Think Tank for Nurses

Region’s First Ever Think Tank for Nurses

Fakeeh University Hospital, a world-class healthcare and academic center in the UAE, hosted a first-of-its-kind Think Tank Iftar event specifically for nursing professionals, in honour of International Nurses Day. The event brought together leading nurses and experienced practitioners from across the UAE to discuss the challenges and outlook for caregiving during the COVID-19 era and beyond. This represents the first major effort in the UAE to rally leaders from the nursing profession to join heads towards the betterment of the nursing discipline.

In attendance at the event alongside Fakeeh University Hospital nurses were seven of UAE’s Chief Nurse Officers and nursing leaders from top hospitals in the country including King’s College Hospital London – Dubai, Latifa Hospital, Reem Hospital, and Sheikh Khalifa Medical City, Ajman.

The Think Tank focused on three primary areas with the goal of empowering individual nurses, nursing teams, and their patients. The first was shared governance – an organizational model which encourages shared decision-making between the bedside nurses and nurse leaders, allowing them to have greater input into daily operations. The second was patient-centered care – a concept which prioritizes deeper, more holistic engagement to form healing partnerships between patients, family members, and caregivers. The third was the transformation towards a more team-based nursing care model. Based on learnings from the COVID-19 pandemic, team-based nursing can bring greater efficiency, teamwork, and independence between nursing teams to overcome potentially overwhelming demand for care.

This first-of-its-kind discussion will culminate in the UAE’s first white paper fully developed and sanctioned by UAE’s leading nursing practitioners, which will be disseminated across hospitals in the UAE.

Mohamad Fakih, RN, MscN, Chief Nurse Officer, presiding over the event said, “We are proud to be the first to bring the UAE’s nursing community together for such a landmark event. Looking at the past year, our nurses have been at the frontline in the global fight against this ongoing pandemic. Through the tumultuous challenges of 2020, we relied on their teamwork and patient-centered approach to pull us through and now, as we look ahead, we want to ensure that they are empowered to continue spearheading change and innovation in healthcare.”

The Think Tank event was the conclusion of a week’s worth of activities honouring the crucial role that nurses play in the healthcare system, beginning with a special photo exhibition at Fakeeh University Hospital where 30 photos were put on display, each presenting a unique artistic impression but all voicing this year’s theme of ‘Nurses: A Voice to Lead – A vision for the future’. FUH nurses also created posters in a unique competition that allowed them to express, in a creative way, how they envision the future of healthcare. The winning poster was selected at the event by a jury comprising Chief Nurse Officers (CNOs) from other hospitals.

As part of this special celebration of the contribution of nurses to our healthcare system, Fakeeh University Hospital held its own appreciation ceremony to applaud the efforts of its nurses based on patient testimonials and feedback. This year, the Critical Care and Outpatient nursing teams were recognized for their unprecedented support during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in Dubai.

In one truly unique case, an ailing 60 years old COVID-19 patient, Efren Correa Cruz, happened to be the father of one of the nurses from the awarded Critical Care team. Though COVID complications put him through an intense 3-month period of critical care, his recovery was made possible by the support system provided by the nurses of Fakeeh University Hospital.

Efren Correa Cruz, who is now healthy and residing in Dubai, said, “I began 2020 in the ICU, where I had to fight for my life over the next 3 months. To this day, I cannot say for certain if I would have made it without the world-class care I received from the people of Fakeeh University Hospital. I will never forget the tireless work from the doctors and nurses that has helped keep me alive today.”

During this event, Fakeeh University Hospital also announced its partnership with the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses, a global recognition program which spotlights nurses with exemplary stories of patient care. With nominations submitted by the patients themselves, this award will be presented bi-annually to provide ongoing recognition for the invaluable contribution of nurses.