The Cuban nurses who are treating COVID-19 patients are settling in well and are proving to be a huge asset to the short-staffed health care system, according to a senior hospital official.
The QEH’s head of nursing services Henderson Pinder said health authorities are thankful to have the nurses working with them during the pandemic.
The 65 Cuban nurses assigned to the Harrison Point isolation centre have been split into alternating 12-hour shifts.
Pinder said: “The nurses working at both the Harrison Point Isolation Centre and Clinical Decision Unit are settling in well. This is thanks in part to Dr. Adolfo Fernandez Munoz, a Cuban doctor currently employed at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital who spent a significant amount of time orientating the nurses to living and working in Barbados.
“Additionally, the nurses working in the clinical decision unit are working alongside Cuban-trained doctors and operations assistants who are bilingual. This arrangement has greatly assisted with their orientation and function.”
The nursing have taken a “team approach” to patient care, Pinder said, by working together to ensure patients’ needs are met, whether they need to be cleaned, fed, have vital signs taken or given medication.
The Cubans are also working closely with their QEH counterparts, he added.
Pinder said: “The Cuban nurses at the clinical decision unit are responsible for patient care both for in-patients awaiting COVID-19 test results, as well as assisting in swabbing of patients to facilitate COVID-19 testing.”
The team of Cuban doctors and nurses arrived in Barbados on April 5 on two LIAT charter flights from Havava. The medical professionals were described as “respiratory therapists”.
Minister of Health Lt Col Jeffrey Bostic said the Cuban medical team came to give support to local medical personnel, some of whom have been working long hours to help the country contain the spread of the virus.
The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases remains at 90. There have been seven deaths, and the Best-dos Santos Public Health Laboratory has now completed 4,322 tests – or about 1.5 per cent of the population.
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