-International Nursing Day: Nurses seek better public perception of profession

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LAGOS –  As Nigeria marks the International Nurses Day, some nurses on Monday criticised the attitude of the public toward nurses as being inferior to doctors in the health sector.

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They said the public’s perception about the nursing profession was not encouraging the nurses to discharge their responsibilities in healthcare delivery well.

Mrs Taiwo Adetayo, the Zonal Chief Nursing Officer, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi- Araba, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that patients looked down on nurses.

“Without nurses in the health sector, there is nothing. We are the ones that are closest to the patient.

“But Nigerians believe that the doctor is all in all, which is not supposed to be.

“We are close to the patients and we will listen to their complaints, taking care of them.

“A doctor will not come now and give bed bath to a patient, doctor will not come now and carry bed pan or urinal, and they won’t touch it

“Their own is to prescribe and see that that prescription order is being carried out.

“So, we are the ones that are very close to the patients and we are the ones carrying out the major job concerning patient care.”

Adetayo said that people were often rude to nurses and disregarding their instructions unless it came from a doctor.

The chief nursing officer added that the attitude was improper to the training of nurses who unlike doctors were involved in the day-to-day part of a patient’s recovery.

She explained that nursing could not be done by everyone because it required passion, otherwise patients would suffer needlessly.

“I’m proud to be a nurse; the job satisfaction should be there.

“If you are into a profession and you don’t have job satisfaction, I don’t see any reason why you will love doing it.

“But there are some people that believe it is a calling, where even there is job satisfaction or not, because souls are supposed to be taken care of.

“And you must put in all your effort to make sure that that person receives healing.”

In her own contribution, Mrs Grace Fakiye, Chief Nursing Officer, Clinical Teaching Unit, LUTH told NAN that the job of a nurse had grown in recent years.

She said that nursing had a scientific aspect that exceeded the act of merely following instructions by doctors.

“Nurses give systematic care to their patients, they look at the patient in totality and see what they can do or say to drive that person towards wellness,” she said.

May 12 is the International Nurses Day which coincides with the anniversary of the birth of the pioneer nurse, Florence Nightingale.

The theme for this year’s celebration is “Nurses: A Force for Change – A Vital Resource for Health.”(NAN)


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