New batch of practical nurses ready to take on health sector

Published: Tuesday | August 18, 2009

Forty-eight trained practical nurses are hoping to join the labour force in the health sector soon, following the completion of their one-year training at the Mandeville Caregivers Training Institute in Manchester on Sunday.

The nurses, who were prepared for the health sector in a level-two course run by the HEART Trust/ NTA, completed their training earlier this month and collected their certificates at a graduation ceremony at the Mandeville Hotel in that capital town in front of more than 200 specially invited guests.

Apart from the training they received at the Lions Club of Mandeville community-based training centre, the practical nurses were placed at senior citizens homes, infirmaries, day-care centres, the Manchester Health Department and early-childhood institutions for added experience.

Vanessa Williams, a member of the board of management for the training institute, while giving the progress report at the graduation exercise, said the nurses' exposure to the various facilities gave them a good idea of what the real working world in caregiving was like. She said that some had already received employment.

"Already, some of our graduates have received employment, and this can be attributed to the confidence employers have in the programme," said Williams.

She pointed out that for the training year 2008-2009, 50 trainees started the practical nurses programme, but unfortunately, two opted out. She said that the remaining 48 who stayed the course, did their training well and were now ready to work locally, and if the opportunity presents itself, they were also ready to work overseas, as they were all certified by the HEART Trust/NTA.

Holistic training

"Our students did not only receive training in caregiving, they also received training in entrepreneurial skills, as preparation for starting their own businesses should they decide to do so," said Williams.

Williams pointed out that the requirements for admission for the next set of students to be trained at the HEART Trust-funded institute are that applicants must have at least two subjects at the CXC or GCE level. One of the subjects, she said must be English, and the other has to be a science subject.

She pointed out that though the institute was faced with challenges, it would continue to provide the best-trained graduates for the health sector.

Lifelong learning

In bringing greetings, regional manager for the central region of HEART Trust, Charmaine Dixon, asked the graduates not to take the graduation as their final stop, but to seek to increase their knowledge by doing additional studies as part of lifelong learning, aimed at better equipping themselves to serve successfully in the health sector.

At the graduation exercise, Yolande Smith walked away with the award for academic excellence; Andrea Beckford copped the award for stewardship; Doreen Howell-Smith received the award for being the most-improved student, and Silvelin Morrison received the 'Spirit of HEART' trophy for overall excellence.

The top four graduates who walked away with special awards during a ceremony at Caregivers Training Institute in Mandeville, Manchester, on Sunday. From left are Yolande Smith, Andrea Beckford, Doreen Howell-Smith and Silvelin Morrison. - Contributed