What's the name of that nurse that died of Ebola again?
You looked away, squeezed your face a bit trying to remember, you know the translation means "going something something" right?.
No one knows her. She’s down by the roadside.
Who remembers her name, her face or her actions? Does she have her profile celebrated as part of the team of first responders who handled the case zero of the ebola outbreak in Nigeria?
The answer is: "Only her loved ones and a few colleagues remember her name".
Her name was Justina Ejelonu and she was one of the "Good Nigerian Nurses"
Why does the title bear the words "The Good Nigerian Nurse" you might ask? This writer would do you one better and ask "At this point in time in the Nigerian Health Sector, is it the best time to be a good Nurse, especially those of us working in the private sector"?.
Are we ready to handle a Hubei Province type of outbreak in the country?
The simple and honest answer is "NO"
Would we do our very best to curtail its spread and care for our patients, both those we would definitely loose and those that would survive?
Then the answer is "YES"
Nurses and Midwives across the world are the first point of contact across the world and not just in Nigeria, and we need to get these simple and basic point to our heads:
1. The Provision of PPEs especially facemask and sanitizers should top our discussion in our various facilities.
2. Do not expose yourself if they aren't provided at your facility. If required PPEs are not provided, its your right to decline to provide care.
3. Do not Improvise (yes, we love doing this but now is not the time). Yes we are often encouraged to improvise but once again please stop. A patient needs CPR, but there’s no pocket mask or an AMBU bag available, perform “Hands Only CPR”, this is taught in “basic life support”.
This isn't time for MDs and your facility to maximize profit, request for what you need to perform your job optimally and effectively.
4. Be a part of the decision making team, advice for drills to be carried out in our various facilities to keep everybody alert especially those who usually have first contact.
5. Its the purview of your facility not you to provide all needed essentials for you to provide basic and needed care. Asking the patients to step out and buy sanitizers, tissues, gloves to use for their care is quite nauseating. When you do all this, why on earth would you still be expecting respect from them?
6. And finally, get more acquainted with your Nurses bill of right.
Between yesterday and today this writer was opportuned to speak to colleagues on both sides of the aisle and the conclusion was "not really, we might work things out maybe".
One, a doctor said and I quote: "These people don’t know what’s up, they are busy consoling and hyping themselves that its only 3 confirmed cases (UPDATE: NCDC ANNOUNCED 5 NEW CONFIRMED CASES) and still making mouth about how we stopped Ebola. The truth is we were really lucky. If this thing (CORONAVIRUS) really breaks out in the country we are in trouble..."
Another a Nurse posted the following: "I'm a first born. In the African culture, I'm like the money of the family, I have responsibilities at home and abroad, I'm married, no children yet but then I cant love patients more than I should love my family. At this point, I have to stay alive for me, my family, and friends. No heroic roles.
If no PPE, then no work. If I have pim, like a cough, I'll wear mask and everything wearable before coming near you. No Time To Play Around".
This write up is not in any way meant to discourage anyone, but to remind you that your safety also matters. REMEMBER, THE ROLE OF NURSING WAS NOT CREATED TO SUFFER FOR PATIENTS, IT WAS CREATED TO CARE FOR THEM. DON’T LET YOUR HOSPITAL PLAY MIND GAMES WITH YOU.
If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete.
And do not forget these steps below;
STEPS FOR DONNING PPE’s:
. Hand hygiene
. Protective eye wear
STEPS FOR DOFFING PPE’s:
. Remove gloves
. Remove Gown
. Hand Hygiene
. Remove protective eyewear
. Remove Mask
. Hand hygiene
So the question goes remains; Is now a good time to be a "Good Nurse"?. The answer really is YES BUT IF YOUR FACILITY IS PROPERLY EQUIPPED TO HANDLE ALL SCENERIORS. If the answer to this statement is NO then your answer should be "I'd be a good Nurse to my family and loved ones".
Wash your hands with lots of soap and water, use a hand gel if available, Stay Safe.
My prayers goes out to all healthcare workers in the front line especially Emergency Nurses, God be with us all.
Nursingworld Nigeria Contributor
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