Had it not been for those in the healthcare field who stared down the dreaded COVID-19, and exhibited bravery and resilience, the Turks and Caicos Islands economy would have crashed and burned.
These sentiments were expressed by CEO of Turks and Caicos Islands Hospital Inter-Health Canada, Dr. Denise Braithwaite-Tennant, who was addressing the Second Annual Nurses Awards Ceremony at the Atrium Hotel in Leeward, Providenciales on Thursday, May 11.
Speaking later with reporters, Dr. Braithwaite-Tennant reiterated that much credit should be given to those in the medial field for ensuring that COVID-19 was brought under control so that the country could be reopened to commerce and international travel including tourism on which the country’s survival is critical depend.
“Tonight I mentioned to people, and it is really factual, that if the healthcare system didn’t pull together, if nurses, doctors, the Ministry of Health, TCI Hospital, the private sector didn’t pull together and combat COVID-19 and stabilize things, so we could open our borders, we would have suffered a significant economic impact,” Braithwaite-Tennant asserted,” apparently insinuating that it was without question that much credit should be given to the healthcare sector for the TCI returning to normality at the time it did.
“So, we are very proud of that, for the lives that were saved, and we are very proud of that for the economy that was saved,” she continued.
She pointed out that one of the sub sectors to which credit should be given is that of nursing, since they represent a critical area of healthcare.
“The nurses formed the backbone truly of our healthcare system, and it is important that we recognize them for the work that they do,” she noted, stressing that the awards function in honor of the country’s nurses, as they celebrated Nurses Week, was well deserved.
“In life we would have hoped that every time, every moment, we deliver care to people that there is a ‘thank you’ coming back. And we don’t necessarily do it for the ‘thank-you’. But it shows that the more you recognize people for what they are doing and make them feel valued, the better they are in delivering care, and the better they are at enhancing the patient experience.
“So, it is very important to recognize nurses. And it is important to recognize the integral role they play in the Turks and Caicos Islands,” Braithwaite-Tennant further noted.
For those planning on making nursing a career, Braithwaite-Tennant has this advice: “Show that you love people. Don’t go into healthcare for money. Don’t go into healthcare for what you think is fame or notoriety, because there are going to be some days that you don’t feel like you are the star in the room.
“But go for it because you care about people…you want to serve people. if you have that passion on the inside already to care for people, to have a passion for people, on the hard days you would go the extra mile , on the good days it is like icing on the cake. You must have a care for people and a passion for people.”
Nerissa St. Bernard, Senior Nurse at the bottle Creek Clinic in North Caicos was named Nurse of the Year for 2023.