It was a dream come true for Teon Waithe who received a scholarship compliments Bay View Hospital this morning at their Jemmotts Lane offices.
Waithe, a Guyanese national, said it was her passion to become a registered nurse as she was inspired to join the profession after taking care of her younger siblings when her mother travelled.
“From around age 12 to 13, I [was] responsible for my younger siblings. I was the oldest of five and [my siblings were] a young baby, a two-year-old, a five-year-old, a six-year-old and a ten-year-old. My mother travelled a lot so… I had to cook, clean and wash. I did it all,” Waithe told Barbados TODAY, adding that despite not having any qualifications, she was determined to fulfil her goal of becoming a nurse.
“At 16 I decided I wanted to be a nurse, but I had no qualifications because I had no CXC’s. I had a rough journey throughout secondary school. I did CXC lessons [and] one [subject] per year. The last CXC was in 2013 – Human and Social Biology and General Biology. That brought my total up to six CXC’s,” she said, adding that despite her challenges she was successful throughout her academic journey and was a Cardiac Nursing Assistant at the Heart and Stroke Foundation.
“I have been doing well throughout my years of studies. I have been successful in every subject area. It has been tough [managing] family life and the life of a student but I am able to keep it together so far and I just can’t wait to finish.
“I was also successful with the Nursing Assistant Programme at BCC year 2010-2011 and I had the opportunity to work at the Heart and Stroke Foundation. [I decided to leave in 2015] and go to Barbados Community College to do this four-year nursing programme,” she said, adding that the situation was difficult as tuition was costly for a non-national.
“I had the tuition for the first year. I had no idea where I was going to get the tuition for the three years from. It was a sacrifice I had to make at the time. My tuition was $10,000, and I had the first year’s tuition of $10,000 but then it was a struggle to get the rest,” she said.
Waithe noted that when she heard about the scholarship opportunity at Bay View Hospital, she thought at first that she would not qualify but she prayed about it and received just award.
“When this opportunity came along I said ‘God, you know that I need this’ and I was successful. I am really overjoyed that I was selected,” a smiling Waithe said.
The Bay View Hospital Scholarship awardee said she realized from her clinical experience thus far that many persons only enter nursing for the monetary rewards.
“Some persons choose nursing now as it is just another job. But for me, I think it is something more than a vocation and you are not going to enjoy it and have that caring attitude that nurses need to have for their patients. Not only their patients but the families of their patients and the wider community,” she said, adding that she recognized that a caring attitude is missing from most of the nurses today. Therefore, she would advise anyone who wants to become a nurse to only do so if they are sure that it was their calling.
“Don’t just do it because you want a pay cheque at the end of the month. Make sure that is your calling and make sure that this is where you want to be,” she said.
Waithe was awarded a scholarship for her final year at Barbados Community College valued at $4,000 as well as a six month paid internship at the Bay View Hospital following her completion.
Hospital Administrator at Bayview Hospital Julie Reid said that out of the eight applicants the hospital interviewed Teon’s passion and dedicated was evident and she was therefore selected.
“Teon did shine through all of this. We were happy to [tell] her that she was the successful applicant for the sponsorship. We are very happy to be able to support Nurse Waithe,” Reid said.
Assistant Hospital Administrator Marilyn Patrick said Waithe is an ideal nursing student and with her passion and drive she would make an outstanding nurse.
“She has rightfully stated that today we often see many nurses who are only looking for a pay cheque but she has the correct focus. It has to be something that you want to do because there are days when nursing gets very tough and it is a job where many people do not say thank you. She needs to take the rough with the tough, remain very humble, passionate and caring and I am sure that the profession of nursing will do well with our recipient going forward,” Patrick said. (LG)