Lives at risk
Sunday, July 15 2012
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MONEY MEN: Outgoing Central Bank Governor Ewart Williams, 3rd from left, shares a moment with his regional peers, Haiti Central Bank Board Member Frit...
THE EDITOR: I have listened to the argument between the Minister of Health Dr Fuad Khan and the members of the Nursing Council of Trinidad and Tobago and certain issues must be brought to the fore.
First, the purpose of the Nursing Council of TT, is to ensure high standards in the nursing profession, accredit nursing programmes by educational providers and set standards and guidelines for nursing practice. It also examines professional conduct and discipline of the registered nursing personnel. The Nursing Council also provides advice to the Minister of Health on all matters relating to its functions.
All nurses must be registered to practice under their regulatory body which ensures that those so registered, provide safe and competent nursing care. The Council also sets the requirements for registration of the nursing profession. While the Nursing Council must be flexible, be effective and responsive to the requirements of the population. It must ensure that the public get quality health care service. If the Council cannot set its own standards, then the public is exposed to anyone granting a nursing licence and thus putting their clients at risk. The Nursing Council must regulate the profession in the interest of the public. It protects the public by making sure the profession it regulates, provides safe, competent and ethical care. The Nursing Council in governing nursing schools ensures the safety of patients they serve and without the Nursing Council in place, schools may graduate students who may not have proper knowledge of how to handle medical emergencies or have inadequate skills for the job. Issues under discussion are that we are avoiding the council exams and lowering the standards for entry into the profession.
We are registering unlicensed health professionals who have worked for several years in the system and wish to be issued registered nurse status.
If the Council cannot set its own standard, then the public is exposed to anyone granting a nursing licence and thus putting their lives in danger.