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Nurses in Dominica call for improvement in security

by: - March 13, 2019
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President of the Dominica Nurses Association, Rosie Felix

Nurses in Dominica stand in solidarity as they call for better security systems.

President of the Dominica Nurses Association, Rosie Felix says the nurses in Dominica feel threatened because of the lack of consistent and effective security.

She says that there has been a series of alarming events at the Princess Margaret Hospital and other community health facilities in Dominica, which has contributed the nurses feeling fearful for their lives. Therefore, Felix is calling out to the authorities to establish better security systems. She explained that nurses are at risk: when violent patients are being attended too, when violent people come to the hospital to attack patients and when people out of the right state of mind behave uncontrollably at health facilities.

“I feel disgusted about the increasing verbal abuse and threats of physical violence by selected individuals from the public who target health workers the majority of whom are female nurses. The incidence at the Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH)
is most likely higher but Community Health Facilities are affected too. In the last two months attacks at the PMH have driven nurses to hide under desks, behind  fridges or out of the Accident & Emergency Department in order to save their lives
from the perpetrators.” Felix stated in a Press Release.

In an interview with Vibes New on mar. 12, 2019 Felix expressed that the security at health facilities in Dominica are not consistent and insufficient. She said that health facilities require 24 hours security and this is not the case in Dominica. Therefore, she suggested that a shift system is put in place to accommodate this suggestion.

She also mentioned that Security Officers should be paid fair wages as an incentive to serve and protect as she has knowledge of a Security Officer who has resigned because he felt he wasn’t being paid fairly.

“What is most disturbing is that security personnel are either inadequate, ineffective, ABSENT or are PART of the PROBLEM. I have been informed that on Feb. 7, [2019] a security guard was heard encouraging an angry client to stone the nurses at the A&E. He has since been fired by the security firm responsible.” Felix said as she expressed her dismay to the unsatisfactory behavior of Security Officers.

“I am grateful for the little that is done but it must be effective, adequate, reliable and it must be 24-7. Going forward I suggest a strong visible policy statement by the Ministry of Health in every healthcare facility on how violent patients and visitors shall be managed. According to state laws, crowd control from the gate of the facility particularly following the admission of victims of: motor vehicle accidents, gun shots, murders [and] disasters etc. A minimum of three police officers 24-7, two to be stationed at the A&E Department and one to patrol the compound. The withholding of weapons at the security office until the owners depart from the facility and the authorizing of security personnel to handle violent patients or visitors who pose serious threats of injury or death to health workers and patients.” Nurse Felix expressed.

Nurse Felix urges the public to stop violating Nurses and Doctors across the island, “Gain Self-Control!” She said.