The Ghana Registered Nurses Association (GRNA) on Thursday organised a memorial lecture in honour of Dr Docia Kessieh, first president and founder of the Association with a call on the nursing staff to endeavor to observe the dignity of all patients.
The ?Dr Docia Kessieh Memorial Lectures,? has been instituted by the GRNA to celebrate the influence of nurses on health care and also showcase the selfless contribution of the exceptional legends of the nursing profession.
Dr Kissieh, born on August 13, 1919, was the first Ghanaian Chief Nursing Officer to take over from the British Colonial government in 1961.
Mrs Cecila Anim, President of the Royal College of Nursing of United Kingdom, who gave the inaugural address, said as the nursing practice continues to evolve, nursing staff should also rise up to the occasion and work to meet the expectations of society with excellent practices.
She said that also require the support of all stakeholders, who should endeavour to provide the needed resources to boost the morale of nurses, whilst placing value on nursing staff, who work every day to improve the health of the nation.
Mrs. Anim advised nurses to endeavour to handle information about patients and clients in confidence, as they are the first point of call at many health facilities, serving as front liners of information.
Whilst calling for a strong nursing leadership, Mrs Anim urged the Association to continue to develop strong network, through further training so that nurses could improve upon themselves professionally.
She said ?nursing is challenging but it is equally rewarding. However all nursing staff deserve to be paid fairly?.
Mr Kwaku Asante-Krobea, President of GRNA said the lecture was to ?honour Dr Docia Kissieh to let this generation of nurses and midwives know that she stood for principles that underpin the very essence of our calling as nurses and midwives.
She carved a niche for dignity and inspiration service worthy of emulation, adding that, the profession has come under sharp criticisms by the people we care for in recent times.
?Nursing and midwifery care is heading towards crises for lack of commitment on the part of practitioners and has to be salvaged?.
He said issues that needed critical attentions of nurses were customer service, legal implications of nurses? actions, communication with clients, professional colleagues, building of relationships and the influence of conduct on quality care.
Whiles requesting for government and the employer to provide the resources for work to ensure a safe nursing and midwifery profession, Mr Asante-Krobea promised Ghanaians that the GRNA will use the occasion of Dr Kissieh Memorial lecture series as a clarion call to sound the wake-up alarm to establish the leverage that would confront the myriad of problems within the scope of nursing and midwifery care.
Dr Victor Bampoe, Deputy Health Minister said Dr Kissieh was earlier honoured by the state in 1984 and her portrait was put on the 100 cedi note in 1986. ?This shows that it is worth dying for the nation?.
He recommended the GRNA for setting up the lecture to honour hard workers and inspire current generations on the essence of hard work, and urged nurses and all health workers to continue playing their roles in attaining quality health care for the people.
?Nurses should emulate Docia?s hard work, diligence, and love for country?, Dr Bampoe said.
The maiden inaugural lecture was on the theme: ?Advancing Nursing and Midwifery Contribution, to Quality Healthcare: making a Difference.?
The occasion was also used to name some conference halls of the GRNA?s regional hostels after its past presidents.
Dr Kessieh was named after the largest edifice that exists at the seat of the national secretariat in Accra.
Other past presidents, including Mrs Alice Asare-Allotey and the late Hellen Emma Banga, were named after the GRNA, Ho Hall and the Wa Hall, respectively.