Brittany Baptise is a nurse at the Scarborough General Hospital in Trinidad and Tobago, in the Caribbean. Today is her day off and she smiles as she describes how nervous she was when she learned that she would be working in an intensive care unit (ICU) to treat COVID-19 patients.
I was a bit fearful because, coming from the medical ward, we didnt really know the rules and function of an ICU. I had no formal training, I had little knowledge about how the ventilator works, the settings and these things.
By the end of September 2020, Brittany was trained and working in the ICU with new skills and competencies to offer as part of an integrated team of health professionals. She was one of a cadre of 82 nurses across 7 Caribbean countries to take part in a 4-week training course to learn new skills and competencies to work in ICUs. These nurses are now making significant contributions to hospitals across the Caribbean providing critical care to COVID-19 patients.
This is crucial to the achievement of universal health coverage (UHC), which is dependent on a sufficient, equitably distributed and well-performing health workforce. The arrival of COVID-19 has severely challenged progress in this area.
Urgent need for critical care nurses during the COVID-19 pandemic
In March 2020, the Caribbean Region recorded its first imported case of COVID-19. By mid-March 2021, there had been more than 100,000 confirmed cases, and some 2,000 deaths across 20 countries in the Caribbean. The pandemic exposed a range of weaknesses in country health systems and the health workforce; a key problem being a shortage of critical care nurses.
Recognizing the urgent need, the University of West Indies School of Nursing, a PAHO/WHO Collaborating Centre for Nursing and Midwifery, developed a course to equip nurses with the right skills and competencies to provide critical nursing care in ICUs.
The PAHO/WHO Trinidad and Tobago Country Office supported the training of 2 cohorts of a total of 50 nurses from the Ministry of Health of Trinidad and Tobago. The PAHO Subregional Programme for the Caribbean, through the UHC Partnership, supported an additional cohort of 32 nurses from 6 other countries of the Caribbean: Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Barbados, Dominica, Guyana and Suriname.
The UHC Partnership works in 115 countries and areas to help governments accelerate progress towards UHC with a primary health care approach, through funding provided by the European Union (EU), the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, Irish Aid, the Government of Japan, the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, and the United Kingdom Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and Belgium.
Critical care training in theory and practice
The 4-week training was a combination of virtual sessions with face-to-face training in a clinical setting. The course covered clinical care for COVID-19 patients; foundations of critical care; management of respiratory conditions; renal dysfunction and replacement theory; epidemiology and infection control; management of neurological conditions; and the Critical Care Practicum.
In each hospital, the Ministry of Health identified a member of staff who acted as preceptor and provided mentoring and clinical supervision to the student nurses.
Nurses who have been trained are able to think critically about their work in the ICU, are no longer intimidated by the ward environment and equipment, are able to better assess patients and communicate more effectively with patients and colleagues.
Registered nurse, Rehemia Reyes, Head of Adult ICU at the Eric Williams Medial Sciences Complex. Preceptor ICU Nursing course. PAHO/WHO
From a health systems perspective, the nurses have gained new skills, which they can transfer to general wards, and their additional capacities can facilitate task sharing and task shifting as an alternative to shortages of health care workers during the pandemic.
This critical care training will also have an impact beyond the ICUs and contribute to a stronger health system overall throughout the Caribbean.
WHO has declared 2021 as the International Year of Health and Care Workers in recognition of their dedication to providing care during the COVID-19 pandemic that has challenged health systems worldwide.
Read the full story
Read more about WHO's response to COVID-19 across the world
Read more here:
- Quarterly Mixed Migration Update Latin America and the Caribbean, Quarter 1, 2021 - World - ReliefWeb - April 23rd, 2021
- David Mullings Shows Investors That Money Can Be Made in the Caribbean Market - Black Enterprise - April 23rd, 2021
- Hyatt Is Opening Another All-Inclusive in the Caribbean - Caribbean Journal - April 23rd, 2021
- Hotels: New and Renovated in the Caribbean - Travel Agent - April 23rd, 2021
- Philly theater, Caribbean food, and Camden celebrates Earth Day in this weeks Things To Do - WHYY - April 23rd, 2021
- Alaska is out, but the Caribbean is full speed ahead: What we know about cruising in 2021 - CNBC - April 23rd, 2021
- Designing the Caribbean's Greatest Pools - Caribbean Journal - April 23rd, 2021
- Seabourn Reveals Fall, Winter & Spring 2022-2023 Voyages Throughout The Caribbean, Panama Canal, Australia & New Zealand, And Asia -... - April 23rd, 2021
- Nam Tai Property Announces Issuance of Stay by the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal in the British Virgin Islands - PRNewswire - April 23rd, 2021
- Carnival Itinerary Planning: Focus on the Caribbean - Cruise Industry News - April 23rd, 2021
- Pope offers prayers for people on Caribbean island threatened by volcano - The Catholic Spirit - April 23rd, 2021
- Toxic Plume from Caribbean Volcano Wraps Around Earth; Arrives Over India - Weatherboy - April 23rd, 2021
- Latin America & The Caribbean Weekly Situation Update (12-18 April 2021), as of 19 April 2021 - Saint Vincent and the Grenadines - ReliefWeb - April 23rd, 2021
- Did You Participate In Any Of Caribbean Investment Holdings' (LON:CIHL) Incredible 423% Return? - Yahoo Finance - April 23rd, 2021
- Travel Advisory Update for Saint Vincent and the Grenadines - US Embassy Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean | US Embassy in Barbados, the Eastern... - April 23rd, 2021
- Ash coats Caribbean island of Saint Vincent after volcano eruption - Reuters - April 11th, 2021
- At the Table: A taste of the Caribbean? Walk this way - The Daily Gazette - April 11th, 2021
- COVID-19 and the Impact on Caribbean Culture The Colgate Maroon-News - The Colgate Maroon-News - April 11th, 2021
- Sailfish Brewing Co. of Fort Pierce to open in Vero Beach, expand to Caribbean - TCPalm - April 11th, 2021
- Local vet rescues stray canine from the Caribbean - Richland Source - April 11th, 2021
- Italian Fugitive Arrested In Caribbean Thanks To Cooking Videos - NPR - March 31st, 2021
- Canada scales up its support to PAHO in its COVID-19 response in the Caribbean - Pan American Health Organization - March 31st, 2021
- Caribbean appeals to Biden to share vaccines with U.S. 'third border' - Reuters - March 31st, 2021
- A better approach to U.K.-Caribbean relations - Virgin Islands Daily News - March 31st, 2021
- Latin America & The Caribbean Weekly Situation Update (22-28 March 2021), as of 29 March 2021 - El Salvador - ReliefWeb - March 31st, 2021
- Marriott Is Adding Another All-Inclusive in Mexico Caribbean Journal - Caribbean Journal - March 31st, 2021
- 114 million children still out of the classroom in Latin America and the Caribbean - World - ReliefWeb - March 31st, 2021
- Some Tourists Find Luck in the Caribbean with Covid-19 Vaccine - The New York Times - March 31st, 2021
- Iconic Caribbean hotel unveil refurbishments this Winter : Curtain Bluff, Antigua Hospitality Net - Hospitality Net - March 31st, 2021
- Director of Programmes and Development Americas and the Caribbean Regional Office - ReliefWeb - March 31st, 2021
- Caribbean Airlines Partners with Ink Aviation to Debut Technology to Help Safeguard Borders - AviationPros.com - March 31st, 2021
- 25 cool details you missed in the 'Pirates of the Caribbean' movies - Insider - March 31st, 2021
- Disneylands Pirates of the Caribbean ride once had real human bones and maybe still does - SF Gate - March 31st, 2021
- Netflix Documentary Shows How Accurate Pirates Of The Caribbean Was - Screen Rant - March 31st, 2021
- Millions of children out of school in Latin America and Caribbean - Vatican News - March 31st, 2021
- AMResorts Launches On-Site Testing in the Caribbean - Caribbean Journal - March 18th, 2021
- COVID-19 and the Learning Crisis in Latin America and the Caribbean: How Can We Prevent a Tragedy? - World Bank Group - March 18th, 2021
- Why Pirates of the Caribbean 4 Was Banned In China | Screen Rant - Screen Rant - March 18th, 2021
- Royal Caribbean teases update coming is "the news we've all been waiting for" - Royal Caribbean Blog - March 18th, 2021
- US Insists Its Committed To Haiti - Caribbean and Latin America Daily News - News Americas - March 18th, 2021
- Tooting brothers who took a Caribbean food business from 500 to national success during lockdown - My London - March 18th, 2021
- 7 Caribbean Cocktails That Are Easy to Make at Home - Cond Nast Traveler - March 16th, 2021
- What Is It Like to Work Remotely From the Caribbean? - Fodor's Travel - March 16th, 2021
- Tempted to Travel to the Caribbean? Know the Covid Rules - The Wall Street Journal - March 16th, 2021
- Living a realistic life on the Caribbean in The Lost Pirate Kingdom - Khmer Times - March 16th, 2021
- Study Explores Actionable Pathologic Variants in Caribbean Women With Breast or Ovarian Cancer - www.oncnursingnews.com/ - March 16th, 2021
- 11 ways onsite chefs are beating cabin fever with Caribbean cuisine - Food Management - March 16th, 2021
- The Crown Has No Place In The Caribbean No Matter What Netflix Shows Me - WLRN - March 16th, 2021
- Nancy Grace on UK woman who went missing from yacht off Caribbean - Yahoo News - March 16th, 2021
- Caribbean-inspired seafood stew brings warm island vibes to the table - The Spokesman-Review - March 16th, 2021
- Vivian Richards thanks PM for India giving Covid jabs to Caribbean nations - Business Standard - March 16th, 2021
- Biggest and smallest Caribbean mammals are most at risk of extinction - Futurity: Research News - March 16th, 2021
- A-Rod flies to Caribbean to be with J.Lo amid 'rough patch' reports - Wonderwall - March 16th, 2021
- 1 in 7 Caribbean Adults With Breast or Ovarian Cancers Have Actionable Pathogenic Variants - OncLive - March 16th, 2021
- Lifting Barriers to Education During and After COVID-19 - Improving education outcomes for migrant and refugee children in Latin America and the... - March 16th, 2021
- WORLD VIEW: Will regional unity be forever lost to the Caribbean? - Bahamas Tribune - March 16th, 2021
- Royal Caribbean Group Extends Suspension of Most Cruises Through May - NBC 6 South Florida - March 16th, 2021
- Ronald Sanders | Will regional unity be forever lost to the Caribbean? - Jamaica Gleaner - March 16th, 2021
- Meet the Amazing Caribbean-American women in politics - Island Origins - March 16th, 2021
- Emergency Preparedness and Risk Reduction Plan in the Caribbean 2021 - Bahamas - ReliefWeb - February 14th, 2021
- Here Are All Of Royal Caribbean's Homeports For 2021 - Cruise Industry News - February 14th, 2021
- American Airlines adds flights from DFW to Mexico and the Caribbean in a bid to boost summer travel - The Dallas Morning News - February 14th, 2021
- HBO Max will launch in Latin America and the Caribbean this June, Europe later on - GSMArena.com news - GSMArena.com - February 14th, 2021
- Harry Hauck: Polo Pirate of the Caribbean - Swimming World Magazine - February 14th, 2021
- Royal Caribbean Extends Singapore Season for Quantum of the Seas - Cruise Industry News - February 14th, 2021
- itelbpo Builds First COVID-Designed Contact Centers in the Caribbean - PRNewswire - February 14th, 2021
- Vaccine Race: COVAX Launching Millions Of Doses For Latin America And Caribbean - WLRN - February 14th, 2021
- While sailing the Caribbean, Athens man, crew rescue members of capsized cargo ship - Online Athens - February 14th, 2021
- A lot new under the sun in the Mexican Caribbean - Travel Weekly - February 14th, 2021
- 10 Ways Cruising Has Changed in the Last 30 Years - Royal Caribbean Blog - February 14th, 2021
- What it's like inside a luxury Caribbean 'vacation bubble' - CNN - January 25th, 2021
- Will Carnival, Royal Caribbean Or Norwegian Stock Grow The Most By 2022? - Yahoo Finance - January 25th, 2021
- CDC entry rule is testing resorts in the Caribbean, Mexico - Travel Weekly - January 25th, 2021
- The 15 Best Luxury Resorts in the Caribbean for 2021 - Caribbean Journal - January 25th, 2021
- Pirates of the Caribbean: The Secret Meaning Behind The Heroes' Names - Screen Rant - January 25th, 2021
- Reopening schools in Latin America and the Caribbean: key points, challenges, and dilemmas to plan a safe return to in-person classes - World -... - January 25th, 2021
- Disney Reportedly Wants To Do 10 More Pirates Of The Caribbean Projects - We Got This Covered - January 25th, 2021
- In St Thomas, Kayaking Through the Mangroves Caribbean Journal - Caribbean Journal - January 25th, 2021
- Frontier Launching New Nonstop Flights to St Thomas Caribbean Journal - Caribbean Journal - January 25th, 2021
- IGT Reaffirms Leadership in the Caribbean with Seven-Year Lottery Extension in Jamaica - PRNewswire - January 25th, 2021