SLNA calls on government to “try harder to employ local nurses”

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SLNA calls on government to “try harder to employ local nurses”


As St. Lucian nurses prepare to undergo interviews with a team from Trinidad and Tobago who are here to recruit them for employment, Vice President (VP) of the Saint Lucia Nurses Association (SLNA) Ray Leo has said government should “try harder to employ local nurses”.

Leo told St. Lucia News Online (SNO) in an interview that while the SLNA supports the employment of nurses it is also sad that the country cannot absorb its own human resources. Many of the nurses who have applied are graduates from Cuba and local medical institutions.

The SLNA VP described the situation as a dilemma, but noted that the association is not opposed to nurses gaining employment.

“We believe that everybody has obligations and responsibilities. However we think the government should try a little harder to employ more nursing staff, given the situation the island is faced with,” Leo said.

He added: “Saint Lucia is facing a critical shortage of nurses and indeed we can use many more nurses on staff. However, we also understand the government’s position that they are currently not able to employ more staff than they have now, and they think as a government they have the responsibility to look for employment opportunities elsewhere for these nurses.”

However, despite the current economic situation, Leo said there is a serious concern when it comes to the nurse-to-patient ratio that must be tackled sometime in the future.

“In some institutions one nurse is assigned eight to 10 or even more patients. This is not good, considering that the international standard is one nurse to four patients.”

The Government of Saint Lucia, through the Ministry of Health, Wellness, Human Services and Gender Relations, and the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, have embarked on an initiative to employ registered nurses from Saint Lucia to work in the twin island republic.

The initiative will see locally qualified nurses presented with the opportunity of working for a minimum of two years with the government of Trinidad and Tobago. The interview process begins today, August 21, and will continue on Friday, August 22.

This opportunity is opened to new recruits or recent graduates of nursing, some with no or limited experience in the field. It is not opened to nurses who are currently employed.

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7 COMMENTS

  1. Ray, my friend, my cousin. If I were you, I would be careful what I say. Have you been listening to what is going on? What exactly do you want? The are unemployed-TT wants to employ them but you guys complain. Yet a number of unproductive nurses remain employed while young fresh blood is waiting on a chance to earn a living. I say you guys need to be thankful. The region is opening up and should St Lucia experience a shortage, these nurses can always come back home.

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    • I think you are missing the point Ray is trying to highlight. On more than 1 occasion he said that the Association is not against the employment of the nurses.All he is saying that we are short of nurses in ST Lucia so the government should make an effort to employ them. I will not consider our nurses unproductive. I believe they are being over worked. The ratio of patients per nurse is extremely high at the hospitals and this could be tiring.

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  2. Try harder to employ new nurses who sit in the emergency room lazing around while patients suffering? Believe me I know what I am talking about as I experienced is first hand.

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  3. Some of the new nurses of today believe me can go to T&T, they treat patients like dirt, always on a phone, attire is like they on a fashion show, they don't even greet their patients, Just go to St.Jude Hospital and see. They leave you waititng there for hours not even letting you know what going on. No customer service. I hope they know Trinis aren't joking.

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  4. Local nurses want to be employed but are they ready to offer professional service...nurses in st Lucia treat patients like animals.....customer service shud be considered in their recruitment!

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  5. The government is quick to talk about international standards for other things but the nurse to patient ratio they take moo moo tablets for it.

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  6. I suspect if it was open to already employed nurses they would jump at the opportunity. I bet its the jealousy which has some against it and not necessarily their concern for Lucian patients.

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