Nurse, the doctor said my sister has about three test to run. Why Una never withdraw blood from her since morning"?
"Please madam, it's not the duty of a Nurse to run a laboratory investigation for any patient, therefore a Nurse can't withdraw blood from any patient for that purpose as well. My duty is to notify the Laboratory department about a pending Lab request. And I have done that since morning and I have even sent the casual staff working with me to go remind them about the test. We are still waiting. Don't worry they will come".
This was a conversation between a Nurse and a patient relative who feels that it's the responsibility of a Nurse to withdraw blood from a patient and send it to the Lab for investigation.
Perhaps as a Nurse, you must have encountered similar experience in the clinical area. I have. And most Nurses have been insulted and assaulted because of this kind of scenario, and other negligence of other health care professionals.
In Nigeria health care setting, the public expects a Nurse to know and do the Job of a Medical doctor, a Pharmacist, Lab Scientist, physiotherapist and even a dietician. You must know everything and do everything.
You have to be Jack of all trade and master of all, else you will be tagged an incompetent Nurse.
The more troublesome part is that, with all these high expectations, services Nurses are rendering and the troubles they face, the Nurse is least appreciated both by the public and by employers of Nurses.
In the public service, Nurses are the least paid health care professionals.
When you go to government owned hospitals where accommodations are made available to the workers by the government, in most cases, Nurses are forced to share one flat with their colleagues, whilst other members of health care team are left to enjoy luxuries.
In most hospitals also, doctors call duty rooms are completely furnished and equipped with different kinds of electronic gadgets, whilst Nurses changing room which serves as everything for them are left to become a displeasing sight.
A Nurse who run an 8hours or 12hours shift in a theatre is expected to respond to calls for emergency surgeries during his/her off time. And at the end, no one will pay him/her a call duty allowance.
We suffer every kind of abuse on daily basis in the hands of abusive patients and patient relatives.
The truth is, these ill-treatments may make you to look right, left and centre at a point in your career as a Nurse and you will feel like optioning out or changing a career. And in most cases, you will even ask yourself, with all these troubles and humiliations, what's exactly is my reward?
My dear Nurse, Your reward is a clean conscience filled with priceless peace.
Perhaps you must have noticed, when you lose a patient under your care, the first question that comes to your mind is, What didn't I do right?
What could I have done to prolong the life of this patient?
And immediately, a voice will say to you; hey Relax, You did everything right and there's absolutely nothing you could have done to prolong his/her life. You're a great Nurse.
That deep but a silent voice is your clean conscience filled with priceless peace.
That's where the joy and strength of every good Nurse lies; being rewarded with a clean conscience filled with peace because (S)he did everything right. If you have never received this priceless reward in the course of your practice as a Nurse, I urge you to reexamine what you practiced or practicing.
Be a good Nurse Regardless. Continue to enjoy this priceless reward.
God bless Nurses.
God bless Nursing Profession.