TO FIGHT QUACKERY, NURSING LEADERS NEED A CORDIAL RELATIONSHIP WITH THE POLICE – ASP OGUNBAMERU.
ASP Ogunbameru Oluwafemi Oluwatosin is a practising nurse currently working with the Nigeria Police Force , Ekiti- State command , where he serves as the HOD Nursing services. In this interview with Fellow Nurses Africa, he disclosed what could be done to put an end to quackery in Nursing amongst other issues, enjoy…
FNA: firstly, let me congratulate you on your promotion to the rank of assistant superintendent of police ( ASP ), how does that make you feel sir?
ASP: Thank you so much, I appreciate. I am also grateful to God for the new rank, I feel great and happy because my dream(s) in the NPF is coming to fruition gradually.
FNA: Can you please tell us about your journey into the Nigeria Police Force as a registered nurse?
ASP : I finished my Bnsc Nursing at the University of Maiduguri, a federal University in Borno State, Nigeria. Nursing has been my dream profession, though I don’t want the regular form of nursing practice (Bedside ). I wanted something more challenging so Immediately after my service year ,I went into private practice and I was lucky I got Police Hospital Akure. Eventually when the form to join the NPF came out, my boss informed me and told me to obtain the form , so I did and thereafter, I was shortlisted, wrote exams, went through series of screenings at the preliminary stage. Thereafter, I went for a six months training at the Police Staff College, Jos and the rest is a history today.
I also have interest in Intensive care nursing /A and E Nursing and I’m currently working towards pursuing a career in Clinical Psychology.
FNA: This is so beautiful.
Nurses are known to be empathetic, compassionate, friendly and caring,do you still possess these qualities as a Nigerian Police officer?
ASP : I am naturally inclined to all these qualities, hence, my choice of nursing as a Carreer in the first place. Nursing to me is more of passion than profession,
I identify with my patients and have found myself crying severally seeing them in helpless situations, I observe that my patients are attached to me and always want me to attend them. Through these acts, I’ve mentored quite a lot of persons into nursing many of who are my patients.
So my being a police officer has absolutely nothing to do with changing all these innate qualities.
FNA : Are you saying you still possess these qualities even as a police officer?
ASP : Yes, most definitely!
FNA: Recently there was a young guy Johnson Kolade that was killed by SARS leading to the current #EndSars campaign. what would you say to this brutality and unfriendly attitudes of the Nigerian Police?
ASP : It was a pathetic situation and I’m grateful NPF has taken appropriate steps in the right direction. There is currently a revolution in the NPF intiated by the new IG to curb situations like this so I can boldly tell you that an end is coming to all these soon.
FNA: Tell us about the structure /opportunities for Nurses in the Nigerian Police Force.
ASP : There are two entry modes into the NPF for nurses. The first is the Inspectorate rank for Diploma nurses (RN) and the second is Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) which is a higher rank for graduate nurses then afterwards movement from one rank to another is possible after certain number of years.
FNA: Did you enter into the Inspectorate rank even as a graduate nurse Judging by your recent promotion?
I started as ASP 11 (1 ⭐) unconfirmed.
FNA: I don’t get you sir, Nursing starts on Inspectorate and ASP 11 respectively, what is the entry rank for Doctors , pharmacists lab scientists and others?
ASP: Well, my set as an example, we were 11 that entered the NPF at a time and we are the first set of graduate Nurses. We were placed on GL 8 which is 1 🌟 while Doctors entered as SP (Eagle ) almost 4 ranks ahead of nurses and pharmacists 3 🌟 ( 3 ranks ahead of nurses). That’s what is operating at the moment.
FNA: How can you describe the Nigerian Nursing Profession?
ASP: Nursing in Nigeria is quite better than the way it used to be but still have a very long way to go compared to how other health care professionals manage their associations/innovations to suite the members of their Professions.
FNA: Quackery and impersonation is a criminal act in the Nigerian constitution, however auxiliaries Nurses are all over the Nigerian hospitals impersonating Nurses and killing innocent Nigerians. Why is NPF not doing anything about this criminal act?
ASP: NMCN, NANNM and other associations attached to nursing should be blamed for this, not NPF.
There’s no how you can practice or own a big pharmaceutical store in Nigeria today if you don’t have a licensed pharmacist working with you and the association will keep coming to check whether the license is up to date or not.
Till today, most nurses are working even at the government hospitals with expired licenses.
Many hospitals today owned by doctors don’t employ Nurses because they don’t want to pay them. What they do is to employ quacks, train them to suit whatsoever they are doing so that they will be paying them peanuts.
Nurses too are not helping the matter, you see nursing association visiting hospitals to arrest quacks all alone without going with a police officer, on getting to the place, they will just look down on them and leave in shame. There’s need for Nurses to have a cordial relationship with the Nigerian police, yes, they will pass a circular, you can involve the nurses in NPF they know how to go about this thing.
By the time you get to a hospital training quacks with police officers with you to make the arrest and push them to appropriate quaters nobody will want to try that nonsense anymore. It will be more of an effective thing if you’re involving the Nigerian police force. Not that you will just go all alone. Till today, I’m sure NMCN and NANNM doesn’t know the total number of nurses they have in the Nigerian Police force, should it be like that?
Even in the military, Do they know the number of Nurses they have? There should be an avenue where NMCN will Make a tour and visit these people and bond with them.
Pharmacy council visits their members, NMA visits their members, why is NANNM/NMCN different?
When they don’t know you, there’s no how they can work for you. It is not about police arresting quacks, No, it is not their duty, We have Police nurses who they need to pre-inform so that the whole work of arrest will be easier and more effective. You should carry them along and make them work for you.
FNA: Sighs, thank you for that sir.
What is your future aspiration?
ASP : Well I want to be a force to be reckon with in this profession and to challenge the status quo of nursing especially in this country and most importantly, to get
to the peak of my career.
Thank you for that beautiful one sir.
What would be your advice to the Nigerian Nurses seeking a career path in the Nigerian Police Force?
ASP: Application is very fair
So whenever such opportunity arises don’t hesitate to grab it , together we can change the face of nursing in NPF and this country at large.
FNA: If you have the power to change anything in the Nigerian Nursing profession and the Nigerian Police Force today what would that be?
ASP: Thank you for this very wonderful question, quickly to answer your question, number one thing is that I will eradicate schools of nursing or I will make it college of nursing where degree could be awarded. Doing that it’s going to give us a good look amidst other health professionals. one of the problem we still have today is that we have diploma and degree nurses.
Our home is not in order. You know they say charity begins at home. We have RNs/fighting degree Nurses. I remember one time when I was working in a particular place and something like this happened but thank God I was able to bring the situation under control because I know my onions.
I don’t know of other but for me, I know my onions. So, eradicate schools of nursing and make degree the minimum qualification for Nurses, that’s the first step.
Secondly, the Nigerian police force, the mode of entry of Nurses is what I will be working to upgrade Because the point of entry will definitely affect how far we go in the NPF. let’s say for example, I was given DSP as an entry point, this means in a number of years, I’m already a big person in the NPF. This is the reason you find it difficult to see nurses in any of this big positions in the NPF. you know initially we are not doing internship, so there’s no how we can just come up and say we want a bigger position in the NPF, you find it difficult to see Nurses becoming AIG Medical. For years now, AIG medical has always been for the medical doctors, I think pharmacist was lucky to have it once in the history of the Nigerian police Force. Now I just became ASP, 2 stars when every other persons we entered NPF at the same time are already ahead of me. doctors already SP, pharmacist, DSP even though we started the program together, we want to the same training the same year.
So in all, Nurses entry point is another thing I would be working to address if I have the power.
FNA: Thanks so much sir for taking time out of your busy schedule to attend to us tonight.
ASP: you’re most welcomed, thanks for inviting me.