The Nurses Week theme this year as set by the ICN, “NURSES; A VOICE TO LEAD, HEALTH FOR ALL,” points who we are and our efforts to make a change and better the lives of our patients and those around us.
Its a great concept, and it states clearly what we should be doing and how we should take the lead in taking care of those beside and around us including ourselves. But sadly we in Nigeria are lagging behind other nations in this.
Yes, we should celebrate our nurses’ continued commitment, day after day, to making people’s lives better. Sometimes, going above and beyond the norm, Nurses across the country are literally running for their lives and the lives of their patient, on fumes.
In all this, you still return to work, most times with a smile across your faces and spend your shifts taking care of a multitude of patients, some appreciative for what you do, others not so much.
Its not much, but thank you.
Its nothing new to say that majority of Nurses across the country are being paid peanuts and are not appreciated across various facilities and health centers. A few days ago a Dr. Ajaab felt it was ok to denigrate and accuse nurses on twitter as being "Baby Stealers" and the comments following his post which was widely shared across various platforms clearly shows that the most members of the public have a poor perception of who and what Nurses and Midwives do. It was a matter of time before he also posted a message on twitter apologising for his previous post.
Not to mention the damage the proliferation of Quacks have done to the profession.
I think Nurses Week is important, not so much for the public who, judging by most of their coments across social media, already think a bit poorly of us as we try to change such perceptions, but it helps also as a good reminder for nurses’ employers to think about the value nurses bring to the table and their facilities.
I think Nurses Week is especially important as a time for us to pause and reflect on the incredible work nurses do irrespective of all this and how integral the nursing profession is to society. We’re often the first face most people see when they seek health care; in hospitals, we’re a 24/7 presence and the final guard against errors. In the community and schools, we’re there too, offering our knowledge and working to improve lives.
Its not enough to post "happy nurses week" on twitter, facebook and other social media platforms, Nurses should also try to get out on various Media platforms like TV and Radio Stations to talk about the profession and try to correct a lot of misconceptions going around. Move out, speak out, blow your own horns, do not wait for anyone to do that for you, in essence, celebrate yourselves.
You all are truly worth it.
I would also like to say to each and everyone of you, thank you for your hard work and dedication not only this week, but every week of the year. We recognize your passion, dedication, and continuous commitment to your patients and to improving healthcare.
Remember as the theme says: A VOICE TO LEAD, HEALTH FOR ALL, Health for All means that health is brought into reach of everyone in a given country not just the availability of health services, but a complete state of physical and mental health that enables a person to lead a socially and economically productive life and you dear nurses the voice to do all this and lead others to it.
And to all employers and facilities, remember, treat your nurses right not just today but every day! Dont forget to give them a pat in the back or a hug for a job well done!
To you my dear colleagues, hope you have a good week and always celebrate your work.
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