detailing the journey to where the program is today, expressed satisfaction about the accomplishment during which he disclosed that Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, Dr. Emanuel Cummings, helped with the formulation of a strong curriculum that was accepted and eventually approved by the University of Guyana. “It was a very important step in getting to the right place…I personally went through a residency (program) and I know what are the benefits of residency…“I am not trying to beat down the system in anyway but by going and get a degree from the University of Guyana or any University, it takes you to a level but does not give you that completeness to become a well rounded professional,” related Dr. Bux. According to Paramedic/Emergency Nurse of the Vanderbilt Medical Centre, Dr. Jessica Van Meter, who helped with the realisation of the program, there is still much hard work to do over the next two years. “I am already counting down the days when we can participate in such a glorious event,” said Dr. Van Meter as she also lauded the work of senior nurses of the GPHC including Sisters Noshella Lalkecharran, who chaired yesterday’s proceedings, and Sister Lewis. “In just a short time your contributions to the coordination of this event have been amazing, you have both quintessential examples of the effectiveness of this collaborative partnership…” She emphasised that there is evidence of a shared desired for the advancement of nursing.
The launch of the program yesterday was graced by Minister of Public Health, Dr. George Norton, who was high in praise that it has finally materialised. He assured that “it is not true that things are not improving at the Georgetown Public Hospital…At the same time it is not true that persons have not had some bad chances there. We have got to be real and understand that not because you get to the Accident and Emergency department in particular that you will not die…you die because of the extent of your injuries…you will have deaths but to refer to the professionals there as angels of death is totally unacceptable..,” asserted Minister Norton. According to the Public Health Minister, Emergency Medicine is the face of a health system and is the frontline in patient care and needs special attention and very skilled staff to ensure effective patient care. He noted that the Ministry of Public Health along with the Ministry of Public Security and the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation recently launched the national Emergency Medical System services.
The EMS service, which was also Dr. Bux’s brainchild, was launched last week and will allow for a merger of the responses of emergency and fire services by dialing 912.
Also present at yesterday’s launching Chairman of the hospital’s Board of Director, Dr. Carl Max Hanoman and other senior officials and nurses who have been exposed to the training program.