Unlike a plethora of career fields, more than financial rewards, a nursing profession demands caring and dedication.
Recently at Brooklyn’s Kings County Hospital 30 nurse practitioners went the extra mile to execute their duties by serving the community and in the process made history by conducting the first free, all-day health fair there.
“Of course, our primary mission is patient care,” Geraldine Haughton, one of the nurse practitioners at the 10-building, 44 acre landmark said, “however all of us here feel a commitment to the total community and with that often come up with ideas to better serve.”
Often working as a team, a united group of specialists in the medical field broached an initiative to their administrator Sheldon McLeod.
Yelena Ilyasora — whose specialty includes knowledge of prevention methods to avoid a stroke, Suzette Williams, a 30-year devotee to her profession along with Haughton — who allegedly will readily impart knowledge regarding the (Human Papillomarus) HPV vaccine — proposed a free all day health fair to the public.
The first-time venture would require careful planning and cooperation from New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) as well as outside agencies including endorsers — the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Nutrition Unit of NYC Health & Hospitals, NYC Department of the Aging and a myriad of medical bureaucracies that comprise the conglomerate.
Despite the perceived impediments the experts in their field many regards as being the best alternative to doctors and most specialized nurses were convinced the community “wants and needs the information.”
Denise Romney another nurse practitioner was also fully onboard with the idea of volunteering brain power to benefit the community.
Needless to say, every single senior nurse practitioner (with 20 years of experience and over) as well as novices agreed that seniors, youths, adolescents and others could glean vital information from the open house treat.
“We have a shared governance council that understands that we could be more visible in the community.”
“The boss” jumped at the idea.
“He did not hesitate,” Haughton explained.
“Okay! Let’s do it,” he said.
A native of Trinidad and Tobago, the chief executive officer who reportedly has been “efficiently in charge” for 19 months said “why not? My aim is to allow the staff to be self-motivated and impactful.”
In his position McLeod boasts the reputation of the hospital for being designated number one in trauma care by surgeons surveyed in 2017.
“We ensure safe quality care to our patients and my job is to make sure the staff has the resources they need.”
Cognizant that some residents of the diverse, immigrant community might feel impeded by their undocumented status, McLeod said part of his responsibility is to assure the community that health care is not limited to the privileged.
Of his staff, he said “I am extremely proud of them for taking the initiative and that they are already planning for next year.”
On a Saturday when pleasant fall temperatures might seem alluring for New Yorkers to engage in outdoor recreational activities, Queens resident and nurse practitioner Vanishree Sooppersaud-Bacchus commuted to her workplace in order to join McLeod and the cadre of practitioners at eight medical stations offering information on geriatrics, pediatrics, obstetrics, cardiology, emergency room operations, nutrition, health insurance and focus on the specifics of diet, depression, diabetes, birth control, pregnancy care, blood pressure, cardio-vascular diseases, weight loss surgery, sickle cell anemia and safety in the home.
Dressed in casual attire, McLeod and easily identified practitioners wearing bright yellow shirts helmed the various stations as if they were a force of nature.
Some prepared medical handouts, solicited information, enticed participation while others conducted seminars, consulted on specifics and readily offered valuable insights to ensuring better health.
“I am extremely proud of them for taking the initiative and that they are already planning for next year.”
One of the beneficiaries who attended said: “I am not from this area, but a friend told me about this health fair and I wanted to get my blood pressure checked. More hospitals should do it, regularly. I am glad I came.”
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