Whilst some nurses in the country have been complaining about difficult working conditions in various facilities around Nigeria with factors like Stress. Staff shortages. Exhaustion. Less Pay, Quacks amongst others, you have to wonder if factors such as this might also be affecting the perceptions of those who would have wanted to join the profession.
Stories about so called "Nurses" whom are in reality "Quacks" have been kind of sensationalized in the media for a long time, where horror stories from those working within the system published on almost monthly basis.
But has that bad press made it less attractive for someone to even want to study the profession?
“Nurses have long been undervalued and misunderstood, especially on TV, where they play secondary characters who are not actively engaged in patients’ recoveries or mostly there as supporting characters to be sent on errands or call the doctor when its time for their scene or viewed as promiscuous and easy to sleep with".
Recently the Lagos State Government was accused of starting a program for the training of nursing assistants by the LSETF. This brought about strong condemnation from "most" Nigerian Nurses calling this actiona a way of bastardising the nursing profession since it was not an institution mandated to do so.
Following this the National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives, Lagos State Council, reiterated its commitment to finding a lasting solution to quackery in the health sector with the state chairman Awojide saying the NMCN was the only statutory legal body charged with the performance of specific functions on behalf of the government in order to ensure the delivery of safe and effective health care to the public through quality education and best practices.
“We cannot continue to take with levity, the activities of quacks in nursing and midwifery because it is affecting the profession. Quackery underrates the profession because it makes people to erroneously think that it is an all-comers affair and polluting the demand for qualified nurses." said Awojide
We have to acknowledge the fact that intending nursing students might have heard comments suggesting the image of the profession suggests people only remember what they see or hear from the media.
A registered Nurse this writer once spoke to concerning this had this to say: “In some places in terms of schools of nursing or deartments of nursing there is still something extraordinary just the same for some students and that is a desire to want to be involved and to provide care, and to save someones life.”
She also said. “But we have to accept the fact that not all those in the nursing profession feel they were called to it, some feel it is the next best option when theres no other way to get an admission into school or were driven into it by their parents or family members. Sometimes they might grow to love the profession but other times though they undertake their day to day activities theres still that grudge of not being here by choice.”
Is Bad Press Reducing Interest In A Nursing Career In Nigeria you might ask, my answer would have to be "YES". At the moment, the first theory that comes to mind is the fact there are a lot messages spread in the media that seem to paint Nurses in negative light, that nurses are nothing more than aides with nothing else to offer to the medical field except give injections and fight for the leadership of the healthcare team.
But Nurses Are More Than This And The Media Should Celebrate The Countries Nurses When and Where Due
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