International Nurses Day 2022 |13 May 2022
Promoting compassion in nursing and midwifery practice
In response to the results of a survey conducted in 2019 to assess the satisfaction of in-patients at the Seychelles Hospital, the Ministry of Health has launched a new campaign to further promote compassion in nursing and midwifery practice.
Compassion is the human and moral part of care, and according to many nursing literatures, compassion is the philosophical foundation and centrepiece of the nursing profession, while being compassionately responsive to the care needs of patients is one of the professional standards of nursing.
It is said to be equally an essential aspect of nursing, as well as an important value embedded in nurses’ professional standards and codes of practice.
The campaign, built on recent work on person-centred care and a desire to make a difference to the people we care for, was officially launched yesterday to coincide with the International Nurses Day which is celebrated annually on May 12.
The chosen theme for this year’s celebration is ‘A Voice to Lead – Invest in Nursing and respect rights to secure global health’.
The promotion campaign was officially launched with the unveiling of its logo and presentation of badges by Minister for Health Peggy Vidot during a special ceremony held at the auditorium of the Sheikh Khalifa Diagnostic Centre at the Seychelles Hospital, in the presence of deputy chief executive of the Health Care Agency Kathleen Cecile, chief nursing officer Dr Guylian Mein, resident representative for the World Health Organisation (WHO) to Seychelles Dr Rex Mpazanje and other health professionals.
Welcoming the guests, acting nurse manager for the English River Health Centre, Marie-Helene Niole, noted that in December 2019 when the Covid-19 pandemic spread its footsteps in the world, nurses across the globe, including Seychelles, worked tirelessly day and night to save lives.
She added that despite working in challenging circumstances, such as lack of resources, including nurse, and an increase in their responsibilities, nurses continued to deliver high quality care, while ensuring safe care.
Ms Niole added that the nurses also showed commitment and dedication towards their profession at all times and that if there is something that Covid-19 has taught us is that there is a shortage of nurses globally.
She said there was a cry worldwide for nurses during the pandemic, while the nursing shortage is a serious threat to the public health and a sore point that must be addressed now.
Ms Niole further noted that the profession is not without sacrifices and that during the pandemic they had to leave families behind to go and care for others.
Based on this year’s chosen theme, Ms Niole said it is very appropriate since it illustrates perfectly what the world has experienced, and still is due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The nursing workforce is simply not enough, therefore we need to encourage more people to opt for this profession,” said Ms Niole, who further added that nurses should also be given the appropriate respect they deserve.
Prior to unveiling the logo, Minister Vidot, in her capacity as a nurse, reminded her colleagues that Seychelles need a resilient, highly competent, and strong nursing workforce that will be able to deliver patient-centred and culturally sensitive care.
She noted that our health care system and our nursing profession have many challenges which need to be addressed in order to deliver better quality of care.
She also reminded them that as members of the profession, they need to try harder and harder to be better at what they do, while pledging the support of the government which she said will continue to invest in high-quality healthcare education and training and continue to encourage and recognise the hard work of people in the nursing profession.
The campaign to promote compassion in nursing and midwifery practice will work with nurses, midwives and care staff across Mahé and the inner islands in developing a shared vision for compassion in Practice.
It is aimed at raising awareness and understanding of compassionate care, helping nurses, midwives and care staff reconnect with their professional values and sense of vocation, supporting and guide nurses, midwives and care staff in developing their capacity for compassionate practice, and also enabling the best possible quality of care and ensure previous failures of care are not repeated.
According to Dr Mein, based on a survey in 2019, 43 percent of patients rated the care they received as very good, while 24 percent rated the care as excellent, and 33 percent rated nursing care as poor to fair in areas such as communication, empathy, involvement of relatives, planning of discharge from hospital care and also respect.
She explained that in the various services offered by the Ministry of Health, often some individuals do not always portray the compassionate care they should , and this she said is due to various reasons, including lack of resources – time support and staff – and also negative workplace culture.
Dr Mein further noted that to create the conditions to provide compassionate care, there should be a great deal of positivity in the care environment, as well as the enthusiasm and commitment from nurses, midwives and other care staff at all levels.
She also reminded the staff to go back to basics, build trust and make a vital human connection with patients, while the experience of care in clinics and hospital should be good.
For the campaign, a total of 30 champions from each health facility have been nominated to support nurse team leaders to communicate the ethos and excitement of the campaign to all clinical care staff, managers, and student nurses, while empowering each nursing team to undertake small tests of change in their sphere of practice.
Following the completion of the campaign, there will be a repetition of the patient satisfaction survey conducted in 2019 to determine its impact, while there will be nomination of and reward to two health facilities (community/hospital) that has most demonstrated compassion.
The selected champions for the campaign also received their badges during yesterday’s ceremony.
The accompanying photos show some highlights of the ceremony.
Photos by Joena Meme