Today’s Nursing Profession Lacks One Major Ingredient – Care

Dr Margaret Wekem Kukeba, Tutor at Bolgatanga BNTC

Dr Margaret Wekem Kukeba, a Tutor at the Bolgatanga Nurses Training College (BNTC) has bemoaned the attitude of nurses and midwives in the country towards patient care which was a cardinal ingredient in the profession.

She said “care,” which was a fundamental guiding principle in the nursing profession was missing, “there is no professionalism in nursing these days. The core concepts and specialised knowledge that qualifies nursing to be called a profession is care.”

According to her, the ‘care’ ingredient was lacking, and there was generally bad attitude exhibited by some nurses across the country.

Dr Kukebe expressed this concern in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Bolgatanga after facilitating a day’s workshop organised by the Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association (GRNMA) in the region.

The workshop, which was on the theme: “Developing professional behaviour in nursing and midwifery practice,” formed part of activities to mark this year’s International Nurses Day celebration in the region.

Asked what should be done right to change the situation, Dr Kukebe said there was the need for facility and institutional managers to provide strategies such as proper nursing facilities for training nurses, the human resource for training the nurses, and indicated that the proliferation of nursing institutions all over the country clearly showed that there was no strategy in place for training and practice.

She said “elsewhere, they use very critical procedures to recruit nurses because this is about life, these are people who are going to watch over patients in our hospitals and communities, and if they are not properly trained, on strategy on how to recruit and train, then there is no professionalism and anybody at all can become a nurse.”

Dr Kukebe re-called that top officials of the profession in the region pre-empted the current situation some time ago, and indicated to policy makers that “if they did not stop the strategy they were using to train nurses, it was going to cost the nation a lot, and now it is costing us.”

She said per the criteria for setting up health training institutions and even for supervision and monitoring, about 70 to 80 per cent of health training institutions do not qualify, because “they do not have the requisite facilities and human resource to train and this is part of the problem.”

She said politicians were using nurses for votes, and emphasized that “you cannot use your health service, labour force as a strategy to get votes, it is absolutely wrong.”

In admonishing the current generation of nurses, the Tutor said “if you do not want to be a nurse, the earlier you leave, the better. I know of nurses who have killed their own relatives because they just did not know what they were doing, and that is because they did not pay attention to the work.”

“If you find yourself in the profession and you want to stay, put your axes together and read, learn and re-examine yourself and develop the attitude that will give you that upper urge to be able deal with clients.”

Speaking to the GNA after the workshop, Mrs Justina Ayorobila Gockah, a Senior Nursing Officer and participant at the workshop, described the presentation as very good, and said the concerns raised by the facilitator were not far-fetched in most facilities.

Mr Abdul-Rauf Kolbugri, another participant, said there were lots of lapses exhibited by some of their colleagues in the profession, “what the facilitator said is true, if you look at the way some of us behave, it is not actually the best, we need to sit up to redeem our image as nurses.”

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