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Concern over nursing care at UHWI

Published:Thursday | July 9, 2015 | 3:48 PM


IN RESPONSE to Melody Cammock-Gayle's article (Cold, callous care at University Hospital) in the People's Report section of The Gleaner on July 4, 2015, I ask that the author accept my condolences on the death of her mother.

It was disturbing to read your letter to say the least. However, I do have some questions. Your mother was admitted to Ward 3 with pneumonia after presenting with vomiting and diarrhoea. Was it aspiration pneumonia? Was she on intravenous fluids for the diarrhoea, vomiting and pneumonia? Was she on intravenous antibiotics for the pneumonia? If a patient was vomiting, why was she on a regular diet and not oral and IV fluids to rest her stomach?

These should be questions for the nurses and physicians at the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI), and not you. I was inclined to ask them, because the care seemed so poor for routine pneumonia.

I find the nurses' behaviour uncaring and unprofessional. Is there routine training for nurses on how to care for patients and families? If so, let me add these simple instructions for the people in charge of professional training.

To start:

1. Nurses must be instructed that patients must always be first!

2. PRACTISE patient-centred care.

3. The most important word in nursing is 'care' - demonstrate it at all times.

4. Build a relationship with your patient (not only the rich and famous, but all patients); it leads to better health outcomes.

5. Most of all, communicate to others in a professional manner. Poor communication builds barriers between patients and health providers.