Better care: Myrian Balitian-Dill, pictured with Dr Carl Levisk, is set to become the first nurse at Bermuda Hospitals Board to complete the Nurse Practitioner&rsquo;s Programme. <em>*Photo by Kageaki Smith</em>
Better care: Myrian Balitian-Dill, pictured with Dr Carl Levisk, is set to become the first nurse at Bermuda Hospitals Board to complete the Nurse Practitioner’s Programme. *Photo by Kageaki Smith

WEDNESDAY, FEB. 1: Specially trained ‘super nurses’ will soon be working the wards of King Edward VII Memorial Hospital.

Nurse Practitioners (NP) will be able to independently diagnose, prescribe and treat a range of chronic medical conditions.

NPs or Advance Practice Nurses are already used in North America and parts of Europe to improve patient care and efficiency.

But Bermuda’s first hired NP is expected to begin work in her new capacity later this summer.

Myrian Balitian-Dill has worked in the hospital for 17 years.

But she is set to become the first nurse at Bermuda Hospitals Board to complete the Nurse Practitioner’s Programme.

The cardiology nurse said: “In order to get this qualification you have to have studied a Master’s degree and completed the 20-month NP Programme.

“It has been a lot of work to get through, and I have done much of it by completing online coursework.

“I have my final exams in July.

“I think Nurse Practitioners can really make a big difference in the hospital and help improve patient care.

“We can devote more time to the patient and concentrate on a more holistic approach to help them understand their condition and the best way for it to be treated.

“It is also a more cost-effective way of providing healthcare and allows nurses to do more in a clinical setting.”

Several other nurses from the hospital are currently working to complete the NP Programme.

Dr Carl Levick, director of cardiology at KEMH, said: “The delivery of quality medical care is a team effort, and nurse practitioners are a valuable member of the medical team.

“Their training allows them to independently diagnose and treat many medical conditions, and also to know when it is appropriate to consult with a supervising physician.

“Busy physicians may have limited time to spend with each patient, and the nurse practitioner may be  able to help explain the diagnosis and treatment plan to the patient’s greater satisfaction.

“Myrian Balitian-Dill has many years of experience assessing patients with cardiac disease, and she works closely with the team of cardiologists at KEMH.”