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May 6, 2021

“Nurses: A Voice to Lead. A Vision for Future Healthcare”

You probably saw it on social media: a video of the medical and auxiliary staff at the national referral hospital dancing to “Jerusalema.” It is the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital celebrating nurses week under the theme, “Nurses: A Voice to Lead. A Vision for Future Healthcare.” News Five’s Duane Moody reports.


Duane Moody, Reporting

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought into sharp focus the important role of frontline healthcare workers in saving lives. So today’s official ceremony to celebrate nurses felt different – there was an ambience of genuine appreciation to those in the profession.


Sharlene Banks

Sharlene Banks, Director of Nursing Services, K.H.M.H.

“Sometimes our work gets thrown under the carpet, but this is an opportunity for us to show that nurses make a valuable contribution all over the world. And here at Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, despite the challenges, despite the fact that we have to adhere to the different precautions that are demanded to us, we still wanted to show appreciation for the nurses here at K.H.M.H.”


At the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, there are approximately two hundred nurses, forty of whom are men.  That shift in the profession that was originally considered to be the job of a woman is being welcomed wholeheartedly. Nursing Shift Supervisor Kereen Birch says that you must have a passion for the profession that teaches you to be psychologically strong.


Kereen Birch

Kereen Birch, Nursing Shift Supervisor, K.H.M.H.

“You have to learn how to feel and not feel, meaning you have to care about the people you are caring for, but then you can’t feel sorry for everyone that you are caring for because at the end of the day you won’t be affected. So although nursing is a caring profession, it is one that teachers you to be strong. You have to put on the best face and move ahead. You might just have dealt with someone this morning that died and then in the evening, you have to go and deal with someone else and reassure them. And so you can’t be clouded by what happened the morning; you have to just keep moving, keep moving.”


During today’s event, acknowledgement went to male nurses. So what inspired them to take on this profession? Darwin Slusher and Josue Valdez spoke about their experiences.


Josue Valdez

Josue Valdez, Registered Nurse, General Medical Ward Unit, K.H.M.H.

“I’ve always had the desire to help people growing up; I’ve always had my mom as a role model, she likes helping people. So seeing that and all those virtues, I acquired them and I always knew I wanted to work in healthcare and so nursing was good enough for me. I’m planning on my PhD in nursing.   I was afraid at the beginning, but eventually as I got more training and more experience, I feel more prepared to deal with the current situation that we are dealing with.”


Darwin Slusher

Darwin Slusher, Nurse, Internal Medicine/General Medical Ward Unit, K.H.M.H.

“I had no desire to be a nurse. After I graduated from school, I applied to medical school, got accepted and didn’t have the funds to go. I met Doctor Marjorie Parks who inspired me to become a nurse and I fell in love with nursing holistically. Men in nursing, we are often looked on as why did you become a nurse, you are a guy, you should be a doctor. But there is a more to it. Being a man or men in nursing, allows you to do much more for your client and, quite honestly, female patients prefer a male nurse most of the time. I don’t know why. But no amount of money can pay you, Duane, quite honestly to do this job. You have to have the heart and you have to love it. For me, when I look at a critical patient and you nurse that patient from the point of contact in the emergency department to admission to the I.C.U. and then up to the Medical Internal Unit and then that patient says to you, “Nurse, thank you” upon discharge – that’s the greatest feeling. My job has been done. God has inspired us to touch lives and this is why we, as nurses, we do what we do.”


Duane Moody for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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