Cuba has a highly developed health care system, which can be compared to those of more industrialized countries. The Cuban health care system has many new and unique features. It is funded by the Revolutionary State and is based on the needs of the population rather than on financial solvency ratios. Medical and dental care is a constitutional right and patients are not charged for it.
It is impossible to think of human life and health without the care of a nursing professional. Nursing is part of the health sciences and encompasses the care of people of all ages, families, groups and communities, being sick or not, and in all circumstances. They are always on the front line in any situation involving a struggle for life, whether it is the birth of a baby, the care of a sick or injured person, the terminal condition of a person, or even in preventive health care.
In Cuba, nurses play an essential role in the National Health System, since they provide their services at all levels of medical care. Their presence, for example, in primary health care enables to improve the functioning of services in all community clinics and polyclinics.
They usually form a great team with the family doctor, and are often a great support for recent graduates or medical students, who are nurtured by their experience and skills. Nurses are trained in the country’s universities of medical sciences, in several faculties and at the National Public Health School, thus seeking to ensure their presence at all three levels of care.
On the other hand, a large number of nurses are part of the Cuban healthcare professional brigades engaged in international missions in other countries and respond to the calls of brotherly peoples in need of medical attention.
The Cuban nursing staff is recognized for their scientific and technical preparation and their dedication to work in primary health care in each locality, in hospitals, in health promotion and prevention campaigns and in international work.
The world is currently facing a deadly and silent enemy. It is the SARS-CoV-2 virus, whose outbreak began in China in December 2019 and has already spread to 183 other countries, leaving almost four million people infected and more than 270,000 dead worldwide. In this context, our nurses have shown their compassion, courage and professionalism to face difficult situations.
The scientific and technical development of nursing professionals in Cuba has allowed them to reach higher levels in the understanding of values, based on the evaluation of each patient as a starting point for their treatment, considering them not as an object but as a subject. This concept implies that the person is deemed as the most necessary and active element to be taken into account.
Cuban nursing staff has always been characterized by a high level of response to different situations. Nurses graduated on the island have demonstrated their competence in the face of major health crises, showing their ability to act while maintaining high standards of professionalism.
When it comes to excellence in health, Cuban nursing staff is a paradigm, playing an essential role in building resilient health systems. Throughout the world, and without leaving aside other health services, they were on the front line of the battle against COVID-19 and have been the soul of vaccination to prevent this and other diseases. As a service profession, but also of many challenges, dedication and altruism, the work carried out by nurses is fundamental to promoting health, preventing disease and sustaining patient care. With their daily work, Cuban nursing staff faces every crisis situation both in Cuba and in the rest of the world.
The Largest Island of the Antilles is one of the countries with the biggest number of nurses in the world. In addition, they are qualified personnel, since most of them are specialists in emergency, community and maternal and child nursing.
They have centered their training on the basis of full integration to work. This premise aims to train professionals who respond to the present and future needs of the country’s development. The nursing specialty is based on the theoretical knowledge and practical skills of the profession, from a holistic and integrative conception of the social factors of health, which are applied in the work from the community, in order to promote, maintain and restore health.
Cuban nurses show their knowledge, judgments and technical skills and a series of attributes and attitudes in each treatment, in each patient. They are able to apply nursing procedures and protocols and at the same time, establish assertive interpersonal and interprofessional communication.
Cuban nursing has been a determining factor in the training of health brigades, vaccination campaigns, analysis of health situations, confronting population aging, combating epidemics and viral diseases, and international collaboration.
The Cuban nurses’ work has a social impact that lies in the fact that the technological development advances are used by this group of healthcare workers without losing the humanistic sense of the profession in the relationship with the patient, the family and all the personnel involved in the process.
The Cuban nursing has unavoidable duties, primarily related to providing professional care of quality and excellence, based on a system of knowledge and evidence guaranteeing the efficacy and efficiency of its practice.
Today Cuban nursing staff is a vanguard army, a symbol of love, hope and full consecration, as well as of high professionalism and ethics, which is recognized and loved by the whole world.