PERCEPTION OR TRUTH? A PATIENT’S ANALYSIS OF THE NURSING PROFESSION [Article]

“People see what they want to see and what people want to see never has anything to do with the truth.” ~Roberto Bolaño.
Ghana is one of the countries South of the Sahara with a lot of young people striving to enter Nursing as a profession. To some this is as a result of the unavailable job opportunities in other sectors in the wake of a freeze on public sector employment, to others, because nursing as a profession pays well. This is to suggest that many people go into the nursing profession as a sure bet of securing a ready employment after school or simply so they can also make money. Rather on the contrary, with my personal experience in recent times, I believe there are many who are in this profession for the love and passion to save lives and restore health.

Dorcia Kisseih wrote; “The care of the sick had been the prerogative of the elderly female members of the community before the advent of the professional nurse. Their skill was not acquired in any school of nursing but through long years of housekeeping and child-bearing and practical experience gained in the care of former sick relatives.” (Kisseih 1968). It is however fascinating to find both young men and women, boldly and courageously assisting medical officers in the various health care centers attending to the sick.

The contemporary young nurse, has been perceived to be dispassionate about this noble profession. Some are described as being faint-hearted and thus lack the fortitude and courage required for this vocation. Others claim they are less tolerant and usually unable to withstand pressure from their very patients and do not take into account the intricacies of the terms of service. To this end, some perceive that, the inherent motivation for which they still keep to their jobs is the renumeration and job security.

With the advent of smart devices such as androids and the i-range of products by Apple, the widely held notion is that, young nurses have been using a chunk of their working hours on their cell phones, surfing through the internet or exchanging messages on WhatsApp and other social media platforms instead of attending to patients. Until my recent experience, I would have continued with this long-held perception about young nurses.

My encounter with young nurses at the Medical Block B of the University of Ghana Hospital proved to be different. The nurses there are simply special.

I have used several health facilities in the country, among which include, The Sunyani Regional Hospital, Sunyani Municipal Hospital, Kintampo District Hospital, Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital and several others, public and private.

After a successful surgical procedure, I was detained at the hospital to aid the recuperating process. For some reasons I did not get a place at the surgical ward, but for my status as a student of the University of Ghana, I was given a bed at the Medical Block B Room one, bed number three to be precise. Before the porter aiding me got there, the bed had already been prepare even within a short notice. The nurse at post was Miss Mabel, one of the afternoon nurses. Sincerely, there were a few anomalies, but with the help of the supervisor, Miss Emma and some of the nurses around, it was resolved. I happen to share room one with a senior citizen who also happens to be a chief and latter, join by a private medical practitioner and a colleague student from the same University who were also on medical detention. We were really taken care of by the nurses. They will change over on time, help us with the medication, explain why that medicine, take our vitals, ensure we take our meals, prepare water for our ‘sitz bath’ and dress our wounds accordingly. At some point I thought it was preferential treatment, but learned it was the norm and not an exception. Some of these nurse when less busy will spend time talking to us and assuring us we will be well in no time. When you think you’re worrying them, they respond it is our responsibility. With the over two weeks I spent there, I really felt loved and cared for, this is what motivated me to do this write-up so the society get to know that, there are some good nurses out there.

Before I conclude, I believe some of these nurses worth mentioning. Miss Emma Ghartey, Mrs Gertrude Arkutu Tetteh, Mr Denis Adjei, Miss Magdalene Kuwornu, You are great supervisors. Nana Ama Odum, Miss Beryl O. Asamoah, Miss Abigail Obeng Gyasi, Miss Pearl Ayertey, Miss Deborah et al, your coming early in the morning to take care of us was great. Miss Diana Ocran and Miss Esther Akosua Appiah, thank you for making time to feed me. Miss Elizabeth Pomaa and Miss Cornelia K. Apaah, you sacrifice your sleep at night to ensure the patients are well catered for. Miss Sophia Affram Adjaye, nursing is really your career, pursue it. And finally, Miss Mabel Osei-Sarfo, you are indeed passionate about your vocation. Your patients are always your priority.

In conclusion, some of these nurses must be recognized to boost their morale just as others in society like our hardworking teachers, farmers etc. The government through the health ministry and the Nurses and Midwifery Council, and all stakeholders should Institute an award system to reward some of these hard working nurses. Also, the hospital administration should continuously improve the working condition of these nurses to motivate them to give off their best. Your health is your wealth. Nursing is indeed, a noble profession!

By: Yaw Mainoo Yeboah
President, National Union Of Ghana Students 
Greater Accra Regional Bloc



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