Caregivers not nurses

Don’t compare nurses to caregivers!

That’s the emphatic message from Barbados Nurses Association (BNA) President Blondelle Mullin in the wake of the release on social media of a video showing a paid helper physically abusing an 84-year-old Alzheimer’s-afflicted woman left in her care at Roseville Home for the Elderly in Christ Church.

Blondelle Mullin
Blondelle Mullin

Arielle King, 37, the caregiver seen in the video kicking and striking the elderly woman with a shoe and a book, has been charged with unlawful assault and was yesterday released on $3,000 bail.

Arielle Odinga King
Arielle Odinga King

While condemning King’s behaviour, Mullin sought to make it clear that the people who are employed by nursing homes must not to be confused with the professionals in the BNA.

“She is a caregiver, or nursing auxiliary, or health aid and those are just trained for six months.

“We just want people to not brand nurses and think that’s what nurses do because trained nurses know how to treat the elderly, and we know when they have Alzheimer’s how they behave. We know how to react to their behaviour, so a trained nurse would never treat a patient like that,” she told Barbados TODAY.

The BNA head stressed that there was quite some professional distance between the caregivers and trained nurses, explaining that a step up from nursing auxiliary would be the nursing assistant who would have completed a one-year training programme at the Barbados Community College. She said that in addition to being taught care giving, the nursing assistants also engaged in “actual nursing practices”.

On the other hand, she said general nurses underwent three years of training and were the only ones who were licensed while the auxiliaries and nursing assistants were given certificates.

Mullin said that the short training course for caregivers was adequate because it was packed with information, but course instructors and coordinators may need to spend more time teaching the paid helpers how to care for patients.

“You might have the information on how to do certain things but you also have to let them know that when working with the elderly what is expected of them,” she said.

She advised owners and operators of care homes to devise means of testing applicants’ suitability for the job even if they produce certificates of training.

“If a person does a course it doesn’t mean that they actually fit the job. They might not have the attitude, or the empathy for such a job.

“Looking after children and the old takes a lot of care and patience; if a person doesn’t have patience then that’s not the job for them. So even though [they] might train for the job, you still have to observe them,” the BNA president suggested.

6 Responses to Caregivers not nurses

  1. Donna Harewood May 21, 2016 at 6:52 am

    So true!

  2. Loretta Griffith May 21, 2016 at 7:42 am

    May be if and when her mother time comes, she will abuse her too.
    I really don’t think her mother could be pleased with her actions. What happen should be an eye opener for many of us.
    When I read where the lady’s daughter said her mother came back here twenty years ago from England to look after her own mother until she died two years short of her hundredth, made it even more painful for me to see what she has been subjected to.
    I assumed she was kind to her mum.

  3. dave May 21, 2016 at 9:07 am

    This seems like a diss of the care givers. The woman did foolishness but this is no reason to diss the care givers

  4. Dandelion May 21, 2016 at 10:08 am

    I agree with you Dave….her reasoning that a fully trained nurse would never do such is not sound.

  5. dave May 21, 2016 at 1:29 pm

    Yes -and the same thing she does not want to happen to herself and her ‘nurses’ would then happen to the care givers who by and large do a very commendable job. You have to be careful you do not tar everyone with the same brush because of one person. I do not like the language this woman uses at all. I do not what is the problem with some of the females in this country. Do you notice that some females are involving themselves in all sorts of ‘nonsense’ nowadays? A female was held with a high powered weapon sometime ago , for example, and they, some of them, are being involved in more accidents now through driving and texting than ever before and many other situations too numerous to mention that are not positive.

  6. Sheila McIntosh May 30, 2016 at 12:15 pm

    I am a retired Rn,Certified midwife/did extended course in mental nursing in England,having worked for many years then continued my nursing career working as a clinical nursery resource nurse,just retired two years ago,Nursing is a career with characteristics of kindness,gentleness,humility,patience, empathy, wisdom,understanding,knowledge,whether a person is an Rn or caregiver ,one has to have those characteristics,I have meet many Rns who are cruel to patients also so I will not ridicule caregivers as everyone does not have the same behaviour,I just want to say whether we are registered nurses,caregivers,nursing assistants whatever job we are assigned do it with love and understanding as we don’t know what our future holds,whatever we showed will reap. It was good for that video to go viral The abuse of the elderly lady,hope every nursing facility around the world,will respect and care for them as these are their last year’s,they should be comfortable and happy in their environment they lived in,it also goes for handicapped people,children in homes anywhere these individuals have to depend on others to care for them because of their disabilities” There is a motto which says “Do good and good will come back to you”


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