BNA wants special training for nurses

The Barbados Nurses Association (BNA) is calling on local nurses to acquaint themselves with the relevant procedures and protocols in regards to dealing with COVID-19 patients, and to make themselves available for training in the likelihood that the nation goes to Stage 3 of its pandemic preparedness plan.

The BNA outlined its position in a recent statement regarding COVID-19, where a call was made for the Ministry of Health and Wellness and the Government on a whole to take stronger action to ensure the safety of nurses, who are working on the front line in dealing with the pandemic.

“We are calling on management and the health authorities to plan towards this likely acceleration to Stage 3. We are also appealing to nurses to acquire knowledge of the related protocols and
procedures, by making themselves available to attend training sessions. Acquisition of these necessary protocols will be essential to better prepare them to assist in this crisis situation, while maintaining their safety,” said BNA President Joannah Waterman, who spoke on the behalf of the Executive Body.

She meanwhile called for some attention to be paid to the unique needs of these workers.

“We ask that special consideration be given to the needs of these front-line workers, to enable them to function effectively – for example, rest areas, facilitation of child care, transportation, provision of psychological support and meals preparation where possible,” Waterman said.

She added, “Under other circumstances, a hazard allowance should be given to those nurses who are working under such conditions as Isolation Centres of COVID-19 patients, but we understand the dire economic strain that this threat may pose on the country.”

Waterman made it clear that the BNA empathises with nurses and will be monitoring the impact of the ongoing pandemic as it accelerates.

“Health care workers have, in the past, overcome threats of infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, Ebola. Therefore, we, the premier representative body for nurses in Barbados, believe that our nurses, given the appropriate training, Personal Protective Equipment, following the Universal Precautions, with all the necessary provisions and protective support, along with other health care members, (as they work in a team environment), will survive this threat to continue to function in a post COVID-19 health care environment,” the BNA president asserted.

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