First mental health nurse retires

| 05/06/2017
CNS Local Life

(L-R) Critical care unit nurse manager Karen Pinnock, HSA CEO Lizzette Yearwood and retiring nurse Diana Parchment

(CNS Local Life): After 31 years of service with the Health Services Authority (HSA), Cayman’s first mental health nurse, Diana Parchment, has retired. More than 50 of her colleagues celebrated her long service and contributions in the mental health field at a ceremony at Cayman Islands Hospital, held 31 May 2017. Many of those gathered shared their memories of Parchment and examples of her devotion to her patients and mentoring her co-workers.

“Nurse Parchment has established such a high standard of care during her tenure at the HSA that she leaves behind some big shoes to fill,” said Dr Arline McGill, head of psychiatry and behavioural services at the hospital, in an HSA press release.

Having worked for seven years as a registered general nurse at the hospital, Parchment completed her training in mental health, becoming the country’s first community mental health nurse in 1994. Working in a small team consisting of herself, a psychiatrist and a counsellor, she was initially responsible for the nursing care of all mental health patients throughout the Cayman Islands. In those earlier years, without the aid of an inpatient facility, she not only made visits to patients’ homes but also to those in police custody and HMP Northward and Fairbanks. Where necessary, Parchment escorted patients to and from hospitals in the US, Bahamas and Jamaica, and was always willing and able whenever called upon.

She also participated in the implementation of new initiatives such as the 2013 Mental Health Law.

“As our mental health services grew she taught, guided and befriended the new staff,” said Phil Slater, the hospital’s mental health nurse manager. “Those who remain and those who have left will always think of her as kind, compassionate and above all, professional in her duties,”

HSA CEO Lizzette Yearwood added, “Nurse Parchment has been an integral part of the development of mental health support on these islands. She has been a dedicated employee and will always be remembered. We wish her a happy and fulfilling retirement.”

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Category: Medical and Health

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