Sunday marked the start of the celebrations for the Nurses Association’s 75th anniversary with a special Thanksgiving church service at St John’s Pentecostal House of Restoration.
Nurses turned out in large numbers to return thanks to God for his support throughout the years.
The service was the first of several events planned, including a seminar on mental health, a motivational webinar, and a gala and awards ceremony.
Soria Dupie-Winston, the President of the Antigua and Barbuda Nurses Association said due to financial constraints, this year’s activities have been scaled down, but the dedication and enthusiasm of the organizers and participants remain unwavering.
“We were able to acquire our own headquarters building, we had successful negotiations with the government…. we achieved a lot and we really want to give God thanks”, she said
“This is not an easy milestone. It is a great and momentous milestone, and we wanted to celebrate it in style. We would have scaled down our activities for Nursing Week in May, hoping that we could have a grand celebration but we are unable to do so because of financial constraints,” she said
Dupie-Winston said the highlight of the celebration is the mental health symposium. The presenters are Brianna Pereira, who will speak on the topic: Nurturing the Flame Within; Thriving Through Burnout, Longlife Learning Resilience in Nursing and Dr Crys-Ann Ambrose who will deliver remarks on the topic :Bringing Your Best to the Table”.
Dupie-Winston explained that nurses in Antigua and Barbuda have gone through a lot, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic
“For too long persons have not focused on the mental health aspect of nurses and the notion is who cares for the carer? Who sits and listens to them? A nurse holds many hats, and after she has given out and emptied so much, there’s sometimes no one to put back into the nurse,” she said
There is a common misconception that nurses are not human and don’t experience the same pressures of life as everyone else.
However, Dupie-Winston said this couldn’t be further from the truth.
“Nurses are just as human as anyone else and go through their own set of challenges and pressures. It’s important to recognize and acknowledge their humanity and the incredible work they do every day,” she added