There are Good Nurses

I came across a comment by a gentleman insulting nurses and name calling us because he went to a hospital and had a bad reception. Well, I wonder who he met at that front desk and the uniform they were wearing but let me not bring the skeleton out of the wardrobe prematurely. Time without number have cleaners, hospital orderlies and other auxiliaries done wrong things to people that have been pinned on nurses. Now in every society there are bad nuts. Everywhere even among doctors, lawyers, teachers, policemen, but it doesn’t defeat the fact that it’s not the whole flock. Let us give ourselves some credit. Just last year 2015, nurses were posted to everywhere and anywhere in Ghana, all a part of the better Ghana agenda. Places that people would lobby out even for national service which is only a year was where they were permanently posted to. Yes they grumbled, got angry but like soldiers left to their post. No family, no parents, no friends and language barrier. New environment, new food, new languages, new people. They left everything behind and went yet you call us disrespectful, heartless and rude? Do you think they teach us how to recieve slaps by mentally ill patients or a step to step guide how to react wen a patient spits on you intentionally or unintentionally? When a patient urinate on your Monday morning freshly pressed uniform or apron or vomits on your new shoes? Well I guess people are friendly when they walk in public and other people spit out and it falls on them. They are really welcoming and can vouch to say oohh he wasn’t feeling well or that something got stuck in his throat and he or she didn’t mean it? Yes even under training in good homes and good schools parents complain of that one bad Mensah or Mansah who they can’t tell where he or she came from. But wud they brand all their kids as evil? Back to the few nurses people are not praising.
Nurses who stayed home for close to 8 months and finally got posted anywhere in Ghana outside their homes are at post. They are mocked at by natives, laughed at for not understanding their language and struggling to explain procedures to patients. Were they also taught different Ghanaian languages and how to eat different Ghanaian foods in the nursing training schools? They have suffered diarrhea for foods and water they have never tasted in their entire lives. They have worked with less resources and logistics like gloves, syringes, face mask and many more and squeezed money to rent places of accommodation because the so called nurses bungalows are being inhabited by towns people for free who are relatives of *I know manager* When they fall sick they can’t travel back home for mum’s pepper soup or dad’s pampering or a lover’s warm hug. They are holding up for people they had no idea they would ever meet. People who can’t even afford to come to the health facility talk of paying for their bills. People who can’t even afford a health insurance card yet can’t wait to get paracetamol for free to cure anything happening to them. This morning in a health facility that closes during the weekends a nurse is all dressed up for church. She gets to the bus station where a bus to the main town is boarding passengers. Mind you this bus on a Sunday is the only bus loading till whatever time the next bus comes from the busy town back to where she resides. An elderly woman is rushed to the facility in labor. She is called from the bus since she is a well noted face at the only health facility in the town and in her church dress and nice shoes she opens up the facility doors, dons a pair of gloves and assist this woman who has the baby already out. She aids the woman with the help of other ladies around to bring out the placenta, make sure the baby is fine and gives them a referral to a bigger clinic for continuous care. A nurse somewhere is working extra hours consulting and dispensing drugs on a 24 hour shift at a health facility that has no doctor or medical assistant because they would never come if posted there. This is aside his or her nursing duties as and when it comes. Nurses somewhere just put their money together to buy breakfast for accident patients who do not even understand the language they are speaking to talk of telling you if they have any money on them to foot their bills. A midwife somewhere is taking the risk of sitting behind a motorcycle for the first time without a helmet to support and send a woman in labor to a big facility to be attended to. Besides poor roads and risk of injury she does not fully know if it is even a robbery set up. Just to think the worst. A nurse had to suffer from nose bleeding after a mentally ill patient got aggressive during a hallucination episode and beat her up. Do you think the hurting nurse got up and beat her up? She was too hurt to think of revenge. Do you know the number of times nurses have held up their urine not to have a kegel exercise ; that would even excite their husbands but to stand on their feet for hours assisting in the theatre? What about needle prick incidences? Do you hear us making noise with such stories yet you go about calling us names because of a few bad nuts? Yes the bad nuts are there in the hospitals and everywhere, give us some credit. You come and dump relatives in the hospital at end stage, chronic or terminal stages and never come back till they are dead. Wounds that you can’t stand you bring to us and when you even visit you have an air refresher with you yet you are quick to call us names? How many of you truly care for your sick relatives half like we do? Most of you can’t even stand them and can’t wait to hear the doctor say he or she is being admitted. Time without number have we heard exclamations like ” at least we would have some peace for a while” Time without number have nurses used up their personal call credit to call relatives and inform them about a drug that is needed or a new treatment that it has taken months to get back to them. If you really did even a quarter of what nurses do your relatives may not be in our care in the first place. Out patient departments would just be full because people who are coming for their routine check ups. Yet you want us to embrace the humans you have kept us rags with bare hands? In my few years of work I realized patients are usually cooperative and nice compared to the relatives that bring them in. They are very appreciative and kind even with the little things you do for them such as just a simple smile or an explanation to a question. But the talkative, criticizing relatives are fault finders, always looking for a loophole even when they see improvement in the patient. Like I said early on, if society has demons you don’t expect them to be just in the hades of that society, they would be everywhere and the hospital is no exception if even the church has its demons.

Congratulations to all the nurses doing a great job wherever they are. May the angels of the society find you. Continue to give that smile, that encouragement, that help and love. To the Mensahs and Mansahs please get your game together. Better a repented sinner than a fallen Saint. Florence nightingale is an under description of what you do now. God bless all nurses, keep up the good work, brighten the corner where you are and forget your critics. For God and for country.