HMC Hosts 1st GCC Nursing Day Celebration in Qatar

Published March 14th, 2010 - 06:45 GMT

Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), Qatar’s leading healthcare provider, today hosted a celebration of the first GCC Nursing Day in Qatar in recognition of the importance of the nursing profession.

The GCC health sector has declared March 13 as the GCC Nursing Day to commemorate the establishment of the first nursing facility in the region.

“During the time of our Prophet Mohammed (PBUH), a woman named Rufayda al Aslamiya established the first nursing facility in the Arabian Peninsula.  Rufayda faced considerable challenges as she ministered to the wounded during the Great Battle of Al Khandaq.  She is honored throughout the Eastern world as a nursing pioneer,” said Dr. Hanan Al Kuwari, Managing Director of HMC.  “Since then, nursing has experienced a significant evolution to become the structured, highly advanced profession that it is today.”

“Nurses are often the most visible members of any hospital's workforce and certainly have the most frequent interaction with patients and families, so the impact and impression they create is tremendous,” Al Kuwari continued. “The Nursing Day Celebration is all about remembering the roots of this most honorable and important health profession and recognizing the importance of it as part of a holistic approach to patient care.” 

Speaking on the occasion, Executive Director of Hospital Operations Paul Grant stressed how nursing pioneers, such as Rufayda Al Aslamiya and her international counterpart Florence Nightingale, helped to set the standards of nursing care in the present day.  He also spoke about HMC’s efforts to enhance the prestige of the nursing profession, saying that HMC has always been at the forefront of initiatives to advance and uplift the profession in Qatar.

“In partnership with prestigious institutions, we have undertaken educational programs that enhance the knowledge and skills of nurses in providing evidence-based nursing care.  In the GCC, we have led the way in establishing a nursing informatics unit to enhance our nurses’ capacity to optimize the use of information technology in improving patient care.  We have gone beyond the demands of medical care at the hospital and entered our patients’ homes through our JCI-accredited home healthcare services.  This is in line with our efforts to provide more flexible, community based healthcare support to our patients,” Grant added.

Grant underscored the varied roles played by nurses throughout HMC besides ministering at the patient’s bedside.  “HMC nurses are senior educators and members of multidisciplinary teams that have been instrumental in the international recognition of all our five hospitals. Our nurses inspire and motivate their colleagues, and constantly demonstrate their professionalism and dedication.”

Dr. Nabila Al Meer, Executive Director of Nursing at HMC, commented on the life of Rufayda: “Her history illustrates all the attributes expected of a good healer.  She was kind and empathetic; a capable leader and organizer, able to mobilize others to produce good work - and these are the characteristics we look for in our own nurses.  Rufayda had skills that she shared with her colleagues, whom she trained and worked with as a volunteer.  She also went out of her way to solve community problems that led to diseases.  She established what may be considered as the first field hospital in a tent. This has influenced how HMC places increasing importance on providing community based care.”

Al Meer continued, “HMC has developed into one of the largest healthcare providers in the region and as such we manage a great number of nurses. We have an international nursing group; one of the key bonds we have is the passion and dedication for our work and to maintain high standards that are essential for the well-being of our patients. I am therefore delighted that we have been able to celebrate these achievements together and mark this special day for all nurses going forward.”

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