Patients can expect improved delivery of cardiovascular (heart/blood vessel) healthcare services at Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex (EWMSC), Mt Hope, from 16 technologists. They honed their skills via a Cardiac Catherisation and Electrophysiology (electrical impulses) skills training programme. It was a collaborative effort among John Hopkins’ cardiology faculty, cardiology consultants at the EWMSC, and the Trinidad and Tobago Health Sciences.
Seven young women were among 16 people who graduated from the 13-month programme which involved theoretical and practical aspects. On Thursday, they were treated to a sumptuous dinner including vegetable casserole and roasted beef topped with rosemary sprigs by healthcare professionals from the Johns Hopkins cardiology faculty at a graduation ceremony. It took place in a cosy room at Hyatt Regency Hotel, Wrightson Road, Port-of-Spain.
Among those present were Lisa Graham, co-director Catherisation Training Programme, Elizabeth Boatman, administrator Trinidad and Tobago Health Sciences Initiative, Cardiovascular Services, Dr Tricia Cummings and nurse Mary Alexander. Mary Peacock, co-director Cardiac Catherisation Programme, Johns Hopkins Institute, Baltimore, Maryland, lauded the students for participating in and completing the internship.
She expressed optimism graduands would “continue their giant efforts towards a better future in healthcare. Graduates are hopeful there is recognition and respect for their efforts.” She reminded them although they have come a long way, there was still a lot of work to be done.
Peacock said: “There are obstacles to climb, delays to patiently endure, new things to learn, old things to relearn, exams to take and more patients who need their help than days are long. One day at a time, together they can.”
Covered patient care, fetal circulation
Reflecting on the programme and the challenges they faced, Peacock said: “Rapidly expanding cardiovascular care and enhanced public sector access to that care, were additional responsibilities to everyone in the lab. The historical and too common adversities of limited resources, time, manpower and management continued to create daily challenges. Twelve more months past and the team named “Noble Nine” maintained their polite, professional and precise standards of care, despite many challenges and obstacles.”
She added: “A wide range of topics were covered from statistics to patient care, the nervous system to trouble shooting complex equipment, pharmacology to fetal circulation.” The intervention was even more timely since several researchers had expressed a prevailing sentiment Trinidad recorded a high incidence of cardiac disease in the Western World. They noted the demand for cardiovascular services was burgeoning since T&T’s four catheterisation laboratories, three of which are in the private sector, can meet only half of the demand for these crucial procedures.
Ryan, Browne thank Hopkins
Commenting on the programme’s success, Francis Ryan, Head Nurse at the Catherisation Lab, said: “We have been partnering with Johns Hopkins Institute in a programme which takes a multi-disciplinary approach to helping improve the level of patient healthcare. They have been teaching us various things to in relation to cardiac catherisation to help improve the level of patient healthcare. They have worked hard with the staff and the students.”
Both Ryan and his colleague Cashmere Browne paid verbal tributes to the Johns Hopkins personnel who provided structured and formalised training in cardiac catheterisation and electrophysiology. Apart from Peacock, Graham lauded the students. On a lighter note, they were sent electronic words of encouragement from lecturers. Everyone enjoyed a video featuring funny moments and classroom situations. Students were captured in their scrubs. Graham was spotted at scenic Maracas Beach. Local flora, fauna and architecture was highlighted.
Minister of Health Dr Fuad Khan comments
Commenting on the Johns Hopkins programme, Health Minister Fuad Khan said it was “an excellent programme” and it developed our cardiologists. “The chronic non-communicable diseases is a problem and Hopkins will soon be coming under the Ministry of Health to help with cardiac problems. About 40 per cent of our diabetics have cardiac problems.”