The quality of the Nursing profession has been stepped upon, the values of Nursing has been put into questioning, I won’t forget those days when we were applying to study Nursing science, the joy was indeed enormous and when we got admitted into the university to study Nursing, friends could ask you what course are you studying? You would say it without hesitation, Nursing science; Relations would ask you what course are you studying? You would say it proudly, I am studying Nursing science, these are all because of the prestige, the values, the reputation, and respect that is attached to anyone that is either going to study Nursing or who is already a Nurse.
The society carried Nurses with high esteem, parents also respected and valued their wards who were nurses or were in the university studying Nursing. Your friends would also respect and carry you differently because it was believed that Nurses had a strong code of conduct and were of good behaviour.
But what now has been the future of this great and noble profession called Nursing? In Nigeria; We now see cases where patient relatives physically abuse Nurses, the society no longer value nurses that spent so many years in school just to be educated, licensed and be able o serve them with humility. Doctors now physically abuse Nurses and even Nursing Students who they ought to work together with as team to ensure the full recovery of patients. Just as it happened recently at Delta State University Teaching Hospital where a doctor physically pushed a Nursing Student out of the ward and slammed the door against his leg leading to bruises and pain and deprived the nurse of his clinical posting. The said Nursing Student has not been the only victim of this abuse but this doctor following her derogatory behavior has also abused some other nurses.
Is this the foundation that was established by the founding mothers and fathers of Nursing?
Let us then ask ourselves these questions, is this what we want as Nurses? Is this what we get after spending 4-5 years of training just to serve humanity? We ought to be source of hopes to ailing ones and also the foundation for building a healthy world.
Let us not forget that we are built on integrity and discipline, an integrity that ought to transcends to all generations. How then do we bring back our integrity and make the society see our values? It is high time we carried out community education to make the society see our values, to enlighten them about who we are and also for them to hold us as an answer to their health questions.
It is high time we used informational picketing to reach out to authorities and make them to see the challenges Nurses are going through and dialogue with them on the way forward.
It is no longer a new thing in Nigeria where we see individuals being trained and employed (auxiliary nurses) by doctors just to let them render cheap services, thereby tarnishing the image of our noble and great profession, Nursing. Let us all come together and educate the public that there are people who are specially ordained for the profession, people that undergo training in a period of years in a recognized institution and then registered and licensed, and not just any individual who is trained for I week by a doctor or another unrecognized individual.
Let us also not fold our hands and watch these people tarnish the image of our profession.
Migrating to other countries is not the best solution to our problem, let us not forget that if these countries in which we migrate to were not wise enough to build their profession to a high standard and make it nice, wonderful and respected among other professions, then we cannot run there to practice.
So let everyone, fully licensed and recognized as a Nurse, be a gatekeeper and do as expected of him or her professionally, coming together with one mind, with one spirit and with one goal to lift and take Nursing to higher places.
Isikadi Precious is a Nurse and a writer from Delta State University, Department of Nursing, he is a contributor at dailyhealthng. He writes health content for patient education and he is one person who has interest in advocating for nurses.