EDITOR, The Tribune.
PART of a wealthy family, Florence Nightingale defied the expectations of the time and pursued what she saw as her God-given calling of nursing.
From a young age, Nightingale known as the lady with the lamp was active in philanthropy, ministering to the ill and poor people in the village neighbouring her family’s estate. she believed the vocation to be her divine purpose.
Having spent extended stays as a patient in both the Princess Margaret and Doctors Hospitals, I can fully appreciate the challenges that nurses face daily. And that is why I can speak with authority when I say that nursing is the most dedicated, hardworking, underpaid, undervalued and under appreciated of most jobs anywhere.
Some of us faint at the sight of blood and are even scornful of our own excrement. Yet there is no job that I can think of where persons are treated with such disdain. Many times patients and their family fail to see the value that nurses bring. Nurses are there caring for us from the day we are born to the end of our lives. They offer support and comfort through some of the most trying times, but all too often we don’t say thank you. We take their service for granted.
The good thing about our nurses, just like Florence Nightingale, they have answered the call to serve humanity. They are overworked, underpaid, and abused, but they are still there bathing, feeding, and turning beds. This isn’t about making a big deal about how well they do their jobs. It’s about caring, sharing, and a shoulder to cry on. It’s those moments that can make a difference to a hospital experience. It’s about answering the call. A call that causes them to understand that sickness and sorrow have no master.
Throughout my day I have the good fortune of seeing nurses go over and above the call of duty. The community nurses that visit the sick and elderly. I call them Nightingales.You would have to see them in action to appreciate what they do. And then there is Sister Newton at the Flamingo Gardens Clinic, Nurse Novella at oncology, the nurses at A&E and, the nurses at South Beach Clinic. They have answered the call.
The health minister Dr. Sands just recently spoke to the challenges that his ministry is facing with the tremendous shortfall in revenue. The wider community is criticising the MOH as to the condition of the healthcare facilities. But no want to pay for hospital visits. The nurses need to be compensated for all they do. And I believe if the Minister could find the money he would use it to pay the nurses right away. Because he is around them all of the time, he is feeling their pain.
The late Ronnie Butler used to say “Everyone wan go to heaven but no one wan die”. The same applies to our healthcare, everyone wants to be treated, but no one wants to pay. Some of us say the hospital is state owned and service should be free. Bahamasair is owned by the Bahamian people, but we don’t queue up at the airport to get on the plane for free flights to Miami. Hopefully the government and the nurses will soon come to an amicable understanding that would take the stress off everyone. The nurses deserve everything that they are petitioning for.
September 3, 2018.