Rita Mendoza: “We need nurse managers who are trained and empowered”


After two years of struggle to be able to participate in the elections to Official College of Nursing of Las Palmas, which even reached the legal route, how do you feel after taking office as president of this institution?

I have not had to celebrate anything, beyond the fact that now we can finally work towards a change in the approach of the College. Therefore, the feeling that dominates me is that of responsibility.

Your iron would have preferred they will celebrate the elections. Despite the fact that the appointment with the polls could not be executed due to circumstances beyond your control, have you noticed the support of the collegiate?

Since we sent the statement last Monday announcing that the elections were not going to be held due to the resignation of the other candidate, our mobile phones have not stopped ringing and we have to charge them up to three times a day. In addition, they have sent us numerous thank you notes. Obviously we wanted to get to the polls and we had put a lot of effort to make that happen, but we feel very supported.

It has already advanced that one of its purposes is to make the profession visible. How do you hope to meet this goal?

One of the fundamental aspects is to have a work agenda in which the presence of nurses is real and palpable. Everything that affects the health situation of the province, or even of the community, will have to have the vision of the professionals. The other way focuses on communicating everything we do so that the population understands why it is important to have a nurse.

At present, and taking into account the outstanding work performed by nurses in this pandemic, do you think that the group has the recognition it deserves?

I honestly think that is not enough. People are only aware of what caring entails when they have a nurse in their lives. It is true that, during the pandemic, the system and users have realized that without the presence of nurses we could not get out of this situation. We have been very visible in what we do, but, to this day, we are still not present at the tables where decisions are made. In fact, with all that we have assumed for all the processes and procedures in the management of this health crisis, we have not been on the committee that advises the Government of the Canary Islands.

Modifying the statutes of the College is another of its objectives. What needs to change?

This is precisely one of my main purposes and I plan to leave it settled before the four-year term of office is completed. Specifically, the modification that concerns me the most is the one that refers to the issue of democracy and transparency. At present, the deadlines for elections to be called and for the real possibility that collegiate members present alternatives are practically impossible to assume. It is essential that there are normal deadlines so that all people have the opportunity to present their way of understanding the institution and that later it is the members who choose, which is the minimum that a democracy should contemplate. Also, I think it is essential that we focus on the constitution of the board itself to begin to think about other profiles of members. Keep in mind that the visibility of the profession also goes through breaking the glass ceiling. For this we need nurse managers who are well trained and empowered and who have a plural vision of society, something that can be worked on from the College, so it would be very positive to have a vocal team to watch over these circumstances.

“To this day, we are still not present at the tables where decisions are made”


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How do you hope to contribute from the collegiate body to improve the labor conditions of the union?

The truth is that I shuffle different perspectives. One of them has to do with the preventive vision. Whenever there is a call, we will try to open a dialogue with the Ministry of Health so that there is collaboration in the daily work. In addition, I want to create an observatory of care, which will allow an analysis of the real situation of the registries to know the ratio of nurses in the different centers. From there, we can begin to make proposals, which will be shared with the Ministry and with the different companies that have to do with the health sector, in order to improve the offer of professional care.

What other challenges would you highlight for this new stage?

I have to say that we will be very attentive to what the members of the assembly tell us and the technical vision, since another of my intentions is to generate a company structure that is well positioned, both from a social and health point of view. To all this we must add the intention to promote the use of technologies in the School. This will allow us to be more agile and to be closer to the referees. The objective is that most of the procedures do not require travel. It must also be said that, until now, the members of Lanzarote and Fuerteventura who have wanted to attend the assemblies have had to take a plane or a boat to come to Gran Canaria, so we are going to work so that from the headquarters of non-capital islands have the same rights.

Do you think More Nursing will become a benchmark in the institution in terms of democracy?

I have no doubt about it. I think there will be a before and after because there is a commitment. Fortunately, I can boast of the talent of the team I am working with and its values. At no time have we gotten involved with people or with the institution itself. When they rejected our candidacy in 2019, we denounced what happened because we considered that it was not the right thing to do. But during all this time, our values ​​have always been on the table. Now, we begin a new era that we face with enthusiasm, joy and enthusiasm.

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