From her beginnings as a bedside nurse to an educator and entrepreneur, Jodian Stewart is committed to building a legacy.
Stewart, a registered nurse and lecturer at UWI Mona School of Nursing, believes deeply “to whom much is given, much is required.”
Using this principle, she is determined to make her name known and give back to her family and country through quality healthcare.
This week (November 20-26) is being observed as civil service week, under the theme ‘Public Sector: forging ahead with determination’.
Civil servants are considered everyday heroes who have gone above and beyond to serve their country.
Our Today spoke with the 36-year-old, who shared her journey in the healthcare sector.
“At first just finishing nursing school and being out in the clinical area was just about surviving. It was about learning, honing your skills and procedures. It’s about bridging the gap between nursing school and providing the care as a registered nurse,” said the registered nurse.
Stewart started her nursing career at the Black River Hospital in 2012 where she was mentored by professionals in the nursing field.
“I remembered working at the Black River Hospital and I had the matron there who checked on me all the time. She died some years ago. I also had sister Erica Myers, and at the Mandeville regional hospital I worked with some superb nurses who made the work lighter because we worked as a team to care for patients,” she told Our Today.
Stewart later transitioned from being a bedside nurse to becoming a nurse educator at the UWI Mona School of Nursing.
“Completing my master’s in education, that’s another level of growth. Even transitioning from bedside to education wasn’t an easy task, but I was able to do it and that in itself shows some level of maturity and growth,” she said.
She also considers herself a gatekeeper to the nursing profession and finds great pride in the accomplishments of her students.
Stewart further explained that her transition to the healthcare sector was not without challenges due to the lack of equipment and human resources.
“The nurse patient ratio was always a challenge for me in that if you had more nurses to patients, you would be able to spend more quality time with a client,” said Stewart.
She also said, “where I have worked, the hospitals were not as big as type ‘A’ hospitals. Then you have a lot of patients, the space is very small, so [you’re] not able to provide them with the privacy they desire. [When] speaking to a client, [it] doesn’t matter how softly you speak to them; the next client will be able to hear what they are saying.”
Stewart also added that privacy in healthcare is very important and not having enough staff leads to errors.
Despite these challenges, Stewart doesn’t see herself migrating overseas in seek of better opportunity but aims to build a legacy in nursing leadership and advocacy.
Among her many accomplishments, Stewart is a clinical consultant and owner of Clinical Nursing Consultancy which provides care to patients from the comfort of their homes.
“Clinical nursing consultancy is fairly new company. We started in May of this year, and I started [because] a lot of people have been asking me for referrals, nurse do you know a nurse, that’s my father, my uncle, and I’m referring people to them. People have expressed that they have to be waiting in long lines at institutions to be seen, so my friends encouraged me to start a business that provides care to people in their homes,” she said.
Stewart enjoys her job as a healthcare provider and explained that the job is not just about money, but it is rewarding to see a smile on her clients’ faces.
“Although we work for money, to hear a client say thank you nurse or to pass them on the street and they say nurse, that’s my nurse and to see their smiles is rewarding as well as the salary. But to see clients have improved outcomes that is also a payment as well,” she said.