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Jan 28, 2004

Visiting nurses combine business and pleasure

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It is getting to be a popular practice in the United States for professional associations to combine business and pleasure. Today that combination resulted in a group of U.S. nurses dropping in on the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Jacqueline Woods has more.

Jacqueline Woods, Reporting

Eighty-four year old Norman Simpliss quit smoking almost two decades, but the habit had already affected his health.

Karen Simpliss, Daughter

“I need say that my father was a chain smoker, and due to his smoking we found out that the smoking shrinks the veins and my dad stop smoking about twenty to fifteen years ago.”

Years of smoking had caused Simpliss to suffer from poor blood circulation. Doctors had no choice but to amputate his left leg after gangrene developed. Today he gets around on a prosthesis that was fitted in the United States. Simpliss does not mind sharing his experience because he hopes that in telling his story, he might get others to stop smoking.

Norman Simpliss, Amputee

“I was strongly influenced by my daughter since a lost a leg a year ago that I should come back here and get a thorough check in respect to the remaining leg because legless we are almost hopeless.”

Today, Simpliss was at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where he was greeted by Doctor Donna Jensen, the head of a group of visiting nurses from the U.S. The twenty-five nurses are attending a seminar on board one of the cruise ships that docked in Belize.

Dr. Donna Jensen, Coordinator, Seminar at Sea

“On ship we do the lecturing and the studying. And then they go off the ship at the different ports of call to go to different clinics and pharmacies and things like that. Belize City is the first time that we have been to a hospital, it’s our only time on our western Caribbean trip, and we wanted to come here.”

The seminar is based on leadership in diversity and Jensen believes the session conducted on land is vital to what they are trying to achieve.

Dr. Donna Jensen

“They will see how other folks give nursing care and we learn from them, we learn so much. We get routineized into procedures that we’ve done forever and we sometimes forget the origins of how these come about. It’s coming to other countries where there are other traditions and other ways of doing things that we get new ideas, but we also give ideas.”

The nurses, who have ten years or more experience in different specialised areas including accident and emergency, neonatal, oncology and others, toured the wards including the newborn intensive care unit.

The Special Care Unit is the only one of its kind in the country and it caters mostly to premature babies and other newborns suffering from a variety of medical problems.

Dr. Fernando Cuellar, Medical Chief of Staff, K.H.M.H.

“We do have the capacity to take thirty-two weeks of pre-maturity, other entities that we see here for example are babies that are born after they have unfortunately ingested the amniotic fluid, babies who have developed serious infections, and other types of things. We have a neonatologist, he’s one of the Cuban volunteers, our head of paediatrics is Dr. Victor Rosado, and the other paediatric team are doing a very good job. And the nursing, and I must congratulate the nursing staff here, they are the backbone of that unit.”

The nurses, before leaving the K.H.M.H., handed over a gift of medical textbooks to Matron Ivorine Bulwer-Hemmans, the Director of Nursing. Reporting for News 5, Jacqueline Woods.

Dr. Jensen says she hopes they will be able to foster a working relationship between the nursing staff at K.H.M.H. and the nurses of Oregon.

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