UK-based Guyanese nurse offers help to local counterparts
Guyana Chronicle – April 5, 2008
By Priya Nauth
A UK-based Guyanese nurse has offered her expertise to help strengthen the local nursing system, and in this regard she held exploratory talks with Minister within the Ministry of Health, Dr Bheri Ramsaran yesterday.Ms. Lynette Philips who is a recent recipient the Order of the British Empire (O.B.E) in honour of her services to health care is a registered nurse and midwife and holds a Diploma in Health Care and Management Services in addition to a Masters Degree in Business Administration.
She grew up in Georgetown before migrating to the United Kingdom (U.K) in 1968 at the age of 16. “Nursing was never an expectation of mine…I always wanted to be a teacher because most of my family were in that profession… but I enjoyed every moment of it,” she recalled.
“I always come back to Guyana since I have family living here and I want to give back to Guyana what I took out,” she said.
Phillips explained that this initiative to carry out this venture came about last year when she met with three nurses from Guyana at the High Commission Office in London, who had completed a programme there.
She pointed out that one of the nurses suggested that there is need for assisting the nurses in Guyana and felt that links with the Royal College of Nursing in England will be a good start.
She posited that offering her support can help to make a difference and provide the opportunity to learn new ways of working.
Ms. Phillips said she met representatives of the Guyana Nursing Association to find out what their objectives and needs were with the aim of creating links with the Royal College of Nursing, being a member herself.
She noted that one of the key areas that needs further development is the training of nurses, but noted that nurses in Guyana are very skilled and the procedures they undergo are more complex.
“I want to try and get other persons who have the skills and time to volunteer to help improve the services here,” Phillips underscored.
This will benefit the country by having an injection of different expertise in order to support and enable nurses to remain here as well as having more access to skilled nurses who will be provided the opportunity to have health related issues being dealt with more speedily, she offered.
According to Phillips, she works closely with the staff of the Royal College of Nursing and this collaboration will enable the creation of links between the Guyana Nursing Association and that body.
She plans to recruit persons who are equipped with skills and may want to volunteer to help the nursing services here.
The independent management consultant hopes to have a clearer understanding of the nursing system and identify areas that need assistance.
Another area to explore, she also noted is how we can have an exchange of nurses.
Dr Ramsaran presented her with a copy of the curriculum for the training of professional nurses in Guyana with the hope that the diaspora will respond and try to help further strengthen the nursing system in the country.
He expressed his hope that this gesture opens up the possibilities to further strengthen what already exists here, noting that local nursing trainers are doing a very good job, but need additional assistance.
He noted with new hospitals to be opened in Lethem and Mabaruma and four new diagnostic centres, we need more staff.
The minister disclosed that 250 nurses were enlisted last year to train and “we need to help the trainers with any form of support and hope she can be able to seek persons who can help us.”
We already have other connections with other organizations in the UK and we look forward to strengthen these relationships, he emphasised.