Mrs Theresa DAlmeida: Amazing journey from clinical and administrative nursing to an accomplished


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By Dr. Eugene DSouza, Moodubelle
Bellevision Media Network

Moodubelle, 08 March 2013: After successful career as Head Nurse in the Hamad Medical Corporation’s Rumailah Hospital in Doha-Qatar and settling two of her daughters, Mrs. Theresa D’Almeida along with her husband, Lawrence, a successful business administrator returned to her native village-Belle a year ago even before attaining the age of retirement. Though had an opportunity to migrate either to the United States or Canada where her services were very much sought after and even after signing the documents for immigration to Canada, Theresa on the advice of her husband gave up the dream of serving in Canada and eventually came back to India to have a peaceful life and to be helpful to the society in any manner possible especially in the field of counseling, the skill which she had acquired while serving in Doha-Qatar.

 

 

On this International Women’s Day on March 8, by presenting the profile of Mrs. Theresa D’Almeida, Bellevision.com carries forward the tradition of highlighting the achievements of some of the prominent women personalities of Belle who have made a mark in their profession and life. There is no doubt that the amazing journey of Theresa D’Almeida from clinical nursing to an accomplished counselor would inspire many more young women to walk in her steps.

 

The journey of Mrs. Theresa D’Almeida, originally Alva has been a challenging one.  Born on 14 April 1953 as the eldest among six children, five daughters and a son of late Jerome and late Alice Alva of Attinja, Theresa had her education up to second standard at Attinja. As circumstances forced them to leave their ancestral home, the family shifted to Devaragudde where they were given a piece of land to build a house by late Raymond Castelino, father of Fr. Denis Castelino.  Having shifted to Moodubelle, Theresa continued her primary and higher primary education in the Church Aided Higher Primary School.

 


Parents of Theresa: Late Jerome and late Alice Alva

Sisters and brother of Theresa: Ida, Theresa, Norbert, Juliana, Jessy and Clara

After completing  SSLC in 1970, Theresa was keen to join the nursing profession and applied for training in the King Edward Memorial Hospital (KEM Hospital) in Mumbai where late Joseph Castelino was working. It was Joseph who informed Theresa that she was selected to undergo training in that hospital. Having got this golden opportunity to be trained as a nurse, Theresa proceeded to Mumbai  in September 1970 and enrolled for  General Nursing and Midwifery Training.

 

In the course of the interview, Theresa gratefully remembered about the help rendered to her while in Mumbai by late Joseph Castelino and his wife late Koses. She was emotional when she said that they were her guardians in Mumbai so much so that her engagement to Lawrence and marriage arrangements were done at their residence at Dadar.  Theresa also remembers with gratitude the support given by the family of her mother, especially Mrs. Christine Castelino in Mumbai.

 


Late Joseph Castelino

 

Having completed three and a half years of training, Theresa joined as the staff nurse in the same hospital and after one and a half years of service joined the Bina Nursing Bureau, an association of private nurses. Through this bureau, Theresa served in various reputed hospitals in Mumbai such as the Breach Candy, Jaslok and Tata Memorial and different nursing homes. While serving in these hospitals and nursing homes,  Theresa had an opportunity to look after some prominent   personalities including former finance minister of India C. Subramanyam who had given her a letter of appreciation and film star Sanjiv Kumar.

 

Speaking about her experience during the stint of nursing in Mumbai, Theresa narrated an incident which manifests her human touch to the profession. There was a poor young patient with liver ailment who was in need of blood. As the father of the patient could not find anyone to donate blood and was worried, Theresa came forward and donated her own blood which brought tears in the eyes of the patient’s father. Theresa says that the goodwill and prayers of the families whom she had served as a nurse gave her strength to carry on in her profession and in life.

 

It was in 1978 that Theresa got engaged to Lawrence D’Almeida of Kemmannu who was working as accounts assistant in the Gulf Hotel in Bahrain and both of them were married in Mumbai in May 1979. Having married to Lawrence who was working in Bahrain, Theresa went along with him and tried to get a job as a nurse in military or in government hospital in Bahrain. Meanwhile, Theresa got her first child-Loreta in August 1980. Soon after they returned to Mumbai and were waiting for better prospects.

 

Back in Mumbai, Theresa once again started working as private nurse in Bachas Nursing Home. Meanwhile, both Lawrence and Theresa were trying their luck for better jobs in any one of the Gulf nations. Eventually in 1983, Theresa got  a job offer in the Ministry of Interior Medical Division in Doha-Qatar.

 

Grabbing the opportunity, Theresa went to Doha and initially served as In-charge Nurse in the Female Outpatient Unit. Having proved her ability as a diligent and effective nurse, Theresa was shifted to the Department of Psychiatry where she had to assist in assessing mental fitness of police applicants and also the staff besides attending the duty for female prisoners. Thus began the journey of Theresa in the path of becoming a counselor.

 

Theresa fondly remembers her mother, late Alice Alva who passed away in July 2006. Theresa said that after the demise of her father in September 1971, her mother had to work hard as a daily wage earner to look after her children. Later, when Theresa began earning and took responsibility of supporting her family, her mother would say to Theresa that being the eldest, she took the responsibility of the family as a son and lived the life of a daughter about which she was very proud.  Theresa says that her husband Lawrence fully cooperated with her endeavour to support her siblings in whatever way she could.

 

Having worked as Staff Nurse in the  Police Medical Division from 1983 to 1990 and having proved her ability as a sincere and dedicated professional,  in September 1990 Theresa  found it easy to join the Hamad Medical Corporation where she alternately worked  as Staff Nurse in Female and Male Psychiatry Unit from 1990 to 1997. Thereafter she was on transfer assignment to Children’s Rehabilitation Unit at Rumailah Hospital  for a year and was promoted to Charge Nurse. From 1998 to 2001, Theresa was reassigned to Female Rehabilitation Unit. Later, she was transferred back to the Female Psychiatry Unit as Unit In charge.  Theresa’s ability, sincerity and commitment to her work eventually brought her reward in the form of promotion as Head Nurse in the Hamad Medical Corporation  in 2002, the post which she held till her voluntary retirement on March 30, 2012.

 

 

Theresa was not just satisfied with routine nursing profession. Besides applying human touch to the service and empathy with the patients, she believed in furthering her knowledge about different aspects of nursing and availed all possible avenues and opportunities to increase and update the new  knowledge in the medical and psychiatric fields  by undergoing certificate courses and attending various seminars and workshops.  The certificate courses done by Theresa include Computer and Medicom, Leadership, Preceptor/Mentor Course, Patient/Family Complaint Management, Mobilization Technique for Disabled Patients, Performance Improvement, Infection Control, Gastro-Intestinal Intubation, Essential Disaster Administration Management, Immediate and Advanced Life Support, Prevention and Management of Challenging Behaviours, etc.

 

Having been introduced to psychiatric treatment of the patients, Theresa  decided to further her qualification by undergoing Psychiatry Nursing Education  in various aspects of the psychiatry which included Therapeutic Nurse-Patients Relationship, Mental Status Examination, Psychiatry Nursing Assessment and Care, Nursing Intervention in Aggression and Violence, Nursing Assessment and Care of Suicide Patients, Counseling, Electro-Convulsive Therapy, Symptom Management and Prevention of Relapse, Crisis Intervention, Behaviour Modification and Limit Setting, De-escalation and Personality Disorders, etc.

 

Theresa also had an opportunity to conduct nursing courses in Fundamentals as well as Psychiatry and Mental Health  to nursing students of the University of Qatar for four years from 2000 to 2004.

 

 

 

During my interaction with Theresa and her husband Lawrence and going through the various certificates and letters of appreciation from the hospital authorities, I found that she had been fully dedicated to her profession not taking it just as an employment but as a mission and vocation. Some of the commendation letters manifest the humane and professional approach of Theresa to the service of nursing that she rendered in various capacities in different departments.

 

In a testimonial, Dr. Suhaila Ghuloum, Chairperson of the Psychiatry Department, Rumailah Hospital writes”…she has been exemplary with her commitment, compassion, knowledge as well as her clinical and administrative skills…Theresa looked at her nursing profession as a humanitarian vocation and not merely a job. Her concern for the fellow human being shines through in her care of patients and activities within her social circle. It was always a pleasure listening to her, guide her staff on the true meaning of caring and professionalism, providing support, guidance and aspirations to improve…”

 

Dr. Mohd A. Ibrahim, Senior Consultant Psychiatrist from the same hospital highlights the fine qualities of Theresa in a well-written certificate of appreciation. “…It is suffice to say you can hardly get the four pillars of professionalism, i.e., outstanding attitude, high level of discipline, unlimited knowledge and skills accumulating in one person. I can say proudly and confidently Ms. Theresa has been  that person. Her  kind and responsible  approach towards her staff, patients and their families has been always exemplary and an example for others to emulate. Her competence, leadership, clinical nursing abilities and qualities are unquestionable…”

 

 

 

Theresa had an opportunity to migrate either to the United States or Canada where she had offers to serve in reputed hospitals. She had even cleared International English Language Testing System conducted by  the British Council. Moreover, Theresa had also signed  the documents for immigration to Canada. However, the wise counsel of her husband Lawrence prevented Theresa from immigrating to Canada. Theresa says that she had applied for the job in Canada just to find her ability to fulfill the  tough selection process and she was happy that she had proved her competence in a  highly professional field.

 

While dedicating herself to professional career, Theresa neither neglected her family responsibilities nor shirked church or social obligations. She has been a loving mother to her daughters and caring wife to Lawrence. Besides,  while in Doha Theresa had been an active member in Family Ministry in the parish as the Counseling  Coordinator.

 

Theresa had  been an active member of Bellevision Doha-Qatar since its inception. She was the president of Bellevision Doha-Qatar from 2009 till her voluntary retirement from service in March 2012. During this period, Theresa organized celebration of various feasts such as Christmas, parish feast  and Easter as well as picnics and get-togethers.

 


Theresa’s family: Loreta, Lawrence, Theresa and Linda

 

Among the two daughters of Theresa and Lawrence, Loreta is married to Sunil Serrao. They have been blessed with two sons-Lionel and Sheldon. Younger daughter Linda is married to Kenet Coelho. Both these daughters and their families are presently in Doha-Qatar.

 

After a long period of service in Doha-Qatar, even before completing the age of superannuation, both Theresa and Lawrence decided to come back to their native village-Belle where they have a beautiful house.

 

 

 

Having come back to Belle, Theresa felt that she can be of some service to the community, given a vast knowledge and experience in nursing, psychiatry and counseling that she had gained while serving in Doha-Qatar. On the recommendation of Rev. Fr. Joswey Fernandes, Correspondent of St. Lawrence Educational Institutions of Moodubelle,  the Catholic Board of Education(CBE)  has appointed Theresa D’Almeida as one of the members of the Managing Committee of St. Lawrence College, Moodubelle. Besides, she has also been appointed as the official Counselor to the students of the college. So far she has given three motivational lectures to the college students in order to instill in them confidence and motivate them to study and achieve success in the forthcoming examinations. She had also addressed the second year PUC students of St. Lawrence Composite PU College on the occasion of their  send off and gave them tips as to how to prepare for the examination and face it.

 


Theresa addressing St. Lawrence Degree College students

 

 


Theresa addressing St. Lawrence PU College students

 

Theresa D’Almeida is a soft-spoken person, down to earth and of helping nature. Having worked in psychiatry department in the  Hamad Medical Corporation and having served as a counselor she is well equipped to help persons who require counseling.

 

The long journey of Theresa D’Almeida from being a nurse to a psychiatrist and counselor has been quite amazing and inspiring. The hallmarks of her success can be attributed to her professional approach, serving the patients with a human touch, empathy, dedication and sincerity towards her work and a quest for additional knowledge in the field.

 

 

Comments on this Article
Ronald Sabi, Moodubelle Sat, January-18-2020, 2:33
We will miss her dearly. She was a wonderful person and always helpful to people from Belle. Her untimely demise has created a void in parish and her admirers. May the almighty give strength to her husband and daughters to withstand this huge loss. May she rest in peace.
Felix Alva, Udupi Sat, January-18-2020, 4:39
RIP
Philip Mudartha, Pamboor Sun, April-14-2013, 2:35
Theresa, I wish you all success in your endevaours. May your 60th birth anniversary today be filled with joy and contentment of a fulfilled life. You have been an inspiration, guide, philosopher and support, friend, mentor and many roles in my life of equal years. Thank you and God for being there.
Noel D Souza, Moodubelle/Banglore Sat, March-16-2013, 8:16
The article was very nice... Happy to say that great personality be our neighbour...
Canute and Christopher, Mumbai Thu, March-14-2013, 4:29
Congratulations Aunty for being assigned such an important role and for serving as a role model to us in our lives. Hope you continue touching many more lives in the future. May the Lord keep you in good health always. God Bless. :-)
Anitha Tellis, Doha - Mangalore Wed, March-13-2013, 9:02
Congratulations! Triza bai, Nice article. We appriciate your dedication and hard work in your prefession. Good luck to your future endeavours.
Francis J. Saldanha, Moodubelle / Bahrain Mon, March-11-2013, 9:07
The amazing journey of Theresa D'Almeida from clinical nursing to an accomplished counselor would inspire many more young women to walk in her steps published on BV on International Women's Day is really an awe-inspiring article and also an opportunity to appreciate the remarkable contribution not only by our own dear Thejju Bai but each and every women of our society and give respect to all the women who are the essence of our lives. From now on all Belleans will be the beneficiaries of Thejju Bai's extra ordinary talent, knowledge and expertise. God bless you and your family. Wish you good health and a very long fruitful life. Congratulations!
Fr Paul Sequeira, Moodubelle Mon, March-11-2013, 4:23
Dear Treesa,Congratulations to you for great achievements in the field of Nursing Councelling.I wish you fruitful retired life but also active.Alredy you started to guide the students which is appreciated.We Require a professional councellor in our parish as there innumerable problems specially with the women folk you can help them.I feel proud that we have an expert in our parish who is a rolemodel for our women.I wish you all the best. God bless you. Fr Paul Sequeira
Victor DSouza, Moodubelle / Doha Sun, March-10-2013, 1:48
Presenting the profile of Theresebai on International Women s Day was the right choice of Dr. Eugene and Bellevision.com which was well deserved. Her long journey of accomplishment is inspiring to anybody. Being closely associated with her in Bellevision Qatar activities for over a decade, she has amazed me with her leadership and motivation qualities. I take this opportunity to convey my best wishes to her and her wonderful family; Lawrence Bavoji, Loreta-Sunil- Lionel-Sheldon, Linda-Kenet.
Sunil Serrao, Mumbai Sun, March-10-2013, 7:18

Indeed it has been a great journey and cheers for all the good work done and may you have the best health to continue forward and touch many more lives.

Loretta Serrao, Doha - Qatar Sun, March-10-2013, 1:06
Congratulations MA...A truly well deserved article for Women\ s day as u have accomplished all the roles of a women successfully with lots of hardwork ,dedication discipline ...You are our role model...Feel very proud today to have been blessed with wonderful parents who are our light and strength. Love you both always.
Pramila Saldanha, Attur Sun, March-10-2013, 12:44
Congratulation aunty. We appriciate your intrest, knowledge and experence. Keep it up.
Ronald, Moodubelle/Dubai Sat, March-9-2013, 11:48
Congratulations Mrs Almeida. We are happy and proud to read your accomplishments. We are sure you will continue with your noble deeds towards welfare of our community. Wish you success in all your future endeavors.
junita, mumbai Sat, March-9-2013, 10:37
Congratulations aunty..you shine as always :)
Linda, Palimar / Doha Sat, March-9-2013, 4:31
Congratulations mom and here wishing you a Happy Women s Day. You have been our strength and inspiration all our life. Inspite being so busy, you had struck a perfect balance between your personal and professional life. Thanks to Lord for blessing us with parents like you and dad.
Kenet, Palimar / Doha Fri, March-8-2013, 2:38
Congratulations Mom and wish you a Happy Women s Day. We are all very proud of you and your achievements. You are a perfect role model to the present generation girls and we know that the Belle school is going to benefit with all your expertise. Love you Mom. God bless you.
Victor D almeida, Moodubelle/Bahrain Fri, March-8-2013, 1:36
Congratulation Mrs Theresa D almeida for your hard work by dedicating your life to the suffering patients. Thankyou for choosing our Moodubelle as your home for your retirement .May God Bless you and keep you in good health. .
Mable Martis, Doha Qatar Fri, March-8-2013, 10:39
Wishing you a day filled with goodness, warmth,good health and happiness today and forever. Happy Womens day. We are missing you here in Doha.
Ronald Sabi, Moodubelle Fri, March-8-2013, 4:32
This article is a perfect gift all Belleans on the International World Women s day! I remember meeting her on one of the initial BV gatherings in Doha held at her residence. She being included in the managing committee of St. Lawrence College, along with Dr. Eugene and Commodore Castalino, our college is now on the way of making a big name in the region. All the best to Theresa and thank you Dr. Eugene for higlighting such a great personality of our native.
Victor Castelino, Boliye/Dubai Fri, March-8-2013, 3:37
A thorough professional who had (and may I say still has) a craze for more knowledge so that she can use it towards the service of humanity. Only persons who have a big heart can donate blood on the spot when seeing the tears in the eyes of a patient or his/her parents. Thejju was a loving and caring person when she was just a student nurse and I am glad that she not only preserved that treasure but also improved on it. People of Belle will be the beneficiaries of her knowledge and expertise. God bless you Thejju. Wish you good health and a very long fruitful life.
Praveen castelino, Belle/Mangalore Fri, March-8-2013, 3:08
Congratulations TEJJU BAI.we pray that GOD may keep you and your family in good health.THANK YOU Dr.eugine for your nice article.
FR.DENIS CASTELINO, VIANNEY HOME Fri, March-8-2013, 2:22

Dear Thejju,you have made all of us at Devaragudde happy.Alli Bai and your Buggam should have been there to celebrate"A good tree bears only good fruits" GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR FAMILY Fr Denis Castelino

Melwyn Castelino and family., Boleye/Mumbai Fri, March-8-2013, 1:59
Congratullations Tejju bai.Fitting atricle on international Women s day by Ijju baab. May God bless you and family.Wish you all the best , good health ,peaceful retired life in Belle.
Alwyn, Bangalore Thu, March-7-2013, 11:12
Awesome aunt !!! may god bless u n ur family :-) :-) :-)
Alphonse Mendonsa, Pangla/Abu Dhabi Thu, March-7-2013, 10:12
A great article on this Special Women s day by Dr. Eugene. thanks for introducing Therea, not only a nurse, but mother, social worker, great human, dedicated to patients good health. She is an example to all nurses of our region. Good she came back to Belle to serve the needy of her parish. Wishing her all the best and further success.
Benedict Noronha, Udupi Thu, March-7-2013, 9:41
Congratullations Mrs Almeida. it is a great pride to us for you have erarned an excellent place in the profession. May God bless you and assist you in your New role. We want more such persons like you,in the present day tense world .
Tina Castelino, Mumbai/Qatar/Canada Thu, March-7-2013, 9:35
The article reflects a very inspiring personality who made it with lots of hard work, dedication and commitment and is so very apt on International Woman s Day. We pray that the Lord may continue to keep you Theresabai and family in good health and guide you in all your future endeavours!!
Philip Mudartha, Qatar Thu, March-7-2013, 2:08
am glad to know you pursue value based retirement. Love
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