Guyana – Nurses’ migration considerably reduced – says Nurse Marva Hawker

Nurses’ migration considerably reduced

May 17, 2017 – Kaieteur News

– linked to wanting quality of professionals

Nurse Marva Hawker

 “People ain’t going nowhere; nobody ain’t want we now,” said veteran Nurse, Marva Hawker, as she addressed the wanting quality of some nurses that the public health system has produced over the years.

Hawker was recruited last year by the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation as a Nursing Mentor, in the deliberate quest to bring an end to the evident deficiency within the profession.

This has seen her working along with the Ward Manager, Supervisors and the nurses to guide them and ensure that they employ necessary remedial measures.


“When we came here, there was total indiscipline; enough to send you crazy. Some of these nurses, they don’t even want to tidy the patients, they don’t even see administering tablets as a priority. Medications are not given at their specific time for reasons like ‘the patient not ready’ or ‘the patient don’t have water’.  But it is gradually being addressed; it is slowly getting there but things are happening…it isn’t as yet where it needs to be by any stretch of imagination,” a very vocal Hawker shared.

In fact, she disclosed that while nurses’ migration back in the day was a major issue resulting in a shortage of nurses in the system, this is not the case today.

“The migration rate in this hospital has dropped tremendously since I’m here…where they have to go? Nowhere! And it’s worse at some other places [hospitals],” asserted Hawker, who has been a part of the nursing profession for five decades. Hawker is a retired Matron of the GPHC.

According to Hawker, during an interview with this publication, she has continued to give her support to the public hospital in the urgent quest to help restore the nursing profession. This is in light of her conviction that the profession has considerably deteriorated.
“Among the group of persons we have now in the nursing field, there are some who are just not the caring type. They don’t have the empathic way about them…they just don’t have empathy, they don’t show love,” Hawker insisted.

She has reason to believe that far too many individuals who are opting for the profession are merely looking for an income which in itself is a troubling situation.

“They are claiming that they are choosing nursing, because they are not getting anything else to do, and that is the problem, because we have now in the system, since I’m back, persons who are here who tell us they don’t like it…”

“We have some nurses saying that they were forced to come and do nursing – there are some who are waiting on a visa and some whose mothers feel they’re home doing nothing and so decide to send them out…so the patients feel the brunt of their [the nurses’] dissatisfaction…they don’t want to be here.”

Remedying this prevailing dilemma, she believes, will have to start with stringent interviews of the candidates who are accepted to undertake the nursing programme.

“I understand that some people were entered into programmes without even being interviewed…somebody ‘big’ would call and say I sending two or I sending three [nursing students] and the tutors have to accept them. At the orientations [for the nursing programmes] the tutors don’t even know some of the people who turn up,” Hawker said.

She continued, “I would personally like to see they have interviews because, you don’t do interview for interview sake. You have to know the quality of people you are accepting into the programme.”

She related that, currently, a deliberate move has been made to put the intake of nurses on hold. “I think this is a good move. Let them deal with what they have and bring them up to the required standard. Those who don’t meet it just let them go, don’t keep them.”
Alluding to the batch that participated in the Professional Nurses State Finals, last December, Hawker reflected, “it was a disgrace. I never heard that and when you look at them…they don’t even care.”

Based on the raw results of the 2016 State Final examinations seen by this publication, a mere 23 of the 179 candidates, who participated in the examination, were able to secure overall passes.

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