I’m a Nigerian Nurse who is very active and informed in the activities of my Profession. And I must tell you, I’m not pleased with the millions and one problems our dear profession has faced and is still facing.
Nurses across Nigeria are almost being treated like second class citizens, especially in public service. Among all the sufferings of civil servants, that of Nurses are the most pronounced and ridiculing.
From the area of poor remuneration to poor placement of salary grade levels, down to complete denial of promotion and complete refusal replacement of retired Nurses in civil service,including the plague that’s eating up all the glory of Nursing profession and destroying every foundation and fabrics of our dear profession….Quackery (Auxiliary Nurses).
In my own State (Rivers State), we have over 93 young Nurses who graduated from the State School of Nursing and were absorbed into the State civil service between the year 2014 and 2015. And these Nurses were posted to various hospitals and health centers, where they have since been discharging their duties as staff Nurses, but as I write, these Nurses have been denied their salaries since the day of their absorption till date.
These Nurses has made several efforts such as writing numerous letters, radio announcements, newspaper publications, and even staging a protest to the State house of assembly. But all efforts ran into futility.
In Rivers State also, between the year 2015 and year 2017, over 270 Nurses retired from the State civil service and more will be retiring this year. And there was no single replacement that was done between the aforementioned years to replace this retired Nurses. Yet we have Nurses who graduated from the State School of Nursing between this period of years, roaming the streets of Port Harcourt in search of a job with their civil service Staff ID cards, who were supposed to be absorbed into the service in order to close up this gap that has resulted to artificial and complete close down of some hospitals within the state as result of poor or no manpower.
And when you hear the humiliations and embarrassments Nurses are facing at the National level and across other states, you will be left with no other option than to be befuddled.
Presently, Nurses Interns are being humiliated in almost all the teaching hospitals with the refusal of the management of the hospitals to fully implement the establishment circular of the Nursing Internship. Intern Nurses are being placed on CONHESS 07 instead of CONHESS 08 just like their counterparts in Pharmacy, Physiotherapy, Med Lab, Dental Therapy, Dental technology etc.
Just few days ago, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, made public an advert dated and titled,
INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL ADVERTISEMENT
UPTH/CS&T/240/VOL.1/25, calling for qualified candidates to apply for the position of Intern Pharmacists, Intern Med Lab, Intern Physiotherapy, Intern Dental Therapist, Intern Dental technologist and Intern Optometry.
Nursing which is the engine house of the health sector was no where to be found in that advert. Isn’t that ridiculous?
Some days back, the management of Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital, while handing over promotion letters to some members of her staff, without missing words categorized Nurses as SUB PROFESSIONALS alongside non professionals such as Med Lab Technicians and other health care assistants.
The implication of this arrant nonsense is that, Nursing and Nurses won’t be allowed to function as a profession and professionals without the input and supervision of a profession assumed to be superior. This will serve as dead end for Nursing if nothing is done to address that issue.
The issue of Task Sharing and Task Shifting is no longer a news. This is a program geared towards taking some responsibilities of Nurses from Nurses and either shared them between Nurses and Community Health Extension Workers (CHEWS) or completely shift them to the CHEWS. If I may ask, if the CHEWS are allowed to work fully in the Wards and Units and take over the responsibility of Nurses, what then is the need for Nurses in Nigeria?
In Nigeria now, people are being trained and issued certificates in private hospitals and on social medias such as WhatsApp and Facebook groups to practice as Nurses.
These sets of people are the reason why our Nurses cannot get jobs in private hospitals and those who gets are being paid unimaginable poor salaries. Because those running this hospitals preferred to hire these white clothed killers with N10,000 and N20,000 rather than engage a Registered Nurse with a good pay.
Few months ago, the owner of OPM church Televised the Nurses he trained in his free education program that doesn’t know the common function of Amniotic fluid. These people were trained and issued certificate by the owner of OPM church to go into the society to kill innocent Nigerians and desecrate the Nursing profession the more, and till today, no justice was done to that professional embarrassment.
I can go on and on and on to mention the challenges facing Nursing and Nurses in Nigeria, but I don’t think it’s necessary because I know every Registered Nurse is fully aware of these challenges.
Therefore, I will focus more on mentioning few things done by some Nurses to solve some of these problems and what should be done to end or reduce these challenges facing Nursing to the Lowest minimum.
Credits: Nwaorgu Anayochi, RN