Nurses want more attention from govt. | THE DAILY HERALD

Nurses during their Cultural Night.

~ Several events for Nurses Week ~

PHILIPSBURG–As Nurses Week comes to an end today, Tuesday, nurses in St. Maarten want government to support them more and put more focus on them and the important role they play in the country’s health care system.

St. Maarten Nurses Association members Judy Phillip and Carina Celestijn visited The Daily Herald on Monday to help raise awareness of Nurses Week and to highlight the activities held for this important occasion for nurses around the world. They also responded to several questions posed by this newspaper about their jobs, challenges and how their professions can be improved.

One of the challenges faced by nurses in the community is being short-staffed, resulting in some nurses having to work lengthy hours to carry out their duties, and sometimes encountering language barriers with patients speaking many different languages.

Nurses are also still not respected enough by some persons in the community. Some persons can be insensitive and harsh towards nurses. This, the nurses believe, can be improved through education. The nurses also believe that more involvement is needed from government.

“Government has to recognise and support nurses a bit more,” this newspaper was told. Functions such as overseas conferences should be supported more by authorities, as whenever nurses go abroad for these events, they represent St. Maarten, but they have to do “a lot of begging,” to raise funds to go.

Despite the challenges and the hurdles, nurses love what they do and do it with pride and passion.

Due to the Carnival activities, the St. Maarten Nurses Association decided to celebrate Nurses Week from Wednesday, May 8 to Tuesday, May 14. The week opened with a Movie Night, where nurses watched the movie “Little.” On Thursday, May 9, nurses enjoyed a “Fun and Laughter Night combined with a Cultural Night” held at the White and Yellow Cross Care Foundation.

For this event, local Philosopher of Humour Fernando Clarke entertained nurses and their guests for some two hours with comedy and activities, which the nurses said had been very entertaining. The well-supported event also saw nurses dressing in cultural attire from their respective countries and taking dishes from their respective countries to share with colleagues and guests. A total of 13 different nationalities were represented.

Nurses enjoyed dinner at Buccaneer Beach Bar on Friday, May 10, and attended a church service at the Methodist Church on Sunday, May 12.

Nurses decided to give back to the community on Monday by donating packages of food supplies and toiletries to two persons in the community selected by District Nursing. The packages were put together by nurses themselves.

The week of activities will come to an end with a lecture on menopause scheduled for today, Tuesday.

“It is important for the community to know that we have a Nurses Week and for them to know what we do as nurses and how we celebrate this week. We are also thinking about the community and this is where the giving of the baskets came in – giving back to the community,” the nurses said.

Source: The Daily Herald