January 22, 2010
Nursing assistants to undergo practical training in Audiology

Over the next two weeks, four nursing assistants will undergo practical training in Audiology.{{more}}

This was announced at a media briefing hosted by the Ministry of Health on Wednesday, January 20, at the Ministry of Health conference room.

The four nursing assistants: Carmalitha Kirby, Carol Fraser, Kemita Samuel and Cheryl James O’Garro, who successfully completed distance learning courses last year in Audiology, will now learn to operate Audiometers and facilitate screen testing for persons with hearing loss. Dr Lucy Cosolo of the Canadian International Hearing Services will spearhead the training.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and the Environment Lanceford Weekes told reporters that it was time for more persons to be trained in the field, since Audiology services have been performed by one person for the past 20 or so years. He noted that with the partnership of the Hearing Services in Canada, the nursing assistants will be able to put their theory into practice. “This programme is to deal with persons with hearing loss and I am sure that our hearing services in St Vincent and the Grenadines will improve over the next year,” Weekes stated.

Addressing the briefing, Cosolo stated that the training that the nurses are embarking upon is just the next phase of the theory they have completed. She noted that with the four Audiometers available, the four nursing assistants will be able to perform hearing screening in their various locations.

Cosolo mentioned that she hopes to train one or more of the nurses to administer full hearing testing of adults and children. She said that she would also be promoting the use of hearing aids during her trip. “We are going to focus more on hearing aids in the future and possibly expanding the hearing aid programme so that we can provide donated equipment,” Cosolo disclosed.

Enthused about the training, Nursing Assistant for the past 20 years, Cheryl James O’Garro, thanked the Ministry of Health and the Canadian Hearing Services for affording them the opportunity to participate in the programme. “We are really happy that we can now get to do the practical part of our Audiology, and I know everyone here is excited to start the training,” O’Garro chimed.

Chief Nursing Officer Audrey Gittens-Gilkes and Gordon Kerr of the Hearing Services of Canada also delivered brief remarks. More scheduled visits to facilitate training will be done throughout the year. (KW)