Don’t reduce nursing care to vital signs and medications – Nursing Officer

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Mr Cletus Apaliyine Adongo, a Senior Nursing Officer (SNO) at the Sandema Hospital in Builsa North Municipality of the Upper East Region has advised nurses not to reduce the nursing profession to just assessment of vital signs and serving medicines to patients.

Mr Adongo urged nurses and midwives to also concentrate on other critical aspects of nursing procedures that include bed bath, mouth, hair and feet care and should be taken seriously especially in the care of bedridden and unconscious patients on the wards.

He said even though vital signs, which comprised temperature check , Blood Pressure, pulse, respiration, and weight, formed basis for patients care, some nurses neglected other critical aspects of the profession.

“If you observe carefully, some of us have reduced the nursing profession to checking vital signs and serving medications “. Mr Adongo, who is Head of the Emergency Unit of the Hospital said when he addressed the nurses at the maiden meeting of the Unit for 2023.

“Let’s bath our unconscious patients, let’s care for their hair and feet. It is not a punishment to anybody, but it is the basic nursing that we were taught. So let’s not wait for 10am, 2pm to check vital signs and 10pm to serve medications,” the SNO insisted.

Mr Adongo urged the nurses and midwives to perform the basic nursing procedures on patients and added that it was not only the medications that would help patients recover,

“Imagine someone with a psychological problem, what will medication do?” he stated

The meeting was intended to welcome newly reshuffled staff of the hospital to the services Unit, and to offer them opportunity to strategize on improving quality emergency care in spite numerous challenges the unit faced.

He entreated the nurses and midwives in the hospital, especially staff of the Emergency Unit to treat patients as they wished to be treated if they found themselves in the same situation, “Let’s treat our patients with care, compassion, competence, courage and communicate clearly with them..”

The Office of the Deputy Director of Nursing Services (DDNS) in the facility, annually reshuffled staff within the facility to enable them acquire experiences in the various Units which adds up to the quality of service delivery in the hospital.

Ms Zenabu Zimi, Acting DDNS of the hospital, admonished nurses, and midwives in the facility to endeavour to renew their Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) and Axillary Identification Numbers (AINs) with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) of Ghana for the year 2023.

She said those who practiced with invalid PINs and AINs were doing that illegally and warned that they could be prosecuted for practicing with invalid PINs and AINs.

Ms Zimi emphasised the importance of appraisals and emphasised that staff appraisal documents were not meant to be filled for only promotion interviews alone. “When staff are appraised, it helps us to identify weakness and the training needs of staff in a Unit.

“It is also for research purposes. If problems are identified among staff within a Unit, it helps in the conduct of a study to improve on performance and service delivery. So let’s not wait and fill appraisal forms during promotion interviews,” she advised.

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