Ever felt connected to a person but never met them? This is how I feel about this month’s feature. Almost a year ago I became close to Emelda’s daughter via social media when I saw a tweet stating her mom was sick. I sent her DM right away sending my well wishes and we hit it off right there and then. I would periodically check in on her mom to see how she was doing. I found out later her mom had cancer and was also a Nurse, and that bond grew stronger. I felt like I was on the journey with them, I received updates on her chemo appointments. I would just offer up my support as much as I could. It was only right I featured her on my blog as she’s such a warrior! I sent these interview questions while she was completing her last rounds of chemotherapy and she took the time out to answer them. I’m happy to say that This month’s Nurse of the month Emelda Benjamin is now a proud cancer survivor.
What made you choose nursing as a career?
I became a nurse because I love people. I always wanted to help people in need.
What experience do you have in the nursing field, where did you start your career, what specialty and where are you working now?
I have over 30 years nursing experience.
I started my career at the only General hospital in Antigua, Holberton Hospital. I am a certified Midwife and worked in med-surge, pediatrics, and Neonatal ICU. Now I am working at Mount St. John’s Medical Center, Antigua W.I. in the education department.
What are some suggestions you would give to a new nurse or aspiring nurse?
Anyone considering nursing as a career, need to love people. You must be friendly and compassionate. Prepare to work long hours and be willing to sacrifice time with your family and friends.
What shift do you work? What shifts are available to work?
Now I work 8am – 4pm. Other shifts are 7am – 3pm, 3-11pm, 11pm – 7am.
What is the licensing process like in your country?
On successful completion of the RN program you must be registered with the General nursing council. Every two yrs you must re-register, to do so you must provide Prof of 30 hours of continuing nursing education.
What is your favorite thing about being a nurse?
Nursing provides me the opportunity to help people maintain good health and to assist them in regaining health. Seeing someone who I was critically I’ll regains their health is one of the high point of my career.
What is the Healthcare system like in your country?
My country’s Healthcare system consists of primary health care. This is delivered at the community level and is free to all. Our sole hospital is public/private. Medical Benefit covers specified diseases and persons diagnosed receives assistance from the government.