Students from the Cayman Islands Further Education Centre got a taste of nursing life when they attended the recent Annual National Nursing Conference.
The three-day conference, held last month at the Marriott Hotel on West Bay Road, brought together local and international medical practitioners to discuss the theme of embracing diversity in nursing care.
The students are taking part in the CIFEC/Health Services Authority’s three-month Health Care Aide Programme. During the conference, they listened in on discussions and presentations on a variety of topics that included lateral violence or bullying in nursing, obesity, anger management, child abuse and promoting cultural diversity in healthcare settings.
Sharon Buckley, the programme’s instructor and president of the Cayman Islands Nurses Association, arranged for the young apprentices to participate in the conference and the various activities that took place during the annual Nurses Week.
“I thought it was important for the students to network with nursing and other healthcare professionals this past week to fully experience the nursing field on both a social and academic level,” said Ms Buckley. “I think they have enjoyed a good balance of both of these aspects and I hope that it has inspired them to continue pursuing this noble profession. We need more Caymanian nurses.”
One student who has embraced the vocation of nursing and hopes to make it her career is 16-year-old Krishna Arch.
“I really enjoyed the conference. I heard some of the terms that I’ve been taught in the programme but I also learned some new concepts,” said Ms Arch. “My favourite sessions were those that used simulations. There was an interesting mannequin used in one lecture that was so life-like it even blinked!”
She said she likes the maternity part of nursing most, especially because the maternity ward was the first section she experienced as part of the course.
“I got to see how the nurses cared for the moms and the babies, clean up patient rooms and I even got to take vital signs,” said Ms Arch.
The nurse-in-training confessed that she loves the feeling she gets when she helps people and said that there will always be a need for doctors and nurses because there is always someone who is sick or in need of help.
She is all too familiar with the importance of doctors and nurses as she spent a lot of time herself at the hospital when she was younger, which inspired her to pursue nursing.
“As a child, I was really hyperactive so I used to get hurt a lot and would have to go to the hospital. I was always treated with so much care and compassion by the nurses and I decided I wanted people to feel that way if I had to take care of them,” recalled Ms Arch.
She described Ms Buckley, a previous winner of the Eloise Reid Award for Nursing Excellence, as her role model in the nursing profession.
“Nurse Sharon is truly an inspiration, and a great teacher. She has an effective way of explaining things, and I can always go to her for help. She has shown me that you can have fun and learn at the same time.”
Ms Buckley is also very positive about Arch’s future as a nurse, calling her a natural born leader who always takes the lead when it comes to team work and is always encouraging her classmates.
Ms Arch plans to finish at CIFEC and move on to the University College of the Cayman Islands where she wants to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing.
The university announced plans to launch the four-year Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing course this year. It will initially take up to 18 students and its first term will begin in September.