Nurses are Superheroes

THE GLEANER, WEDNESDAY, MAY 12, 2021 | www.jamaica-gleaner.com | E2 “ INTERNATIONAL NURSES’ DAY 2021 FEATURE Psychiatric nurse manager – Bellevue Hospital BERETTA THOMAS AS A child I was always caring; I fell in love with nurses at school and in my community. In the quest for making myself marketable, I realised that the nursing profession, as an art and a science, was most suited for me. So, when I thought of making a meaningful contribution I thought of nursing, which is one of those professions that allow you to serve mankind from the cradle to the grave. My career has brought me on many paths; some high, others low. My high points are when I care for clients/patients and they get well or rehabilitated enough to be reunited with their family and society, contributing in a meaningful way. There are, however, times when it is hard to motivate other persons in the profession, especially when they become victims of society. I was integrally involved in the initial stage of the COVID-19 planning, when most people were panicked and fearful. I was enrolled in a management programme at the Ministry of Health and Wellness, which was put on hold for months to facilitate strategic planning to manage COVID-19 more effectively; I volunteered to work in communities and taught the use of universal precautions, handwashing techniques and social distancing. While I was not sure what the outcomes would be, I sacrificed time, family and my mental health to save the lives of others. My area of work, which is psychiatry, plays a part in my service as many people had negative thoughts of mental health, but this pandemic has enabled persons to see the importance of good mental health in wellness. I was the recipient of an award from the Push Star Foundation for Outstanding Contribution to the National COVID- 19 Response, and I participated in the blitz vaccination programme, where over 80,000 persons were inoculated over a five-day period. Nursing is a noble pro- fession, and you can achieve your dreams and goals. The profession is marketable, fulfilling, and one that leaves an indelible mark on the lives of others. “A person may not remember what you said or what you did, but they will always remember how you made them feel.”– Maya Angelou I was integrally involved in the initial stage of the COVID-19 planning, when most people were panicked and fearful. I was enrolled in a management programme at the Ministry of Health and Wellness, which was put on hold for months to facilitate strategic planning to manage COVID-19 more effectively; I volunteered to work in communities and taught the use of universal precautions, handwashing techniques and social distancing. Intentional care and steady hands keep the nation healthy and safe. We salute your selflessness. www.lascojamaica.com

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