Ghana needs 50,000 critical care nurse

Dr Kwaku Asante Krobea

Dr Kwaku Asante Krobea

More than 50,000 critical care nurses are needed to ensure effective management of critical and emergency cases at various hospitals in the country, the Principal of the School of Peri-Operative and Critical Nursing (SPOCN) in Accra, Dr. Kwaku Asante Krobea has said.

According to him, currently, there are only 1,000 of such specialised nurses in the country, a situation which makes it difficult for patients with critical conditions to receive the needed care and attention.

“We have a deficit of about 50,000 currently and the responsibility we need to take up now is to train about 5000 more nurses in the interim to ensure that our emergency care patients receive the needed attention and care,” he added.

Dr. Krobea disclosed this to the “Ghanaian Times” on the sidelines of a fundraising dinner organised by the school over the weekend.

The fund raising dinner was organised to climax the 20th anniversary of the school.

SPOCN was established by government in 1997 as a specialist training institution with emphasis on training of nurses in the area of pre and post emergency care and management of critically ill patients.

It has so far trained a total of 1000 of such nurses whose services are being utilised by various hospitals across the country.

Dr. Krobea explained that peri-operative and critical care nurses are essential and important in health care delivery of every society.

“When a patient comes to the hospital and we judge that their medical conditions are such that they would require operation, it is the peri-operative nurses who meet them, educate them on their medical conditions, allay their fears and anxieties about the surgery and make sure that they are psychologically prepared to go to the theatre,” he stressed.

He further explained that, apart from preparing patients for the theatre, they also assist other medical team in the theatre, adding that “if you want two essential people among the surgical team performing surgical operation, it is the operative the nurse also known as the scrub nurse.”

Dr. Krobea noted that due to the critical conditions which surgical patients find themselves, it was imperative that they are given special attention out of the theatre and this is the duty of the specialist nurse.

He noted that per the World Health Organisation and International standards, each critical care patient was entitled to one critical care nurse to attend to his or her needs, however, with just a little over 1000 of such specialist nurses in the country, the required standards cannot be attained.

Touching on the way forward for the school, he said plans were in place to upgrade it from being just undergraduate training institution into a post graduate school.

This, according to him would enable persons who desire in that field of specialisation to upgrade without necessarily traveling out of the country.

He therefore appealed to the government to come to the aid of the school by providing it with the needed infrastructure, a library complex and a school bus.

By Cliff Ekuful

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