President of the Trinidad and Tobago Registered Nurses Association (TTRNA), Gwendolyn Loobie-Snaggs, while addressing nurses during a rally yesterday to celebrate International Nurses Day at the Brian Lara Promenade, Port-of-Spain, said nurses were the ones who understood and knew what healthcare was about.
She said good nursing practices allowed for the reduction in health care cost, provided effective nursing care to citizens and would make a significant difference in the health care system.
However, she said to achieve an effective and efficient health care system, the policymakers must realise that the necessary resources must be provided for nurses to function at optimum, providing adequately for nursing personnel.
Loobie-Snaggs said the theme chosen by the International Council of Nurses (ICN)–Nurses: A Force For Change- “Care Effective, Cost Effective”— reinforced the fact that global health could not be achieved without nurses’ participation at all levels of the health care system.
“Chief executive officer of the ICN, David Benton, said nurses and policymakers must focus on the nursing role as a key priority and determinant for achieving equity, delivering universal health coverage and ultimately improving health outcomes globally.
“Those who stand to benefit most are the patients and the public whom we serve, but this can only be when there is a clear understanding of health issues, the cost of providing health care and value of nursing,” she said.
Loobie-Snaggs said nurses were a force for change, they were the ones who were the pillars of the health care system in any country through best practice and with a right mix of nursing staff, optimum health care was provided and cost overruns were reduced as the patient’s stay in hospital was significantly reduced.
“Today, which is also the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing, we are here to remind the public and our employers of the role and function we as nursing personnel play in achieving and promoting effective and efficient health care,” she said.
The president said while nurses were professionals who were always in demand, they must always remain vigilant. “To fall asleep would result in our skills being slowly taken away one by one, and all the gains made by nursing personnel throughout the years for the good would all have come to nought.
“Comrades all, stand firm, unite for the benefit of the profession and serve the people as it is ours to do. Provide a source that is cost effective, equitable, safe and above all, high in quality. We are a force for change and our force must ensure that we are provided with an environment that seeks to advance nursing practice that would improve our competencies and skills,” she said.
Loobie-Snaggs noted a proper remuneration package was vital for the well being of the health care professional.
“So, let us celebrate the whole year through and not only today for we have much to be grateful for. Despite the many challenges nurses encounter, nursing personnel would not give up, we are never weary,” she said.