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Melisha Toney is a ‘Special Person’“Do all the good you can whenever you can, and you will be rewarded…do all the good you can as long as you can, and life will be wonderful.” By Rabindra Rooplall Nurses are essential assets; they possess special qualities. Consider this. While a doctor may see a patient for fifteen minutes each day in the hospital, the nursing staff is in constant communication with that patient and brings about a sense of comfort and assurance.Not only are nurses responsible for the medical care of the patient, they often become the emotional support. And one standout in this regard is Nurse Melisha Toney who has given dedicated service for 36 years in the noble field.Born in 1939, Nurse Toney, who hails from Ann’s Grove on the East Coast of Demerara, and is familiarly referred to as Cousin Mignon or Medex, has made more than a significant contribution to national development.This ‘Special Person’ is from a humble background. Her father Gershom Hanover was a farmer and her mother Sylveleen ,Jerseys NFL Wholesale, a full time housewife. She is the fifth of six children – four girls and two boys.Her primary school education was attained at the Ann’s Grove Roman Catholic School, and by the age of 14 had obtained the Primary School Certificate, Primary School Needlework Certificate, and the School Gardening Certificate.The nuptial knot was tied in 1955, and she is the proud mother of nine children – seven boys and two girls – and a grandmother of 32.Melisha admits that her ambition was to be a teacher but this did not materialize. In 1970, she registered for the Rural Midwifery Programme and successfully completed this course one year later.Her qualifications were upgraded through the London Correspondence Course and she acquired Religious Knowledge and English Language at the General Certificate Examination, Ordinary Level. She also completed a course in Office Management and was awarded a Diploma from the Transworld Tutorial College, Britain.In 1983 she enrolled for the Medex Course, and a Medex certificate was awarded to her by the University of Guyana in 1984. She revealed that in as much as Nursing was not her initial choice and desire, she gradually developed a passion for the profession.Throughout her nursing career, Melisha provided her services throughout the length and breadth of Guyana. She retired in March 2006.She recounted that there were many doctors she worked with and whom she learnt much from the many districts she worked in, these included Lethem, Mabaruma, Pakera, Port Kaituma, Morowhanna, Mabura, Georgetown, Clonbrook, Charity, Anarika, Rockstone, Butakarie and Aroaima.At Butakarie and Rockstone, Nurse Toney in her capacity as medex, negotiated with medical authorities to conduct once-monthly clinics to meet the patients in their locale. She was later trained as a microscopist to treat for malaria in those areas.The medical services included treatment for snake and fish bites, dental care, asthmatic ailments, and maternity cases. Her record of total maternal deliveries is 376.Ms Toney testifies that nursing is a noble and rewarding profession. With its mission to save lives, her advice to practicing nurses as well as those aspiring to take up this career is, “Always give of your best. Just a smile, a touch or words of encouragement can make a positive impact on the recovery of your patients.”With a smile on her face she then suddenly recalled a hair-raising experience on one of her many trips. She was returning from Brazil and a passenger in the car who spoke Portuguese was telling the driver to accelerate. “It was a good thing we were on the straight, this bonnet just lift up and we couldn’t see where we were going, if it was by a turn I wouldn’t have been here today, but I suppose it wasn’t my time. The constant travelling did have its challenges,” Nurse Toney reflected.She also remembers on the day of the Jonestown tragedy, November 18,Jerseys NFL Wholesale, 1978, she was transporting a patient out of Mabaruma with policemen on a flight, and when she touched down she heard a radio announcer named Prince Mason relaying the shocking news that nobody was left alive in the northwest community.“When they had shot up at the airstrip I was at the neighbouring airstrip!”She revealed that to date she still has vivid memories of the event and has souvenirs from the Jonestown period.Nurse Toney stressed that quite a few experiences in her career would be indelibly imprinted in her mind – especially the few fearful ones. She recollected an occasion when a nine-year-old Amerindian boy was involved in a swimming accident. He plunged into a creek and collided with a hard surface, which removed the hair from a large area of his scalp. Nurse Toney’s skill was tested. “Stay sutures were applied and it was wrapped and he was sent to the Linden Hospital for technical assistance. I felt a sense of relief and accomplishment. In my own little way, I had helped save a young boy’s life.”She also spoke fondly of the challenges associated with the delivery of newborns, mostly when there were breach deliveries, “…when the baby come into the world by the buttocks or feet”.She explained that not at all times did women reach the hospitals on time, and whilst being a district midwife it was advised that such deliveries should be done in a hospital, however, with her vast experience she was able to help in tough situations.Nurse Toney admitted that she finds it hard to conceal her pride when she is approached by some of the children she delivered, and who have become successful adults, especially when they knew who she was and the part she played in their existence.“Bringing lives into the world is undoubtedly one of the most satisfying feelings…I even had the opportunity of delivering some of my grandchildren.”Nurse Toney revealed that there are two regions that she never worked – six and eight.“I think the most pressured area for me was at Anarika Heath Centre where I spent four years nine months.”The nurse disclosed that she worked alone at Anarika Heath Centre as a Medex without the visits from any doctor, however, she conducted clinics such as; out-patient, infant and ante-natal,    family life and health,Wholesale Jerseys, dealing with malaria cases taking smears, reading same,Cheap Basketball Jerseys, administering medication and follow-up advice.“Persons passing through the trail from all around,Authentic NFL Jerseys China, the dredge owners in the Essequibo River, brought cases to the clinic, at that point Ministry of Health saw the need to have me trained as a Malaria Microscopist to deal with that emergency, using a solar microscope. Can you imagine depending on the sunlight to get the results and then start treatment on a day when there is little or no sunlight – with patients vomiting, having fever, dehydrated with no ambulance available?”Nurse Toney recalled in Butakarie she was faced with a situation where a woman who was in an advanced state of pregnancy had started to bleed, and she realized that there was a strong possibility that the mother could have lost her child. With little assistance and no ambulance, and with the closest hospital being Linden, she advised that the woman should receive as much rest as possible, since that was a way in which the bleeding could have been significantly lessened,Authentic NBA Jerseys Cheap, if not stopped.She subsequently removed the woman from her home and travelled with her in a speedboat and completed her transfer to the Linden hospital, where she was eventually forwarded to the Georgetown Public Hospital where she delivered a baby girl.“Fiona was the child’s name and you know up to this day I communicate with the mother…that is the only child she has up to now, they say they would always remember me for giving them the faith, and the strength not to give up.”Our special person firmly believes that the nursing career is one that should be pursued by persons who wholeheartedly love to care for others, since the profession is to benefit humanity and not to satisfy any selfish need.“It takes true love and understanding to heal a patient, and their needs are physical, emotional and psychological. Therapy also plays an important part. When these are given the patient recovers faster than any medication can heal them…. so persons who are in nursing only for the sake of it are robbing patients, they should really be doing something else in my opinion.”“Do all the good you can whenever you can, and you will be rewarded…do all the good you can as long as you can, and life will be wonderful.”Ms Toney in assessing her career as a nurse and Medex said she had to be a counselor to many patients and other individuals wherever her job took her, especially the younger generation who “lack the faith, wisdom and understanding needed to move on in life after experiencing some of the negatives that life serve up”.“Some nurses just like their phone, all they want to do is write the report and look fancy, to clean and to tidy…that really won’t work.”She added that persons are more interested in what they are being paid than what they can contribute to the development of society.Reflecting on being a single parent who maintained herself and children she said, “It was not easy, but in life, development comes through sacrifice.”The caring nurse with a bright smile, and doting mother, said the joy derived from helping people and watching them develop cannot be compared or replaced with anything else, and to be able to play that part in someone’s life is very special.“Nurses must realise the roles they play every day and the difference they make in each patients’ lives, their neighbourhood, the hospitals and society at large….to be a healer there must be love and care.”How special you are Nurse Toney!
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