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Belize shows appreciation for its nurses

GeneralBelize shows appreciation for its nurses

May 6 to May 12 was celebrated as Nurses Week, ending on International Nurses Day

BELIZE CITY, Thurs. May 12, 2022

Thursday, May 12, observed as International Nurses Day, marked the conclusion of Nurses Week in Belize, which commenced on May 6 and saw some of the country’s most invaluable frontline workers appreciated and celebrated. The theme for this year’s Nurse Week was “Nurses: A Voice to Lead—Invest in Nursing and Respect Rights to Secure Global Health”.

On the final day of Nurses Week, the Ministry of Health and Wellness shared a special message from the Ministry’s Chief Nursing Officer, Lizett Bell.

“Investing in nursing has become critical to the productivity of any healthcare system and to the wider sustainable economic development of a country. The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us that nurses play a significant role in healthcare, and without them accessibility to quality care can be jeopardized. We must recognize the nurses’ efforts and their heroic commitment to the people of this country. Many were tired, overworked, underpaid, and managing their own personal issues, yet they showed up to work to provide care for those in need,” she stated, adding that nurses are the heart and the backbone of the healthcare system.

Bell also highlighted the fact that this past fiscal year, the Ministry of Health & Wellness invested heavily in nursing education by granting scholarship opportunities and certificates in practical nursing and specialization in midwifery.

“Nurses are superheroes, and we see you glow every day. We are there for you, and we acknowledge your efforts. But special thanks to you for your services to your communities on this, your Nurses Day,” she concluded.

During this year’s Nurses Week, a host of activities were held at various hospitals and clinics around the country, including at Belize City’s Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH).

One activity hosted by the KHMH this past week was its “Nursing is Reel” campaign, which featured TikTok videos that were filmed by nurses to highlight the lighter moments on the job—moments that are just a bit more frequent now in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic’s peak. There were video submissions from wards across the hospital, including Accident & Emergency, the Maternity Ward, and the Medical Ward.

Other events by the KHMH included a flameless cookout competition, a relaxation spa day by the hospital’s Physiotherapy Department, appearances on various talk shows by Maternity, Emergency, and COVID Ward nurses, and the renaming of the KHMH’s Nursing Supervisor’s Office, which is now known as the Pearlita Spain Nursing Supervisor’s Office. 

The week’s celebrations also included a walkathon in San Ignacio and Santa Elena, church services, raffles and scavenger hunts by the Nurses and Midwives Council of Belize, a Nursing Conference, and more.

The date May 12 was chosen as International Nurses Day to commemorate the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth. Nightingale, born in 1820, was a British nurse regarded as the founder of modern nursing. She is also known as “The Lady with the Lamp” due to the fact that she often wandered the wards at night tending to patients with a lamp in her hand. Nightingale frequently emphasized the need for proper sanitary conditions in medical environments in order to ensure the quick recovery of patients.

The observation of International Nurses Day serves to highlight the vital and often life-saving work carried out by nurses across the globe.

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