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    • She will receive the Order of Distinction in the Rank of Officer at the National Honours and Awards Ceremony on National Heroes Day, on Monday, October 18.
    • The former deputy matron was also co-founder of a day care centre, which has benefited children of staff members of the Kingston Public and the Victoria Jubilee hospitals.
    • “Although over there you have the greener pastures, but that’s not all to it. I stayed in Jamaica and I’m happy for that. If I had to go all over in seeking a profession I would decide on nursing. It is very rewarding,” she said.

    Former Deputy Matron of the Kingston Public Hospital, Lilian Lucella Bent-Miller, is grateful to be honoured for her outstanding performance in the field of nursing.

    She will receive the Order of Distinction in the Rank of Officer at the National Honours and Awards Ceremony on National Heroes Day, on Monday, October 18.

    Mrs. Bent-Miller is one of 146 persons, excluding the uniform groups, who will receive this year’s National Honours and Awards. The ceremony, a made-for-television format due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, will be aired on national television and social media platforms.

    Mrs. Bent-Miller, who retired in 1997 after serving 14 years at the Spanish Town Hospital and 21 years at the Kingston Public Hospital (KPH), told JIS News that she feels special to be recognised.

    “I feel very special. My hard work has been noticed and rewarded,” she said.

    The registered nurse said that she would be happy to see other front-line workers “properly recognised” for their hard work.

    “But there are so many people who work just as hard or even harder and they are not recognised, so I would love to see the day when they are appropriately rewarded, and I don’t mean posthumously. Proper recognition must be given to those who deserve it,” she said.

    Mrs. Bent-Miller, who is a certified midwife, also worked as a Service Education Officer in the HIV/AIDS programme. After her retirement, she served as a preceptor for nurses doing advanced nursing education courses at the University of the West Indies, Mona.

    Over the years, the retired healthcare worker has received many awards for her accomplishments. She was the nominee for ‘Nurse of the year’ in 1988. She has also received awards from the Friends of the Kingston Public Hospital, the Nurses Association of Jamaica, Courts Jamaica Limited and Caymanas Track Limited for outstanding contribution in the field of nursing.

    Mrs. Bent-Miller said that her nursing career began in 1961 when she graduated from the then University College Hospital and joined the Spanish Town Hospital in St Catherine. In 1976, she was transferred to the KPH, Jamaica’s number-one trauma centre.

    While at the KPH, she was involved in many quality assurance programmes and research projects geared towards improving the delivery of nursing care at the hospital.

    “I suggested to the matron that we could do something to improve the morale that would lead to the wards performing in the best way,” she said.

    Following her recommendations, she said an award for “clinical excellence” was implemented at the KPH.

    She also participated in a research project on ‘The Impact of Referrals on the Kingston Public Hospital’, to look at the utilisation of services in the Accident and emergency unit of the KPH.

    “It was very interesting, and we made many recommendations. One such recommendation was that we introduce and implement the triage system at the Accident and Emergency department,” she said.

    She said that the system, which categorises patients based on their condition, was utilised during the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

    “This was very difficult because, as you know, people are resistant to change. However, we got it introduced and implemented,” she said.

    The former deputy matron was also co-founder of a day care centre, which has benefited children of staff members of the Kingston Public and the Victoria Jubilee hospitals.

    “There were nights when we wrote letters to people to get them on board, but we got it off the ground and doing well, and it is going even as I speak,” she said.

    Mrs. Bent-Miller, who is from St Elizabeth, said her interest in nursing began as a child when she would notice the work being done by a public health nurse at her primary school.

    “She was very polite and caring. I was so impressed with how she presented herself and how she conducted the students and I said that I would love to be a nurse and always reminded myself that I wanted to be a nurse,” she recalled.

    The certified nurse said that she has had opportunities to work overseas but preferred to remain in Jamaica.

    “Although over there you have the greener pastures, but that’s not all to it. I stayed in Jamaica and I’m happy for that. If I had to go all over in seeking a profession I would decide on nursing. It is very rewarding,” she said.

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