Nurses from across the Cayman Islands descended on the Ritz Carlton this week for a four-day nursing conference designed to let them share best practices in their field.
220 nurses are expected to participate in the conference, which will culminate Friday with a luncheon and awards ceremony honouring some of the island’s best nurses.
It’s the third time the Health Services Authority has organided the conference, which will pack in 25 hours of continuing nursing education from top health professionals.
Opening the conference Wednesday, Health Minister Anthony Eden said his government would do whatever it took to support nurses and health services in Cayman.
‘Between the nurses and the doctors, as I always tell my colleagues who talk a lot about education, if our children don’t have good health, they aren’t going to learn too much,’ he said.
‘Thank you very much for what you have done for our islands; to bring us to a standard of healthcare that is second to none in the Caribbean.’
Chief Nursing Officer Hazel Brown said the conference had been designed to think of solutions to the everyday problems nurses in Cayman face.
‘These sessions will serve to strengthen our mettle; sharpen our blades. We will remind each other of the things that truly matter. We will look at new approaches and best practice, find common, dry and firm ground, even as [hurricane season] approaches.’
She asked those in attendance to pause for a moment of silence to remember Maureen Bunne, an HSA nurse that recently died while undergoing routine surgery to remove her gallbladder at a hospital in Jamaica.
Ms Brown also took time to reflect on the challenges facing the profession internationally, at a time when demand for nurses is being stretched.
‘The shock of hundreds of thousands of people … dying in Burma and the thousands of injured waiting; these are our patients.’
‘China losing over 10,000 including hundreds of school children, with more than 27,000 men, women and children trapped; these are our patients,’ she said.
‘There is so much that demands our attention, and there are so few of us to cover. We are working constantly, against the clock, to ease suffering and save lives’