The National Nursing Conference was held today at the Radisson. The main goal is to enhance the nursing profession in Belize which will improve health services to regular citizens like you. 150 nurses were invited to engage in this discussion. We stopped by to find out more.
Augustina Elijio - Deputy Director, Health Services
"I must indicate that this a very historic event for nursing in Belize as out team indicates we are looking at a vision for the future of nursing to improve quality care in this country. It's a move that must happen, we are in a global village as it relates to health we need to think global but yet act local. Whatever is happening globally affects Belize. I must also indicate that the health care system is so dynamic so involving and it cannot be business as usual for nursing. We must step up to the plate, we must be cognizant of what are the changes and what are the changing roles that nurses must be prepared for."
Dr. Diana Mason - Consultant
"Dr. Jane Salvage from the UK and I are here to advise the nursing leadership on developing a national action plan for nursing in Belize and we are here to look at what are the issues and what are the dreams that nurses have for improving the profession and for being able to be a stronger force in improving the health of the people of Belize. I don't think most people realize how important nurses are to the health of the nation. They are crucial. If you do not have enough nurses who are well prepared people die. People do not get their health promoted and so we are here to talk about how to strengthen that nursing profession, have nurses be equal partners at decision making tables about health care in the community and at the Ministry and National level as."
One main issue that nurses raised at the conference had to do with the shortage of nurses in the field. Senior Policy Service Professor at George Washington University discussed that issue and how government can address it.
Dr. Diana Mason - Consultant
"You have one reason for shortage you're not investing in nursing education and so there are a lot of people who would like to go into the nursing profession but they have to be supported in going to the university so that's one investment and resource you can develop. The other is nurses working conditions and we got to pay attention to create supportive work environments for nurses. Nurses in a hospital are the hospital's best surveillance system, if you don't have enough nurses and a patient starts to say go down the tubes their condition starts to deteriorate you're not going to be rescued and you could lose your life. So you need to have enough nurses at the bed side but you need an environment that is going to support them."
An action plan will be formulated at the end of this conference. It ends on Friday.