Guyana Help The Kids

NICU Nursing Program

The Neonatal Intensive Care Nursing Programme was launched in June, 2012. It was the next step in the process of staff training to complement the Pediatricians who would be trained.  It is delivered through the Institute of Health Science Education and is currently a hospital based Certified Programme with duration of one (1) year with a three (3) years attachment to the public sector after graduation.  Funding is provided though the Guyana Help the Kids (GHTK) with faculty support from Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

The Programme applies a holistic approach to providing health and illness nursing care for neonates and their families. It places emphasis on neonatal and infant adaptation to various health alterations within a developmental context and includes environmental surveillance/risk reduction, evidence based practice and education of families.

The following is a summary of the course content:

  • Nurses’ role in the care of the neonate
  • Gestational age and physical assessment of the neonate
  • Family-centered care
  • Developmental care of the neonate
  • Care of the high risk neonate
  • Pain assessment and management
  • Thermoregulation
  • Neurologic, respiratory, cardiac, skin, gastrointestinal, genitourinary, endocrine, hematologic, and fluid and electrolyte alterations in neonates
  • Infectious disease identification and management
  • Environmental risk reduction
  • Laboratory concepts
  • Pharmacology and IV regulation
  • Evidence based practice, advocacy and communication
  • End-of–life care and responses with the neonatal client and their family

The course incorporates the standards of The American Nurses Association, Quality & Safety Education for Nurses (QSEN), Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)/ World Health Organization (WHO) Standards of Maternal and Neonatal Care, National Association of Neonatal Nurses (NANN) Guidelines for Clinical Practice, and the Standards of Accreditation of Degree Nursing Programmes in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

Nurses are exposed to web based and in house teaching conducted by educators from Nationwide Children’s Hospital. The Programme is currently managed by Dr. Leif Nelin – Neonatologist/External Director, Nurse Caitlin Beggs – External Educator,  Nurse Alexis Jones-Hooper – Local Educator and Ms. Aruna Faria – Programme Administrative Assistant.

The Pprogramme delivers didactic sessions three days per week for the first two months and follows a preceptorship period, when sessions are reduced to once per week with more practical training within the NICU. As of November 2017, the Pprogramme graduated fifty six (56) NICU Nurses from both GPHC and regional hospitals. The required passing grade is 65%..

Establishment of a NICU and the Neonatal Network

The Neonatal Network was established with the core objective to strengthen regional sites to advance Pediatric and Neonatal Care and by extension further reduce referrals to the Georgetown Public Hospital (GPH). The Network was officially launched in 2013 with the addition of Linden and New Amsterdam Hospitals with GPH serving as the center for excellence.

Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation

There are over 7000 deliveries in Georgetown annually and the bulk of these are received at the GPH. In this regard, GPH was identified as the core of the Neonatal Network. Standards of Neonatal/Pediatric Care that are piloted and implemented at this level will ultimately be paralleled at each site apart of the Neonatal Network. The Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC)Neonatal Intensive Care Unit ( NICU), was commissioned on March 16th, 2012.

The unit was originally outfitted with incubators, patient monitors, infusion pumps, infant warmers and bassinets, a significant improvement from the wooden ones previously used. Over the last four (4) years the unit has moved to a level 3 NICU with the introduction of CPAP in 2012 and ventilator services in June 2013.

Twenty Five (25) NICU Nurses have been trained to provide service to this site.

Linden Hospital

The Linden Hospital Complex is one of the five (5) referral hospitals participating within the Neonatal Network. The Linden Hospital Complex cares for approximately 580 deliveries annually. The neonatal unit which prior to GHTK’s intervention was only comprised of one functioning incubator and two phototherapy units, provided care for many of the sick babies while the very ill are transferred to the Georgetown Public Hospital (GPH).

On May 2nd, 2013 the Linden Hospital Complex’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit was commissioned by GHTK President – Dr. Narendra Singh and the former Minister of Health Dr. Bheri Ramsaran. The unit was refurbished and equipped with Air Shield Vickers Incubators(4), Infusion Pumps(2), Patient Monitors(4), Phototherapy Unit(4) s, one (1) Infant Warmer and a Transport Incubator.

To date twelve (12) NICU Nurses have been trained to provide service to this site.

New Amsterdam Regional Hospital

On May 3rd, 2013 the New Amsterdam Regional Hospital Neonatal Unit was commissioned. Hospital officials at the opening ceremony expressed their heartfelt appreciation for the donations and the efforts made by the GHTK . The hospital sees approximately 2084 deliveries annually and is one the highest referral sites to the GPH.

GHTK personnel’s Initial visits to the hospital assisted in identifying a suitable area for the eventual location of the Neonatal Unit. Construction of the site commenced in April, 2014 with the installation of medical air, oxygen and suction and outfitted with Air Shield Vickers Incubators, (4) Infusion Pumps(2), Patient Monitors(4) Phototherapy Units, (), (4) One 1) Infant Warmer and a Transport Incubator.

To date seven (7) NICU Nurses have been trained to provide service to this site.

West Demerara Regional Hospital

The West Demerara Regional Hospital has approximately 1047 deliveries annually. As the second highest referral hospital to GPHC, it did not have a NICU or a NNU. All sick babies were therefore referred to GPHC’s NICU for care.

On August 6th, 2014 the The West Demerara Regional Hospital’s NICU was ceremonially commissioned by GHTK – Dr. Narendra Singh and the former Minister of Health- Dr. Bheri Ramsaran. The NICU commenced services on February 4, 2016 after advancements by Minister George Norton.

The area selected was refurbished and outfitted with Air Shield Incubators(4), Infusion Pumps(2), Patient Monitors(3), Phototherapy Units, (4) one (1) Infant Warmer and a Transport Incubator.

To date five (5) NICU Nurses has been trained to provide service to this site.

Suddie Public Hospital

The Suddie Public Hospital receives approximately 889 deliveries annually! for very sick babies referrals to the Georgetown Hospital are at times often unsuccessful. The commissioning ceremony was held on August 8th, 2014 by officials of the Ministry of Health, GHTK, Local Government and the Suddie Hospital.

Donated equipment included Air Shield Incubators, (4), Infusion Pumps(2), Patient Monitors(?), one (1) Infant Warmer, Phototherapy Units(4) and a Transport Incubator.

To date four (4) NICU Nurses have been trained to provide service to this site.

Bartica District Hospital

Bartica District Hospital was ceremonially commissioned on May 7th, 2016 by His Excellency, President David Granger, Minister George Norton and GHTK President – Dr. Narendra Singh.  Donated equipment included Incubators(3), Phototherapy Units(4), a portable Suction Machine, Patient Monitor and Infant Warmer.

To date One (1) NICU Nurse has been trained to provide service to this site.


Summary of Donated Equipment to the Paediatric Programme in Guyana

The list above does not include consumable medical supplies, medication and miscellaneous items donated to the GPHC and the regional sites.