If you have ever visited the Spanish Town General Hospital, you may have seen her carefully tending to her patients while tactfully guiding young nurses on the job.
Nurse Manager Keisha Riley-Harrow’s dedication to the job and eagerness to see others grow in the field, are admirable traits that played a huge role in her winning the 2019-2020 Lasco/Nurses’ Association of Jamaica (NAJ) Nurse of the Year.
The Award recognises and pays tribute to exceptional nurses who have exhibited high professional, ethical and personal development standards. A winner is selected from across the island every year.
“I think I won because of my approach. I approach nursing critically. We are faced with a lot of challenges [but] we have had to modify how we do things…and find ways to address these problems,” she tells JIS News. She considers the experience one of the most fulfilling of her life.
During her time as Lasco/NAJ Nurse of the Year, Nurse Riley-Harrow sought to add value to the wider community. She turned the spotlight on the issue of violence against women and children. She received support from the NAJ to execute an ‘Orange Day’ initiative in Spanish Town, which served to raise awareness and take action against violence meted out to women and children.
Nurse Riley-Harrow’s triumph as Nurse of the Year was celebrated among her teammates at the hospital. Over the years, she has worked to effect operational changes to improve service quality. She has also made an impact in areas such as introducing better infection prevention and control practices and stress management initiatives that serve the 39 staff members she leads.
She has special love for the Spanish Town General Hospital and pledges her support to the institution for as long as she is in the service.
“The hospital has been around for 70 years, and I have been here for 20 of those years. It has had its highs and lows, and ups and downs. We have had some wonderful moments and expansion, and it gives me hope that as we progress into the future, that things can and will change,” she says.
She anticipates working with the hospital administrators and Government to advance the transformation of the medical facility. She has pledged to continue to help young nurses coming into the profession to improve their skills academically and professionally.
The nurse manager, who always strives for excellence and professionalism on the job is encouraging her colleagues to give of their best at all times.
“At the end of the day, we have to stay true to our fundamentals or basics. I am really goal directed with the job, so, I always try to ensure that standards are maintained, and our patients are cared for appropriately despite any challenges,” Nurse Riley Harrow says.
A Moment Of Pride Copping – The Lasco/NAJ Nurse Of The Year