In 1980, after Fidel Castro’s visit to Jamaica, the Cuban Government offered assistance in the form of training and five (5) registered nurses were sent to Cuba. Dr. Hazel Chung-Knight, the then Senior Government Anaesthetist, expressed the opinion to Dr. John McHardy, Senior Medical Officer (MOH), that Jamaica had the expertise and resources to train nurse anaesthetists. Stimulated by this utterance, the local team sprang into action. The team which included the Advanced Nursing Education Unit (ANEU), the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI), the Ministry of Health (MOH), Mrs. Dorothy Denny, Dr. Hazel Chung-Knight, Dr. Beverley Grant-Lewis, were assisted by a Consultant, Sister Mary Arthur Schramm, CRNA, PhD (Physiology) and Nurse Educator. The JSNA was conceived and came into existence on September 11, 1981.
The school was declared open by the then Minister of Health, Dr. Kenneth Baugh, at a ceremony in the Henry Shaw Auditorium at the Kingston Public Hospital (KPH) on September 11, 1981. After this, there was a tour of the physical plant of the school which was situated in the Administrative Block at KPH.
The first faculty
The first six weeks of the programme were devoted to a common core with the Nurse Practitioner students. The students completed the pre-clinical core ranking among the six highest in the module. The core module was followed by a three month Basic Science Block, which includes physiology and pharmacology. The following 18 months were spent in the classroom and operating theatres in Kingston and the rural hospitals, where didactic and clinical training was undertaken. Many outside but related factors challenged the programme. A polo epidemic for six months limited surgery and thus clinical experience to emergencies only. Often shortage of resources, e.g. lab work, linen, and personnel caused the cancellation of surgical cases, whileshortage of teaching staff disrupted scheduled classes. After much planning and hard work by faculty and students, final exams followed by a six months internship period completed the training.
In September 1982, clinical affiliations were reviewed and in October a two months course in medical physiology was planned by Sister Mary Arthur Schramm for directors, tutors, other nurse anaesthetists and interested practitioners.After many petitions and meetings with the Ministry of Finance, the nursing faculty members were upgraded.
When the second class commenced in January 1983, the uncertainty of continuity of the Nurse Practitioner Programme and later the decision to begin classes in November, prevented the programme directors of JSNA from including the Nurse Anaesthetist students in the core block. Thus ended the affiliation between the Nurse Anaesthetist and the Nurse Practitioner Programmes.
- Dr. Hazel Chung-Knight - Consultant at the Bustamante Hospital for Children/Senior Government Anaesthetist – Paediatric Anaesthesia and Critical Care Part-time Medical Director.
THE FIRST SIX STUDENTS
- Mrs. Dorothy Denny - Senior Nurse Anaesthetist, Nursing Director and Coordinator
- Mrs. Ivy Jarrett-Brown - Tutor, Nurse Anaesthetist
- Miss Marlene Carter - Tutor, Nurse Anaesthetist
OTHER FACULTY MEMBERS
- Rhoda Barnes
- Joyce Daley
- Edith Gentles
- Faith Johnson
- Lola Johnson
- Millicent Miller
Eight (8) Clinical Preceptors in the Government hospitals
Kingston Public/Victoria Jubilee Hospitals
- Dr. B. E. Grant-Lewis
- Dr. B. Dunn
- Dr. M. Denbow
Bustamante Hospital for Children
- Dr. H. Chung-Knight
- Dr. Z. O. Bridge-Leake
- Professor J. Homi
- Dr. W. Hanna
During those early years Project Hope assisted us by providing Consultants and we were particularly blessed to have Sister Mary Arthur Schramm, Nurse Educator, Professor of Physiology and Director of the Mount Marty School of Nurse anaesthesia in South Dakota. She has maintained contact with us, and gives us advice freely.
Admission of Overseas Students:
In January 1983 the second class of students commenced training. Three (3) of the students came from Belize, Cayman and Montserrat.
Assistance with training came in the form of procuring short term Consultants, library books and materials, and teaching aids from Project Hope. The Pan American Health Organization(PAHO) supported the programme by sponsoring students from the Eastern Caribbean, donating audio visual aids; they also sponsored the first evaluation exercise through the Caribbean.
Input of CAST and UWI - Physics and Chemistry were done at the College of Art Science and Technology (CAST) and Physiology at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Faculty of the Medical Sciences.
The first Nurse Anaesthetist trained for the University Hospital of the West Indies:
In 1987 Mrs. Marjorie Hylton was sponsored by the University Hospital of the West Indies to be trained as a Nurse anaesthetist.
Training of Clinical Preceptors:
Mrs. Joyce Daley received further training in Paediatric Anaesthesia and as a Clinical Preceptor, and was placed at the Bustamante Hospital for Children. Nurse Anaesthetist Rhoda Barnes also received training as a Clinical Preceptor and was placed at the Cornwall Regional Hospital. Six (6) Nurse Anaesthetists from other hospitals received this training.
BSc. Degree in Allied Health Sciences:
The Health Science Degree Programme was commenced at CAST in 1989 and the faculty of JSNA was instrumental in the development of the Nurse Anaesthesia module, and undertook the teaching and examination of the specialist module. Two of our first graduates, Miss Rhoda Barnes and Mrs. Joyce Daley, were among the five nurse anaesthetists to obtain this degree.
In 1992, after review of the curriculum, application was made to the Training Division at the Ministry of Health for an extension of the course, by six months, making it thirty-two (32) months; and this was accepted.
Type of Institution:
The Jamaica School of Nurse Anaesthesia is a Ministry of Health training institution founded in 1981, and is entirely funded by the Jamaican Government. JSNA offers a diploma and prepares registered nurses from Jamaica and the English Speaking Caribbean islands for a professional career in Nurse Anaesthesia. The programme as is presently delivered was patterned from the Mount Marty Nurse Anaesthesia Programme in 1980. Collaborative efforts are in progress to upgrade it to a Masters degree in 2008.
National and International Recognition:
JSNA strives for excellence. A recent survey done by the school’s faculty shows that the patients, surgeons and employers are satisfied with the high standard of care administered by our graduates. Evaluation visits done by JSNA faculty to the Caribbean islands in 2006 was also
been met with enthusiasm, satisfaction and great expectations from stakeholders, where graduates are presently employed.
JSNA has greater than 80 graduates who have distinguished themselves in health care, management, education and other fields. JSNA has a job placement rate of 100%.
The institution is located on the grounds of the Kingston Public Hospital, North Street, Kingston, Jamaica West Indies. The 500 beds hospital has a long history as a training institution for health professionals. It is the primary trauma facility and the foremost maternity hospitality in the country. Kidney transplant was first performed at KPH in 1970. Over the years patients have come from all over the world for treatment.
JSNA has enrolled over 90 students since 1981. Students have come from Jamaica, Belize, St. Lucia, Dominica, St. Vincent, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts, Nevis, Anguilla and Grand Cayman.
The institution is situated on the Kingston Public/Victoria Jubilee Hospital complex, and utilizes the clinical and other facilities. Students also attend the campuses of the University of the West Indies (UHWI) and the University of Technology (UTech) for basic sciences, physiology and pathophysiology lectures.
JSNA is affiliated with Utech, UWI, UHWI and all Government hospitals that offer surgical facilities. The institution works closely with the International Federation of Nurse Anaesthetists (IFNA) and the American Association of Nurse Anaesthetists (AANA).
In September 1996, the first Conference of the Eastern Caribbean Nurse Anaesthetists took place in St. Vincent. A second conference was held in Nevis from June 3 – 5, 1998, at which the Association of Eastern Caribbean Nurse Anaesthetists was inaugurated.