Over fifty (50) nurses recently graduated as part of the Barbados Community College’s (BCC) Certificate in Nursing Auxiliary Studies (NAS) programme.
Conceptualized by Sagicor for The Estates at St George and developed collaboratively with the BCC, the programme was launched in 2020. The course was designed to increase the quantity and quality of trained Nursing Auxiliaries in Barbados to service the human resource needs of public and private elder care facilities on the island. Graduates are eligible to enroll as Nursing Auxiliaries with the Nursing Council of Barbados.
Dr. Andrea Brathwaite, BCC Lead for the Project and Programme Administrator, explained that the curriculum was developed with two key objectives. She explained, “The programme prepares students with key competencies to meet the health care needs of older adults, under the supervision of Registered Nurses, and provides basic person-centered holistic care to older adults in dynamic care settings, with particular emphasis on customer service.” Dr. Brathwaite highlighted that the BCC Board of Management has thrown its full support behind the project and readily facilitates its success. She emphasized the need for more partnerships like this which reenergize and help transform our territory education sector to meet our national needs. The first two cohorts of students totalled 60 of which 50 graduated.
Sanika Jemmott, a Registered Nurse Auxiliary and recent graduate of the programme praised the preparation the tutors and training provided her. She explained, “When working with the elderly, especially those with dementia or Alzheimers, we have to remember they have made valuable contribution and should be treated with the greatest level of respect and kindness.” Auxiliary Nurse Jemmott, also spoke to the areas of study and practical skills taught, which made the students better prepared to assist in the care of this growing group of persons.
Dr. Jeanine Comma, a director of Sagicor Life Inc, recommitted the organisation’s focus on health and the importance of elder care in Barbados. She said, “When the Sagicor team sat down to conceptualize, develop and launch this unique programme, it was based on the fact that health care has always been an important feature of the Barbadian economy and there was a need for a specialized resource.”
Dr. Comma explained each course was carefully written to train persons so they could work in any area promoting care for the needs of active, aging persons. She added, “Auxiliary Nurse Jemmott and other graduates of this programme are skilled to cater to this a fast-growing number of older adults who remain very active members of our society.”