In photo: Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Roshan Parasram in an undated photo
The TTRNA Executive continues to advocate for nursing personnel to be adequaetly provided with PPE's. The Association calls for staff to ensure they are well protected on the wards and other clinical areas. There is no excuse for not being given proper PPEs to conduct daily duties. The Ministry of Health repeatedly states that there is adequate amounts of PPEs. Therefore nursing staff should not accept, from managers within the RHAs, that there is not enough supply for access throughout the shift.
Please call the Association anytime you encounter difficulties in accessing PPE at 623-1567,326-4044,348-7858.
Below is an article from Trinidad Express by Kim Boodram
With “significant” community spread of Covid-19 now a reality, the Trinidad and Tobago Registered Nurses Association (T&TRNA) was yesterday concerned that members were being placed at risk of infection, due to limitations on the use of personal protective equipment (PPE).
Stuart said there is a concern about healthcare workers contributing to rising Covid-19 figures by becoming infected themselves, along with their families and their wider communities.
“After signing for the single-use mask, we are told that a second mask is not allowed because the PPE stocks have to be managed,” Stuart said.
“We commend the Ministry of Health and others for meeting with us on short notice, as we are seeing significant community spread coming out since the announcement of the general election to now. We would not want our healthcare workers, in addition to becoming ill themselves, to contribute to the spread.”
Stuart said at this stage of the pandemic wave locally, all members of the public entering the healthcare system must be treated as potential positives and this was not a time to compromise on PPE.
Staff test delays
Stuart further contended that nurses seeking Covid-19 tests are being treated as would members of the public and are being made to wait days, sometimes more than a week, to be tested.
This is occurring even as some may show symptoms, he said, noting the CMO’s remarks on Monday that healthcare workers have tested positive in the first and second phases of the pandemic wave, locally.
Stuart recalled that two members of staff at the Port of Spain General Hospital Maternity Ward were tested positive and would have come into direct contact with other staff, patients and visitors for more than a week.
Nurses and some other medical personnel have also complained that they are not being given access to impermeable gowns, which protect against bodily fluids. He said “hazmat” suits are usually worn by personnel in Covid-19 treatment facilities and in environments of communicable diseases.
These are not being made readily available, as personnel are being told that PPE must also be saved for other areas of the public system.
Lamenting a lack of consultation with nursing staff throughout the pandemic so far, Stuart said “patients are coming in infected” and healthcare workers must be equipped to treat each person as a potential positive.
“We would not want to believe that the dramatic surge we are witnessing in numbers was in any way contributed to by healthcare workers,” Stuart said.
Stuart said the association welcomed the next Minister of Health and looked forward to its members’ issues being met with priority.
“We hope it is someone who can treat with the issue in a non-adversarial way,” he said, adding: “We can’t have a minister coming into office thinking they have all the answers and not wanting to treat with the association.”