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Annual scientific confab, critical care exposition underway in Accra

BY: Doreen Andoh
Eva Mensah (left), Director, Nursing and Midwifery Services, Ghana Health Service; Hannah Oparebea Acquah (middle), Rector, College of Nursing and Midwifery, and Faustina Excel Adipa, President, Critical Care Nurses Group, Ghana, interacting after the conference. Picture: Maxwell Ocloo
Eva Mensah (left), Director, Nursing and Midwifery Services, Ghana Health Service; Hannah Oparebea Acquah (middle), Rector, College of Nursing and Midwifery, and Faustina Excel Adipa, President, Critical Care Nurses Group, Ghana, interacting after the conference. Picture: Maxwell Ocloo

Critical Nurses Group, Ghana, has commenced the fifth annual scientific conference and critical care exposition to deliberate on care improvement and also build the capacity of members.

Referred to as the nurses with the third eye, critical care nurses form a specialised group under the Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association who provide care for acutely and critically ill patients.

The three-day conference is on the theme: “The post-COVID-19 era: Ghanaian innovations and strategies in critical nursing”.

The nurses are being taken through presentations on leadership in critical care nursing, quality and safety in critical care nursing, pain management in non-communicating patients, clarifying the confusion of arterial blood gas analysis, among other topics.

The Rector of the Ghana College of Nursing and Midwifery, Hannah Oparebea Acquah, said nursing and midwifery practice was evolving, making it necessary for practitioners, particularly those in critical care, to be abreast of new trends and innovations in the sector.

She said one of the measures to improve nursing and midwifery care delivery was for practitioners to specialise, hence the decision to establish the college.

Quality

The Director of Nursing and Midwifery at the Ghana Health Service, Eva Mensah, said the effectiveness of healthcare delivery was inextricably linked to the quality and state of the nursing and midwifery profession.

She said the COVID-19 pandemic had exposed society to the realities of nursing, adding that the pandemic must be a catalyst for fundamental and systemic changes in the sector to prepare personnel for future incidents.

“Strengthening nursing education and leadership, including a nursing voice in all decisions about the future of health systems and policies, will be essential if we are to create more equitable services and better outcomes for patients and the communities,” Mrs Mensah said.

The General-Secretary of the Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwifery Association, David Tenkorang, mentioned the enormous contribution of critical care nurses in healthcare delivery, saying “if for nothing at all, COVID-19 has underscored the critical role of nurses”.

He urged members to remain united and loyal to the mother association.

The Chairperson of the group, Faustina Excel Adipa, also said critical care nursing was challenging and complex, yet rewarding.

“Critical care nurses often provide life-saving treatment for patients by ensuring that they get the best care possible. We play a pivotal role in the healthcare delivery system.

“Amazingly, however, majority of healthcare professionals do not understand our role. The COVID-19 pandemic has been the most disruptive force to the intensive care unit (ICU) work environment this century, the primary area that critical care nurses work,” Mrs Adipa said.