Ghana Requires 7,000 Specialised Nurses To Meet Medical Care Demand

-Korle-Bu graduates first set of Degree in Preoperative and Critical Care Nursing

Ghana requires not less than 4,000 Critical Care and 3,000 Peri-Operative Nurses (PON) to meet the country’s holistic medical care demand, Dr Kwaku Asante-Krobea, Principal of the School of Peri-Operative and Critical Nursing, Korle-Bu has said.

Dr Asante-Korbea said the global health coverage and other health goals would not be achieved unless Nurses and midwives who make up to 75 per cent of the health sector professionals’ workforce globally were supported and empowered.

‘Nurses and Midwives are often undervalued and we believe we could make a bigger contribution if we are enabled to work to the limit of our competence having acquired specialised education.’

Dr Asante Krobea was speaking at the first graduation ceremony of 50 Peri-Operative and 47 Critical Nurses respectively at Korle-Bu in Accra on Thursday. They were awarded with Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing.

Under Peri-Operative Nursing (PON), four students obtained first class, 42 obtained Second Class Upper and four obtained Second Class Lower. Mr Mallet Kojo Gbogblorvor was adjudged the overall best in PON.

Five students also obtained first class in Critical Care Nursing (CCN) while 38 obtained Second Class Upper and four had second class lower. Cecilia Asiama Yeboah was adjudged the overall best student in CCN.

The University of Cape Coast, awarded them with the Degrees certificates.

PON and CCN are specialised nurses who provide quality service and care delivery in operating theatres and intensive units of medical facilities.

Touching on the theme ‘Confronting the challenge of healthcare with Nursing Specialisation: projecting Peri-Operative and Critical Care, ‘ Dr Asante-Krobea said the country could not continue to rely on the skills of more basic skills as against insignificant few specialised skills to achieve appreciable Universal Health Coverage.

He said literature had suggested that clients seeking health care everywhere were safer in the hands of ‘well educated nurses.’

‘If we can apply our skills of actively listening to individuals, getting a sense of their individual needs, constraints and desires, higher education becomes a sine-qua-non.

‘ We need to work on many fronts, and it is only a focus-driven academic preparation that will meet the emerging trend.’

According to him patients’ needs kept changing over time and nurses needed to embrace a strong health promotion approach.

He said currently the World Health Organisation, global health agenda endorsed the rights and privileges’ of all individuals to receive health care information pricelessly if possible.

That agenda, he said imposed a great responsibility on persons who possesses the skill and knowledge to deliver health care information to persons requiring it.

‘Considering the fact that health care information is a right and a privilege, I dare challenge professionals in health care to rise up against the challenge by seeking continuous education.’

Dr Asante Krobea recounted that it was responsibility of government to strengthen and invest in nursing and midwifery for health institutions to have a triple impact of promoting health, advance gender equality and strengthen local economies.

‘The long term goal is to raise the profile of Nursing and Midwifery globally, makes it central to health policy and decision making to ensure that Nurses and Midwives can use their skills, education and training to their full capacity. ‘

Such a positive action from government will engender public confidence in the slowly dying health system,’ Dr Asante-Krobea said.

He therefore appealed to the Ministry of Health to expand the school’s existing infrastructural edifice in order to procure more class rooms, laboratories, electronic libraries staff offices and accommodation.

Dr Asante-Krobea said school was ready to partner with relevant stakeholders to enable staff of the school to build the needed capacity through enrolment in Doctoral Programmes.

‘We still uphold the tenacity to collaborate with some countries in Africa to train their practicing Nurses to acquire specialisation in PON and CCN. This academic year, again, foreign students would be enrolled.”

He announced that school was currently in partnership with the National Blood Service to produce degree-prepared nurses who would work in various capacities within the Service where specialists would be required.

Dr Asante- Krobea was elated that for the past 20 years, the school had produced 1,000 Peri-Operative and Critical Care Specialists in the country.

He congratulated the students bracing the storm through dint of hard work in order to achieve high academic laurels.

Madam Tina Mensah, Deputy Minister of Health in a speech read on her behalf noted that pursuing a specialisation was not only beneficial for career advancement but also for shaping the future of health care system.

The Minister said task of ensuring universal health coverage as enshrined in the SDG’s, required the contribution of specialised nursing.

‘My plea to our graduands is that their impact should be felt by patients. Let clients project you by the testimony they give as a result of the unique services they receive.’

According to her, that would require good interpersonal relationship and good communication and feedback with patients at every point of the health delivery chain.

The Minister further tasked the graduands to practice within the confines of the law and maintain high professional standards at all times.

By Joyce Danso/Gifty Amofa, GNA

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