Professor Lydia Aziato, Dean, School of Nursing and Midwifery at the University of Ghana, Legon, on Saturday said student nurses and midwives need to be Information Communication Technology (ICT) compliant to enhance their studies.
She explained that it was an undeniable fact that training nurses and midwives require innovative ways of teaching clinical skills.
Professor Aziato gave the advice in a keynote address during the eighteenth Biennial National Delegates Conference of the Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association (GRNMA) at the Volta Serene Hotel in Ho of the Volta region.
It was on the theme “The future of nursing and midwifery in Ghana: Lessons from Covid 19,” Professor Aziato said the theme was timely since the pandemic took the world by surprise, “so we must be proactive to prepare adequately for the future.”
“A strong antivirus, credible and user-friendly online systems are necessary to promote online teaching and learning. The practical components of nursing and midwifery demand face to face Contact so a hybrid approach to teaching is recommended,” She added.
Touching on the theme of the conference she said midwives and nurses need to focus on the introduction of specialised programmes that are research-driven and relevant to the dynamic healthcare system.
“Nurses and midwives form the majority of the health sector workforce so our deliberations to strategise for the future based on the lessons learnt from Covid 19 pandemic are very important.
“ We can consider the future for nursing and midwifery after the pandemic if we take a critical look at some of the lessons learnt from the lens of nurses and midwives,” she indicated.
Making reference to a Sectorial Brief by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), Professor Aziato said the Covid 19 crisis has drawn attention to the already overburdened public health systems in many countries, and to the challenges faced in recruiting, deploying, retaining, and protecting sufficient well-trained, supported and motivated health workers.
This, she said, speaks to the need for sustainable investment in health systems, including in the health workforce and decent working conditions, training and equipment, especially personal protective equipment and occupational safety.
She added that the Covid 19 pandemic had impacted the educational system to a larger extent and “nursing and midwifery education is no exception.”
On challenges facing the health educational system, Professor Aziato said there were major difficulties such as lack of stable internet and inadequate ICT facilities in most Schools.
“The budget to procure credible online teaching and learning resources was inadequate leading to challenges for students and faculty. There were issues with online administration, evaluation of examinations, and practical skills assessment.”
She called for concerted efforts from all stakeholders to ensure quality training of nurses and midwives as well as expanding the existing infrastructure to promote social distancing to control any infectious diseases.
Mrs Perpetual Ofori-Ampofo, the National President of GRNMA, on her part, has emphasised the need to focus on training nurses and midwives on a degree basis.
The event, Which started on Monday, November 15, is expected to be brought to an end on Saturday.
The National Delegates Conference is held biennially to discuss issues affecting the Association.