Statement
8 May 2017 - 4:37pm

MESSAGE  BY MINISTER FOR HEALTH AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
HONOURABLE RONNIE W. SKELTON
IN OBSERVANCE OF NURSES WEEK
6TH- 12TH MAY, 2017

NURSES- A MODEL OF GOOD HEALTH

This year's Nurses Week theme, "Nurses: The Balance of Mind, Body and Spirit" seeks to focus on, and address the health and wellbeing of our nurses. In my role as Minister for Health and Social Development, I have received many reports of the great works our nurses are doing at our new Peebles Hospital; and how well they have transitioned to the new facilities and adapted to the new technologies. Members of the community inform me almost regularly of the continuous improvement of nursing care in our health care system. And of course, my personal health care needs have given me first-hand experience and knowledge of the compassion, dedication, commitment, resilience, and professionalism of our nurses.

I will continue to express my admiration and gratitude for the significant contributions nurses continue to make to our health and wellbeing; and so, as we observe Nurses Week 2017 I urge everyone to let our nurses know how much we appreciate them, not only those of us who have experienced their compassion and love but all of us.

My fellow residents, while it is important to uplift and encourage our nurses, it is perhaps more important to recognize their needs as well. As we have come to realize, nursing is one of the most stressful professions, our nurses can suffer from conditions such as Compassion Fatigue, Moral Distress and Burnout. Therefore we must take better care of them. I fully support the American Nurses Association's designation of 2017 as the year of the nurse, and its focus on improving the health of nurses. The Ministry of Health and Social Development will collaborate with the BVI Health Services Authority to strengthen their existing in-house services and create others where needed to promote the health and wellness of our nurses. It has been said many times that healthy nurses make a healthy nation.

Our nurses interactions with patients provide them with an opportunity to be a model of good health. Research has shown that a healthy nurse is more prone to educate and encourage patients regarding the maintenance of their wellness, and the patient is more likely to heed the advice of a nurse who is perceived to be healthy. In this way our nurses can assist with improving the wellness of our people. While we celebrate our nurses with the observance of Nurses Week, we must also promote activities throughout the year and beyond that will provide them with the education, training and facilities that will enable them to improve and maintain their wellness.

In closing, I again urge everyone to demonstrate their appreciation for the dedication and commitment to excellence of our nurses by supporting all of the activities spearheaded by the Nurses Association during this week and throughout the year. I encourage the entire community to wherever and whenever possible include our nurses in activities that will promote their wellness.

On behalf of our entire Virgin Islands community, I officially express my sincere gratitude to each and every one of our nurses for their dedication and commitment to the continued improvement toward sustainable quality healthcare in our country. As your Minister for Health and Social Development, with admiration and love for our nurses I declare this week as Nurses Week.May Jehovah continue to bless our nurses and these beautiful British Virgin Islands.  Thank you.

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