Health

Nurses praised for bravery in face of Covid-19

  • Organ donors: nurse Kelly Pitcher enjoys a heart-shaped cookie as the Hamilton Princess & Beach Club gives away 400 free lunches yesterday to celebrate International Nurses Day (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
  • Hamilton Princess & Beach Club gives away 400 free lunches yesterday to celebrate International Nurses Day. Pictured: Nurses collect food from the hotel (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
  • Hamilton Princess & Beach Club gives away 400 free lunches yesterday to celebrate International Nurses Day (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
  • Hamilton Princess & Beach Club gives away 400 free lunches yesterday to celebrate International Nurses Day. Pictured: Nurses collect food from the hotel (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
  • Hamilton Princess & Beach Club gives away 400 free lunches yesterday to celebrate International Nurses Day. Pictured: Nurses collect food from the hotel (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
  • Hamilton Princess & Beach Club gives away 400 free lunches yesterday to celebrate International Nurses Day. Pictured: Nurses collect food from the hotel (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
  • Hamilton Princess & Beach Club gives away 400 free lunches yesterday to celebrate International Nurses Day. Pictured: Registered nurse Kelly Pitcher collects food for outside the hospital (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
  • Hamilton Princess & Beach Club gives away 400 free lunches yesterday to celebrate International Nurses Day. Pictured: Nurses collect food from the hotel (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
  • Hamilton Princess & Beach Club gives away 400 free lunches yesterday to celebrate International Nurses Day. Pictured: Registered nurse Kelly Pitcher collects food for outside the hospital (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

The island’s top nurse praised her staff yesterday for their selfless devotion to duty over the Covid-19 crisis.

Judy Richardson said she had never been so proud to be a member of the profession.

Ms Richardson added: “We have not shied away from the challenge this virus poses.

“We have stood determined to protect ourselves and care for those in our community that require our expertise irrespective of their Covid status.”

Ms Richardson was speaking on International Nurses Day, organised to celebrate the profession’s work around the world.

Ms Richardson, in charge of more than 400 nurses at the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital and the Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute, said the biggest problem the Bermuda Hospitals Board faced was the maintenance of enough personal protective equipment for staff. 

She added: “We planned and ordered extra supplies back in January and February, but Covid is a moving target. How much we need remains unknown.

“Thankfully, our supplies are meeting our needs at present.”

Ms Richardson said that staff at the King Edward made sure that patients at high risk if they contracted Covid-19 were protected.

These include elderly patients in the long-term-care unit, dialysis and cancer patients.

She added that her nurses were trained to provide the highest possible standards of medical care — but that their work went beyond that.

Ms Richardson said: “We have a Covid-19 patient currently in hospital who says that it’s the nurses who helped him through an experience he described as scary. 

“It’s the nurses who comforted and encouraged him and helped him renew his faith that he could make it through.”

She added: “It was more than the medical assistance they provided, yet the caring alone would not have been enough — their special training was necessary.”

Ms Richardson asked her team to continue to provide the best care possible and for people to consider nursing as a career.

She said: “Bermuda needs nurses. Those who enter this profession need to love it, they need to want to care and learn.”

Mr Richardson warned: “It’s not very glamorous and, especially in the case of psychiatric nurses, it’s not always a role which receives lots of appreciation, but nursing almost always provides the nurse with a rewarding feeling. It’s always done that for me.”

Kim Wilson, the Minister of Health, last night thanked the profession for its dedication to to the people of Bermuda, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.

She told nurses: “Please know that we at the Ministry of Health have your back, recognise your efforts and appreciate all that you do for the community both during this pandemic and beyond.

“My wish for you is that this pandemic draws attention to all of your efforts, sacrifices and dedication to heal and help.”