Nurses Week is being celebrated in Belize and was officially opened today at the chapel of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City. The week long activities will lead up to Nurses’ Day which will be recognized globally on May 12. Michelle Hoare is the Director of Nursing Services at the KHMH; she spoke to Love News on this morning’s opening.
“We have a program scheduled for this week starting off with our church service followed by our awards ceremony and a brunch for the staff here at Karl Heusner. Tomorrow we will have a caring for the care givers day where nurses will be pampered, given manicures, pedicures, facials and massages just something to give back to them because they’ve always been caring for others so we decided to add that in our program. We will also have a motivational speaker coming tomorrow and maybe some one on one counseling as the need arises. On Wednesday we will have a multicultural cookouts. We have maybe eleven different countries here trained worldwide and so what we want to do is bring group of nurses together as teams to participate in presenting their national dish whatever that may be. We will be doing a first place for those who come out first it will be in our parking lot. Thursday we will have a variety show where the nurses from the different areas come together and they will put off talents that they have, it’s basically for the other staff members and patients and families who will be able to participate. Friday the nurses associations organizes a conference which is usually an annual thing. Nurse are allowed to use their t-shirts during Nurses Week, they are given a shirt that depicts the theme for that particular year and so we will have this educational conference in Orange Walk organized by the Nurses Association of Belize. This is an annual it is celebrated by nurses worldwide, it coincides with the birthday of Florence Nightingale who was the founder of modern nursing. Internationally we have international nurses day which is celebrated on May 12 so this is something that we have been doing for years gone by and this is nothing different.”
54-year-old, Nurse MerleneMyvett is one of two nurses at the KHMH who are looking to retire later this year. In speaking with Love News, Nurse Myvett told us of her experience and studies as a nurse.
“Well as I sat there in the ceremony just now and I heard everybody saying that you had to have the calling to be a nurse I can say from when I was a little girl that I have always wanted to be a nurse so I can truly say that when I was finished from High School I went on to Belize Technical College, at the time it used to be Belize Technical College and they had pre-nursing so I did my pre-nursing course and while I was doing my pre-nursing course I remembered clearly that I had gone to work there when I was 16 as what you would call a nurse’s aide at that time and I worked there for the first time while I was going to school. I saved my money and I remember going back to work after I graduated. To be exact I graduated the Sunday from Belize Technical College and the pre-nursing program and I went to work at the Old Belize City Hospital the next day and I have been here since then. I was a practical nurse for ten years, at 30 I went back to nursing school to do my registered nurse and when I was finished with that I did my midwifery and after I did that I could remember clearly at 40 I went to the operating room nurse course. So I am a registered, a midwife and an operating room nurse which I am presently practicing now.”
“Now you are six weeks from going on preretirement leave, are you ready to leave?”
“I won’t say I’m ready to leave because I still have a lot life in me to work so I have already promised the institution that because of the experience and knowledge that I have I am willing to come back and do some extra work; I can’t say for how many years but I know I will come back and work. So I’m just taking a break I am not retiring from nursing because once a nurse always a nurse so I know that I will not be retiring, I’m just taking a break.”
In her thirty five years’ experience, Nurse Myvett says she has welcomed many changes that have come about in the nursing sector. She, however, believes that there needs to be more local nurses and more unity in the industry.
“I have seen so many changes and it’s not bad change all of them are good. I have seen progress, I have seen technology we have gone from simple things to much more high tech stuff and I can see us moving forward even more. So nursing is better, yes the old days were better in the sense that I find that we were more unified and that is something that I yearn to see come back as nurses; it’s something that is always emphasized when our Matron and everybody speaks to us for us to have that team player work ethic and I can see it coming back but in our days as the nurses, one thing I can see is that the culture has changed. I did not know I would have lived to see the day when there were so many different cultures of nurses. I remember my days when it used to be only Belizean nurses, even in the nursing schools it used to be only Belizean nurses in the past, now you see a lot of foreign nurses so yes for whatever reason we would need more Belizean nurses to be in our midst.”
The almost two hundred nurses at the KHMH were recognized this morning with special acknowledgements given to about fifteen of the nurses including two nurses who will be retiring later this year.