Call for more MICU nurses

After almost a decade of hard work and an investment of approximately $2 million, the expanded medical intensive care unit at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, renamed The Sir Richard Haynes MICU, has officially opened.

However speaking at the opening and renaming ceremony held in the hospital’s auditorium this evening, Head of Department Medicine at the QEH Dr Anne Marie Hassell said the unit needs more critical nursing staff to fully function. While the unit has 11 beds, five more than before, the number of nurses remains unchanged.

Hassell, the driving force behind the expansion, appealed to Minister of Health John Boyce for additional staff while expressing gratitude for the new equipment.

The request was reiterated by acting Chief Executive Officer of the QEH Louise Bobb, who noted that many Barbadians suffer from strokes, heart attacks, asthma and pneumonia. She suggested that the demand for intensive care facilities would increase as a result.

“The MICU is in good hands at the moment, but we are still in need of a cadre of critical care nurses and every effort will be made to develop the full multi-disciplinary team of clinical, paramedical and auxiliary staff required for the 11-bed unit. Evidence is beginning to show that interventions involving palliative care, ethics consultations, and other methods to increase communication between healthcare personnel, patients, and patients’ families may be helpful in decreasing length of stay in the intensive care unit.

“I expect that the near future of the MICU at the QEH will see multi-disciplinary opinion and appropriate management planning cover all aspects of patient care from medical therapies and nursing care through to nutritional advice and psychological support as our measure of successful outcome will include how critical illness has impacted life after the ICU. Our challenge will be to maintain the appropriate levels of funding, training, and equipment,” she said.

“This transformation to a state-of the-art facility is where we have begun to take intensive care to yet another level of consistent, evidence-based and high quality patient care. What this will allow is for all appropriate patients with reversible pathology and a reasonable chance of returning to an acceptable, reasonable quality of life, to continue to benefit from intensive care at the QEH.

“Moreover, in respect of the numerous requests from prospective visitors and potential immigrants on the services that we offer here at the QEH, we can now add greater synergy to the tourism product in being able to deliver and sustain quality intensive care services for visitors to
this island.”

Today’s reopening of the Sir Richard Haynes Medical Intensive Care Unit came more than 40 years after it was first opened by Haynes. This evening the late parliamentarian was lauded for his foresight and contribution to the field. His widow Lady Carol Haynes and other members of his family were on hand for the event.

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