As Guyana joins the rest of the world to celebrate International Nurses Day today, the Guyana Defence Force (GDF), celebrates its nurses who serve.
The GDF recognises and celebrates Staff Sergeant (SSGT) Ann Marks, Petty Officer (PO) Valeo Griffith and Sergeant (SGT) Geralda Jeffery, all of whom are Registered Nurses.
SGT Jeffery (Class of 2005) was the first of these servicewomen to complete the Professional Nursing Training at the Nursing School of the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation. SSGT Marks was a Class of 2013 graduate, while PO Griffith graduated in the Class of 2014.
These women are first and foremost soldiers, and serve their military duties with pride, knowing that theirs is the sacred responsibility to stand with their male counterparts in defence of Guyana’s territorial integrity.
Yet, they have each carved out a path as trained medical professionals who make a difference within the Force, through the application of their knowledge and skills, to deliver care and treatment to their patients.
Nurses Marks, Griffith and Jeffery serve within the Medical Corps of the GDF. As professionals, they attend to injured or otherwise ailing troops of the GDF at the main medical facilities of the GDF, one of which is located at Timehri and the other at Base Camp Ayanganna.
At Timehri, Nurse Jeffery treats soldiers as well as members of the community surrounding Base Camp Stephenson. She indicated that the number of patients seen at that location is greater and pose a greater challenge, since staffers of the GDF medical facility there, including herself, are the first responders for any medical emergencies which may occur at the Cheddi Jagan international Airport.
Petty Officer Griffith is currently the Medical Supervisor at the National Veterans Rest Home in Georgetown. PO Griffith says that she loves working with the elderly residents of the Veterans Home, particularly because they would have previously served in the Disciplined Services of Guyana and this provides a “point of connection” with regard to her interactions and care and treatment of them.
Staff Sergeant Marks is the Matron (ag) at the GDF’s main medical facility at Base Camp Ayanganna. In her capacity, she interacts with and treats almost all of the facility’s patients.
Each of these women have served during Force Tactical Exercises (FTX) which are simulations of battle scenarios. They agree that it is a very challenging though rewarding environment, since they are required to utilise their knowledge and skills as they would be required to in an actual conflict situation.
Additionally, they have also served various communities across Guyana during many medical outreach programmes which have been hosted by the GDF over the years.
While Nurse Marks aims to pursue training in order to become a physiotherapist, Nurse Jeffery is looking to pursue the MEDEX programme with the Ministry of Public Health, and Nurse Griffith aims to pursue midwifery training as well as a degree in nursing from the University of Guyana.
Chief of Staff, Brigadier Patrick West, the Officers, Ranks and Civilian employees of the Force, salute and celebrate the accomplishments of these servicewomen and encourage them to keep reaching for higher levels of excellence.