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* News / FETHA CMD Denies Allegation of Financial Impropriety by katty: July 30, 2018, 08:29:09 PM
THE Chief Medical Director of the Federal Teaching Hospital Abakaliki (FETHA), Dr Emeka Ogah has called on the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) and all media organizations in the country to regulate the activities of its staff and members while sanctioning erring ones who take delight in tarnishing people’s images with their reports.

Dr Ogah told newsmen at the hospital while reacting to the allegation of salary padding from an online media outfit.

Ogah maintained that the hospital’s staff’s, do not receive salaries directly from the hospital but receive payment like other Federal Government owned establishments whose salaries are paid through the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).

“Contrary to allegations by the online outfit, the hospital does not give or collect staff salaries since IPPIS commenced as it, therefore, behoves that since we do not pay staff salaries for several years, the issue of salary padding should not be mentioned.”

He noted that the hospital has a well-constituted, incorruptible board of management and cannot be accused of having two persons who turn it into their private establishment and turn its funds into their private pockets.

“We abide with the FG’s anti-corruption crusade and the application of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) as I am still living alongside other doctors including junior workers, in a flat I have been occupying since working as a doctor at the hospital.

He also added that despite the fact that he was the hospital’s CMD and in his fourth year in office; has attracted several health-enhancing facilities and interventions, to the hospital.

“The facilities include: the Lassa Fever Diagnostic Centre built and equipped by the Ebonyi government and donated to the Federal Ministry of Health, the donation of Lassa fever consumables including incinerators from the Doctors Without Borders, the free medical outreach by the T.Y Danjuma foundations, among others.

He rued the fact the online publication declined several invitations by the hospital’s management to visit it and verify its claims, to ensure that it gets all facts for his report.

“The writer claimed that he does not know where Abakaliki is located and we gave him direction on how to locate the town from Lagos, his supposed base.
* News / NCDC confirms six new Lassa fever cases, three deaths in Edo, Ondo by katty: July 30, 2018, 08:23:20 PM
Despite efforts by the Federal Government through the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and its international partners, among whom is the World Health Organisation (WHO), Lassa fever outbreak has persisted in the country with six cases and three deaths reported last week in Edo and Ondo states.

The latest figures from NCDC on 2018 Lassa fever outbreak in Nigeria in the reporting Week 29 (July 16-22, 2018) showed that the outbreak has been contained from 21 states to just two states of Edo and Ondo.

A breakdown of the figures showed that 17 states have exited the active phase of the outbreak while Edo, Ondo, Plateau and Taraba remain active.The report from NCDC noted: “Six new confirmed cases were reported from Edo (five) and Ondo (one), with three new deaths from Edo (two) and Ondo (one) states.

“From January 1 to July 22, 2018, a total of 2,238 suspected cases have been reported from 21 states. Of these, 467 were confirmed positive, 10 are probable, 1761 negative (not a case). Since the onset of the 2018 outbreak, there have been 120 deaths in confirmed cases and 10 in probable cases. Case fatality rate in confirmed cases is 25.7 per cent.

“Twenty-one states have recorded at least one confirmed case across 71 local councils (Edo, Ondo, Bauchi, Nasarawa, Ebonyi, Anambra, Benue, Kogi, Imo, Plateau, Lagos, Taraba, Delta, Osun, Rivers, FCT, Gombe, Ekiti, Kaduna, Abia and Adamawa).Chief Executive Officer (CEO)/National Co-ordinator of NCDC, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, who spoke with The Guardian yesterday, said Lassa fever could not be eradicated from Nigeria with the available options but only with a vaccine, which is not on offer.

He said: “Lassa is in our environment. There is no magic bullet. Lassa is endemic in Nigeria. As long as there is no vaccine and rats live with us, we will continue to have cases. We are working hard at getting a vaccine and containing the virus. We will continue with public health education and behaviour change.“It can but when we have a vaccine, not with the tools we have at the moment.”

Meanwhile, according to the latest NCDC report, in the reporting week 29, no new healthcare worker was infected, but 39 health care workers have been affected since the onset of the outbreak in seven states – Ebonyi (16), Edo (14), Ondo (four), Kogi (two), Nasarawa (one), Taraba (one) and Abia (one) with 10 deaths in Ebonyi (six), Kogi (one), Abia (one), Ondo (one) and Edo (one).

The latest figures from the NCDC showed that 81 per cent of all confirmed cases are from Edo (42 per cent), Ondo (24 per cent) and Ebonyi (15 per cent) states; and that four patients are currently being managed at Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital (ISTH) treatment centre and two at the Federal Medical Centre Owo treatment centre.

Besides, the NCDC noted that 6,251 contacts have been identified from 21 states, and of these, 337 (5.4 per cent) are currently being followed up, 5,816 (93.0 per cent) have completed 21 days follow-up while 10 (0.2 per cent) were lost during follow-up. Eighty-eight (1.4 per cent) symptomatic contacts have been identified, of which 30 (34 per cent) have tested positive from five states (Edo – 14, Ondo – eight, Ebonyi -three, Kogi – three, Bauchi – one and Adamawa – one).
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* Research / Video Recordings Reveal Causes of Communication Failures Between Nurses, Doctors by katty: July 30, 2018, 07:58:43 PM
Communication breakdown among nurses and doctors is one of the primary reasons for patient care mistakes in the hospital.

In a small pilot study, University of Michigan researchers learned about potential causes of these communication failures by recording interactions among nurses and doctors, and then having them watch and critique the footage together.

Several themes emerged to help explain the poor communication, and both nurses and physicians improved their communication styles, said Milisa Manojlovich, U-M professor of nursing, who defines communication as reaching a shared understanding.

One barrier to good communication is that the hospital hierarchy puts nurses at a power disadvantage, and many are afraid to speak the truth to doctors, Manojlovich said.

The recordings showed that nurses didn't directly request what they wanted or express their needs. They communicated indirectly, which confused physicians, who often ignored the nurses' requests and moved on to the next agenda item rather than ask for clarification.

The study also found that because doctors and nurses approach patient care from vastly different angles, achieving understanding isn't easy.

Manojlovich said one interaction in particular really showcased the different approaches to patient care. A patient with mouth pain, caused by a fungal infection called thrush, couldn't swallow the pills she needed to get better. The physician wanted to prescribe more medication to treat the thrush, but the nurse--who knew the patient well--wanted to treat the patient with strong painkillers, as well.

"The physician realized that the pain was inhibiting the treatment, and treating the pain, as well as the condition, would solve the problem," Manojlovich said.

Finally, the recordings showed that in good communication, the body language of both parties mimicked the other. In strained relationships, body language wasn't in sync.

Manojlovich and her team followed physicians and nurses at the U-M Health System. Then, nurses and physicians watched and commented on the clips separately, and those comments were incorporated into the video. Finally, both parties watched the clip together.

"The only way you can become aware of your habits is by watching yourself," Manojlovich said.

Overall, the interactions were positive in the sense that there wasn't any contention, but there was room for improvement.

"One physician said, 'I didn't give the nurse a chance to answer,' and this physician had a habit of doing that and recognized it," Manojlovich said. "She was one of the champions of the study."

Next, Manojlovich hopes to record a larger group and use the videos as training tools to improve communication.

* News / Registered Nurse Elected President of the Norwegian Parliament by katty: July 29, 2018, 11:39:50 PM
She is only the second woman to hold the position which is the second highest position in Norway!

Tone Wilhelmsen Trøen, a 52-year-old nurse has been elected President of the Norwegian Parliament can confirm.

Trøen most recently has served as the Conservative Party’s spokesperson on health care issues and she has been leading the parliament’s committee in charge of family and cultural issues.She becomes only the second woman to lead Parliament in its history and was elected Thursday morning by a vote of 152 in favour and two abstentions.

“A united parliamentary delegation thinks Tone Wilhelmsen Trøen is well-suited to become the new president,” said Trond Helleland, leader of the Conservatives’ delegation in Parliament. “She has, in her committee work, shown herself to be a unifying and constructive politician. She can contribute towards strengthening confidence in Parliament.”

* News / Federal Medical Centre Yola Loses Nurse Al-Mustafa Muhammad Inuwa in Ghana by katty: July 29, 2018, 11:05:01 PM
We received a shocking news of the death of Al-Mustafa Muhammad Inuwa a staff with the Nursing Services Department of the Federal Medical Centre, FMC Yola Adamawa, Nigeria

Al-Mustafa died in the morning at about eight o'clock today in Accra Ghana where he was sent for training on intensive care after a brief illness.
Until his death, Al-Mustafa was the Vice Ameer Islamic Medical Association of Nigeria IMAN Federal Medical Centre, Yola in addition to being the deputy Imam of the Jumuat mosque of the health facility.

Al-Mustafa hailed  from Tilden Fulani in Bauchi State. He is survived by parents, a pregnant wife and three female children  May his gentle soul to Jannatulfirdaus rest in perfect peace. May Allah SWT gave the family he has left behind, the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.

Adamu H Ismail
* News / Terrorist Raid School of Midwifery in Afghanistan by katty: July 29, 2018, 10:41:52 PM
A team of jihadists raided a school for midwives in Jalalabad, Afghanistan yesterday. The terrorists were finally subdued after several hours by security personnel, who took great care to limit civilian casualties.

The Islamic State’s Amaq News Agency issued a statement claiming responsibility for the attack earlier today. Amaq’s account says the terrorists were inghimasis, or well-trained guerrilla fighters who immerse themselves in battle before blowing themselves up, and that their target was the “headquarters of the United States Agency for International Development” (USAID) in the city of Jalalabad.

Amaq states that the attack began when an explosive device was detonated at the gate in front of the building, leading to a gun battle between the assailants and the building’s guards, who were reinforced by other Afghan security forces.

Amaq claims that 33 people from the Afghan security forces and workers were killed, while 15 others were wounded. However, this claimed casualty toll is far higher than that offered in various media accounts, which say that two to three people were killed.

The Islamic State followed up Amaq’s report with another statement on the assault, repeating the same casualty figure.

The Taliban, which is more concerned with how its violence is perceived, quickly denied any responsibility for the raid. The official Twitter account for Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid issued a short disavowal hours before Amaq’s message was posted online.

Local officials cited in the Afghan press described the scene. “Suicide attackers entered the building. They martyred the guard at first and then a driver was martyred,” Nangarhar police chief Brigadier General Sanaee Stanikzai explained, according to TOLOnews. “We rescued at least 62 people from the attack scene.”

The US has led a focused counterterrorism mission to dislodge the Islamic State from its territory in eastern Afghanistan, but the group retains a significant operational network in the area. Civilian facilities, such as the school for midwives, are also easy targets that do not require sophisticated planning.

As of early 2016, the Islamic State’s Wilayah Khorasan (or Khorasan “province”) maintained a safe haven of approximately nine districts in Nangarhar. By the end of 2016, according to the US military, this had been reduced to just three districts. It is not clear how much ground Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s loyalists control in Nangarhar today, but they regularly launch attacks in the province.

The US has continued to hunt Wilayah Khorasan’s leaders and members, dropping a GBU-43 Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb, or MOAB (better known as the “Mother of all Bombs”), on an Islamic State tunnel complex in the Achin district of Nangarhar in Apr. 2017.

In addition to attacking the Afghan government and civilians, Wilayah Khorasan has also battled its Taliban rivala  in Nangarhar for years. Some of the clashes have taken place in the Tora Bora Mountains, which were once home to Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda.

In recent weeks, the Islamic State’s men have targeted the Taliban in Nangarhar, as well as in the northern Jowzjan province. Amaq claimed additional Taliban casualties yesterday in Jowzjan, saying that 25 Taliban members were killed or wounded in a clash.
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* News / India: Hospitals Hire School Dropoutd,Train Them as Nurses To Cut Costs by katty: July 29, 2018, 10:35:35 PM
"Anyone who has passed their Class 10 board exams is hired by private hospitals, who give them six-month training to become a ‘practical nurse’."

Nurses have always been in the front line of healthcare. Yet, we have heard of them being exploited, with employers forcing them to work long hours and multiple shifts, and paying them a pittance.
Hospitals in the city are trying to cut corners by employing poorly-paid, unregistered nurses.

They hire people who have passed their Class 10 board exams and train them for around six months. These students are then deemed ‘practical nurses’, or ‘nurse or health assistant’ and do nursing duties at these private establishments. Their training pales in comparison to that given to registered nurses, whose graduation alone takes two to three years.

This practice started after the Supreme Court ordered that registered nurses have to be paid a minimum of `20,000 per month. Private hospitals claim that they cannot afford to pay this salary, and therefore, hire locals who will stay on for longer and can be hired for `4,000-5,000 per month.

Dr Sudha Raddi, principal of KLE Nursing Institute and Medical College, says that the hospital trains 25 ‘practical nurses’ every year. “At least 70 per cent of the nursing staff in the city are unregistered,” she says. Hospitals hire them to save money, she says. “An unregistered nurse with 16 years of experience is paid `16,000,” says Sudha. These nurses also stick around longer since they cannot move abroad without being registered. Whereas, registered nurses stay at a hospital only for two years before moving abroad for better prospects, she says.

Girijamba Devi P, secretary of Trained Nurses Association of India (TNAI), says that hiring of unregistered nurses is unfortunate because it compromises the safety of the patient. “Nurses have no job security anyway, because they are hired as contract employees,” she asks. Girijamba has been a registered nurse for 25 years, and she says that working conditions have not improved till date.

“I had a student who was earning `6,000 per month, and after taxes, she was getting `5,000 in hand. But after her basic expenses, she was left with `1,000 in hand. Even a house maid earns more than this,” says Girijamba.

Shreya Kumar (name changed), a ‘health assistant’ at a top hospital in Bengaluru, was hired two years ago. This job helps her support her family, which is going through a financial crisis. “Even the little I earn goes a long way, and eventually, I may be able to become a registered nurse,” she says. Her colleague Priya Nair also faces a similar situation. However, she plans on shifting to a nursing home because the salary there is better, at `7,000.

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* News / Where Are The Nurses In The HIV Response? by katty: July 29, 2018, 05:51:25 PM
Since the beginning of the HIV epidemic, nurses have been at the forefront of the response to this once fatal infection. The nurse is involved at every stage of the trajectory of a person living with HIV—from usually being the first to counsel the newly diagnosed person, to one of the last to be with him/her at the point of death.

This significant, albeit less recognized, role played by nurses across the world in the care, support, and treatment of people living with HIV (PLHIV) was the key theme of an important event hosted by the US based Association of Nurses in AIDS Care (ANAC) at the recently concluded 22nd International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2018) in Amsterdam, Netherlands.


Nurses have always been the front and centre of public health crises. In the most recent outbreak of Ebola during May 2018 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the first health professional to die of the infection was a nurse. At the beginning of the HIV epidemic, nurses provided the bulk of in-hospital care during the difficult pre-ART phases, and though there are no recorded incidents of nurses catching HIV in the workplace, there is an associated toll. Nurses can often be stigmatized because of their place of work, and/or work alone in rural clinics with little support and the expectation that they provide all the required care. Nurses also provide point of care HIV tests, support people following a TB test, counsel pregnant young women following a positive HIV diagnosis, and give immediate information about treatment and lifestyle. Indeed, according to Carole Treston, Executive Director of ANAC, nurses are in a prime position to be champions of human rights, “stigma busters and discrimination fighters.”


Yet nurses are usually absent from policy-making, and even the International AIDS Society has never had a nurse on its board. Nurses do seek influence, not through hubris but rather a desire to shape policy impacting directly on the lives of people affected by HIV. This is something they have in common with civil society organisations, a cohort that since the beginning of the HIV epidemic has become, and rightly so, increasingly vocal and influential. But where are the nurses?

Often, they are simply too busy working at the ground. Then again, in some areas of Africa and South America, for example, nurses are routinely rotated around specialties, working as HIV nurses for only a limited period of time and with little opportunity for career progression in the field. There is also the question of gender, with female nurses less likely to progress in countries where gender inequality is endemic and with hierarchical health systems dominated by male doctors. This is perhaps the reason ANAC and other HIV nursing associations find it difficult to reach out and connect with nurses in eastern Europe and central Asia, where nurses are relatively disempowered compared to the west. Nurses here are unlikely to reach the levels of autonomy required for policy-making involvement and networking.


The aforesaid event considered a range of options for nurses to be more influential in the HIV response. Shaun Watson, currently chair of the UK’s national HIV nursing association, shared details with CNS (Citizen News Service of the U=U campaign to which an increasing numbers of nursing groups are signing up to, such as NHIVNA (UK), the European HIV Nursing Network, and the Dutch HIV Nursing Association. For Shaun Watson, “As the people who diagnose HIV, start treatment, monitor adherence, listen to and manage concerns over symptoms and side effects, it will be nurses at the forefront of the U=U campaign. The evidence is clear that the risk of sexually passing on HIV when virally suppressed and engaged in care is zero. This is an important message to get across not only to HIV nurses but to every other nurse.”

Given the dominance of nurses in HIV care, speaking the truth to those in power must be within their remit. Nurses should not be afraid to raise their voices and be heard against the background of an ever-increasing dominance of medicalisation and reliance on data gathering in the HIV response. For Susan Strasser, Senior Implementation Director of ICAP’s global portfolio of public health programmes at Columbia University, the epidemic control of HIV will “only be achieved on the backs and in the hands of nurses.”

By Dr Ian Hodgson, CNS (Citizen News Service)
* News / Nigerian Male Nurses, Student Nurses Relive Stereotype Encounter with Patients by katty: July 29, 2018, 07:24:12 AM
Decked in a sparkling lab coat, Nurudeen Ajani recalled with sadness the event that led him into nursing. He noted that it was a day he hated to recollect, adding that he thought his world had collapsed when the incident occurred.

Ajani, who intermittently dabbed the tears that had formed a ring below his brows, said, “When my mother was to give birth to the third child, she was rushed to the nearest hospital in the neighbourhood. She was in labour pains and needed an urgent medical attention. That was why she was rushed to the nearest hospital.”

He stated that he eventually lost his mother in the process because the medical services she got were below standard.

“If she was attended to by professionals, she might have survived. That was when I decided that I was going to be a nurse,” said Ajani, a 300 level student of the College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Idi-Araba, as tears welled up in his eyes.

Ajani further said he chose nursing over medicine because nurses usually gave the real care to patients.

He added, “I wanted to do something different. Medicine is often believed to be for men while nursing is for women. I wanted to change the trend and that made me choose nursing. They are the ones who administer treatments and have more contact with patients. I chose the course because of my love to serve humanity.”

The student nurse explained that it had been lovely studying among females, stating that sometimes it could be frustrating.

We’ve had our share of stereotypes —Male nurses

Stereotype most times, leading to discrimination, is common for male nursing students. Some student and practising nurses have undoubtedly suffered from it.

Ajani told SUNDAY PUNCH that it had been a bittersweet experience for him though he was optimistic that he would do well as a nurse because it was a career he passionately chose.

He stated, “Some of the challenges I have faced are discouraging comments from people.  Someone once told me that I am studying a course that will later turn me into an errand boy in the hospital when I start practising.  Another person told me that I can’t take decisions on my own even as a professional because I have to wait for doctors before taking any step. Such comments are usually demeaning, but I look beyond all and face my profession squarely.”

Another student, Chinedu Uwandu, who is a year-three nursing student, told our correspondent that he had experienced several cases of stereotyping that made him feel bad. He said however that he had become used to them.

Uwandu stated, “In our early days in the university, especially in 100 level, we always had people say very funny things to us. They make jest of us and all that but now, I think people have come to accept that we now have male nursing students and it is not a profession peculiar to women. Since we were moved to the College of Medicine, all that has stopped.”

For Ayokunnumi Dada, who is a 400-level nursing student, it is the belief of some people outside the department that all the male nursing students, are imbued with same physical strength as females. The nursing student noted that the belief was so rampant that they tended to exclude them from physical inter-departmental activities.

He said, “It was very tough for us as male nursing students in the beginning especially when we were in the main campus. Students from other departments look at our department as ladies’ department. When there are activities at departmental levels where they need men to be involved, we are often sidelined especially because of our number.

“Also, they believe we are like girls and won’t have strength like men. Whenever there are activities involving physical strength, they don’t bother inviting us for such activities.’’

Quoting Dottie Roberts, a nursing instructor at the South University, Columbia, on a health website, Diversity,  he faulted the way males in nursing were referred to as ‘male nurses.’

Roberts contended that since a woman in the profession wasn’t referred to as a ‘female nurse’, using the term ‘male nurse’ implied that the professional was being differentiated from others in the field.

On his part, a nursing student at the Lagos State University College of Medicine, Olawale Badewa, told SUNDAY PUNCH that he had experienced embarrassing moments many times. He said one of the experiences that stuck with him like a leech on its host was the day he was embarrassed by a library attendant.

Badewa told our correspondent, “It was during my 100 level days. The attendant asked me to go back because I looked like a woman in my library card. The attendant was even saying that my course was feminine. I exerted all my energy that day trying to prove that I was a male before I was allowed to use the library. It was really an embarrassing day for me.”

Combating stereotypes, misconceptions

Uwandu told SUNDAY PUNCH that he developed a likeness for the profession because of his mother who is a retired nurse. He explained that as a child, seeing his mother on her uniform and the way she attended to patients cemented his decision to end up as a nurse.

He said, “Also, I like the idea of a male nurse. I like to stand out and that was one of the reasons why I chose nursing. I just love the profession and that is why everything that tends to discourage me has been unable to do so.”

Uwandu told our correspondent that one of the ways he fought stereotypes associated with his profession was by being serious and showing academic prowess.

“It takes a lot of seriousness for five of us to cope in a class of 44 students. Through our performances, we showed them that we are serious and in for a purpose,” recalls the nursing student with delight.

“Our female course mates have come to respect us for that. They don’t see us as being weak or unserious. In fact, most of the time, they prefer that we take decisions on their behalf.

“I don’t feel out of place although our female colleagues can be annoying sometimes. They listen to us more than their co-females. Sometimes when we don’t agree on some things; we try as much as possible to reach a compromise.”

He however noted that generally, their female colleagues were cooperating as they had become free with them and a source of encouragement.

Dada told SUNDAY PUNCH that he didn’t plan to study nursing but had to settle for it after he couldn’t meet up with the cut-off mark for medicine.

Saying he enjoyed the course now that he had seen what it was all about, he added, “It was initially interesting to me, but it’s something I was forced to love. I like the course for its soft side; I believe every course has its soft part. It is the feeling now.”

He stated that he overcame stereotypes in the profession by taking up leadership positions to prove that they were up to the task. According to him, many of his male mates hold one political office or another in the department.

Dada added, “For example, I am the president of the department while my friend is the spokesperson for the school’s student union. I made up my mind that I wouldn’t be looked down on. Although there are many women in the department, I refused to be in the shadow of anyone. I also took up the position of the course representative. The females prefer someone in authority to make the decision for them. I do that often.”

Badewa, who embraced nursing by chance like Dada, said he had come to love the course tremendously.

He also wanted to study medicine but since he was offered nursing as a ‘compensation’ course, he had no choice but to give it his all. “To me, nursing is the profession where I can really communicate with my patients while attending to them,” he stated.

Badewa said confidence had helped him to overcome stereotypes in a class of six males and 17 females. According to him, outside the class, confidence is one element he needs in order for people not to demean him.

He said, “If you like what you’re doing, you will be very confident in it because you know the worth. Most times, when people ask me about what I do? I am always very confident about saying it. I don’t give room for timidity at all.

“I tell them I am studying B.Sc Nursing Science. Whenever they hear that, they give me kudos. But for those who don’t know what it is all about, I do not hesitate to educate them.”

‘Patients mistake us for doctors’

Some of them are also conscious of what awaits them outside the medical college. Dada said though nursing was a lucrative profession, the public viewed it otherwise.

He said, “They see us as quacks and mostly as being in a female profession. I am currently doing my practice at a hospital and the patient will always refer to us as doctors. We often try to correct that notion that we are not doctors and the process of convincing them is often very difficult. In fact, we sometimes fight about it.

“It has a way of affecting our work productivity because it is tiring doing the work of a nurse and someone will be referring to me as a doctor. The person will do that because he or she believes that I should be a doctor and not a nurse because I am a man.”

He said such development could adversely affect them, adding that he might not be able to handle the pressure of practising the profession.

Dada said, “It is one task that I am trying to overcome. In fact, I consider studying medicine.’’

He stated that considering the economic implication of being a nurse, he sometimes wanted to have a rethink.

“Nurses are not often paid for the volume of job they do. They often try to do some side jobs to be able to meet up with financial demands and responsibilities, especially for married men.

“I already have the mentality that we cannot be well paid as male nurses to cater for our family needs; so, I have been looking for what job to do in order to augment things if eventually I practise,” Dada stated.

Also, Badewa also corroborated Dada’s claim that most patients mistook them for doctors.

He stressed that he was scared of practising in Nigeria because nurses were not valued like they were in other countries.

Badewa said, “Also, the private health care system doesn’t employ professional nurses to practise; instead, they employ auxiliary nurses who didn’t go through medical education or field practices.

A practising nurse, Quadri Yakub, said it was initially tough for him when he started working as a nurse. He stated, “Patients referred to me as a doctor. I and my colleagues spent the most part of our day trying to explain that we are nurses and a male can be a nurse.”

‘We are health professionals, not male nurses’

It is known that a large percentage of nurses are females and often, nursing is represented by a female icon which makes the stereotype stronger.

There is even a cheeky sticker for nurses, ‘Nurses are beautiful’, impressively denoting the practitioners as females.

A midwife, Sanni Michael, said he usually got a look and questions relating to why he is a nurse. He stated that over time, he was able to convince his interrogators that nurses were professional medical workers regardless of gender.

Sanni, who also practises as a nurse, told SUNDAY PUNCH, “Whenever I tell people that I am a male nurse, it is often very funny to them. But once I explain the whole idea to them, they are often cool about it.”

On how he attends to female patients especially, Sanni said he always made them feel the need for his services, stating that if anyone snubbed his help, he would take his leave as patients could not be forced to receive care.

Sanni added, “I make them see me as the person who can help them. During my training days, my clinical instructor helped a lot in the past. Whenever they became reluctant, she told them that if the male nurses could not handle it, no one else would. Even when they are reluctant at first, they have no choice but to allow the male nurse attend to them.”

According to him, the situation has helped boost his confidence to the extent that no patient can reject male nurses because the patient only has to decide if she wants medical care or not.

As a midwife, Sanni said labour-room experience was normal for him as a professional, stating that he often didn’t get emotional like his female colleagues.

He said, “I enter the labour room often and so far, there have been no negative reactions from the women. I am a professional and I make them see me from that point of view. We assure them that we are professionals; it is our duty to take care of them.

“Also, there is a notion that male nurses can be flirts. But I deal with a female patient the same way I will deal with a male patient; there is no room for any form of suspicion. We are all professionals and we make them see us as such.”

Yakub said some years after practising, female patients adapted to the idea of male nurses.

For Yakub, the moment he was able to make them realise that there were male nurses, most of his patients especially the females, became comfortable discussing private matters with him.

He said, “After our initial encounters, I discovered that once I win them over, they find it easy to confide in me. In fact, they prefer to talk to me even more than the female nurses. They feel more comfortable with me as a nurse.”

Yakub told SUNDAY PUNCH that he avoided body contact with female patients and ensured there was a female nurse around anytime he was speaking with any of them.

He also faulted claims that health workers were promiscuous, saying people were entitled to their opinion.

The nurse explained that the relationship with his female colleagues didn’t start on a good note at first, but it improved tremendously over time.

Also, Emeka Asagwara, who is a male nurse, said it was fascinating and challenging working as one.

He said, “It is fascinating in the sense that I am always referred to as a doctor by my patients. This is because they can’t imagine a man being a nurse even after I corrected them.”

Asagwara noted that the challenging aspect was from his senior colleagues who were mainly females and wanted him to do their bidding even to his detriment and inconvenience.

“Sometimes the ego thing comes to play at some point. But in the long run, I see patients’ wellness as the goal. I just let it pass,” he said.

Asagwara added that he sometimes found the reactions from female patients as upsetting, so he always avoided the female ward.

“While doing procedures that involve the perineum, I will have to explain what I want to do to them. But if the patient is comfortable with me doing it, I will proceed. But if not, I will just let her be. That does not mean that I am not a professional nurse. I am just respecting the patient’s privacy,” he said.

We avoid body contacts with male nurses –Female patients

A patient in one of the hospitals in Lagos, Esther Adetunji, told SUNDAY PUNCH  that she would only allow a male nurse unknown to her to have physical contact with her especially in cases where injections were to be administered.

She said, “I will do so because if he is someone I know and see often; whenever I see him, I’ll remember the episode. But if I don’t know him, I can be sure we might never meet again. Although I know it is his work but for me, anytime I see him, I’ll be wondering if he is thinking of the episode. Most of the time, whenever I visit the hospital, I usually allow female nurses to attend to me.”

Another patient, Genevieve Ovie, said she wouldn’t mind if a male nurse attended to her provided he had no emotional attachment to her.

She said, “I can allow a male nurse attend to me except if he happens to be someone that has in the past or present, had emotional attachment to me. But if there is an opportunity to choose, I will choose a female nurse. A male nurse has attended to me before but in the presence of a family member.”

Ovie stated that She had no problem with the nurse because She knew he was doing his job, saying She was aware that his qualification made him a nurse and not his gender.

A nurse is a nurse –Lecturer

A lecturer at the Department of Nursing, College of medicine, UNILAG, Mrs. Ogechi Abazie, told SUNDAY PUNCH that there was no difference between a male nurse and a female nurse except the gender.

According to her, all nurses go through the same process of becoming a nurse and they can all carry out procedures.

She said, “A nurse is a nurse. A male nurse is a nurse just like a female; no difference between the two.  Even in school, they are exposed to the same courses and we make them know they are in the right place and they really do well. They are equal in our eyes, no male or female nurses. They are all nurses.

“The major challenge in our society, especially in the North, is because of cultural and religious beliefs, they don’t usually want male nurses to touch their wives and the male also do not like a female nurse attending to them.”

She stated that the best way to tackle the situation was to continually educate the people that saving life was vital than the gender attending to one.

Obazie added, “The only way we can help people is to educate them on the importance of getting themselves treated first before thinking of the gender. Let the person available save you and give you the treatment that you need first. They need to know the importance of saving their life first. If it is an emergency or a person is rushed unconsciously to the hospital, you won’t know who attended to you until you are conscious.

“If it is a male gynaecologist, I don’t think they discriminate against them. I think it’s because people have a mindset that nurses are supposed to be females. This is why we need to continually educate them.”

Source :
* News / Meet a Registered Nurse Who Followed Her Dream to Become a Mechanic by katty: July 28, 2018, 07:03:29 PM
Callie Milne was 25 when she quit her career as a nurse and followed her dream.

The Newcastle resident always had a strong interest in cars and was 14 when she first thought about becoming a mechanic.

She bought her first car at 17, a 1978 TC Holden Gemini, and then bought a second Gemini a year later, this time a 1979 TD.

She learnt to drive in the latter and ever since has been working to restore it to its former glory.

Despite an almost decade-long passion for mechanics, Ms Milne began studying a Bachelor of Nursing at the University of Newcastle.

Lacking interest in the course, she struggled during her first-year of study.

The question she never asked herself

Ms Milne said it was never really an option for her to turn her passion for cars into a career.

"Coming to the end of Year 12 through school, everything was always 'uni, uni, go to university'," she said.

"I felt like I had to go to university to become something. I never really thought much of an apprenticeship."
She said the pressure to go to university made her consider engineering, but a lack of confidence in her ability stopped her from applying.

"I was just like, 'no, I can't do it, I'm going to struggle'."

She stuck with nursing and after re-taking the first year of the degree, she passed with distinctions all round.

Ms Milne said she convinced herself it was what she wanted to do, but after graduating and working as a registered nurse, it all fell apart.

After a bad day at work, she came home and broke down to her partner.

"It was the one question I never asked myself, and no one had ever asked me … he said, 'do you want to be a nurse'?" she said.

"It hit me. And I said no."

She began applying for heavy vehicle and diesel mechanic apprenticeships and secured a job with Transdev in Sydney.

'I felt at home'

In Australia, 1.4 per cent of motor mechanics are female, with 89.2 per cent of registered nurses being women.

Ms Milne said this played on her mind, but said she was more confident walking into the industry at 25 than she would have as an 18-year-old.

"Back then, there wasn't really much talk about women being within the [mechanical] industry, and I was so shy that I felt like I couldn't take that step into an unknown area where there aren't really many women."

Her fears were quashed on her first day in the workshop.

"I walked in, I caught up with my foreman and he gave me an induction.

"He said, 'right, see that bus over there, I need you to go do this.'

"He just threw me straight in it.

"I think it just made me feel like, 'hell, I can do this'.
"This is where I want to be and coming out of that first day, working beside tradesmen and learning and getting to be amongst it all, it just felt great.

"I felt at home."

She said, despite her fears, she had never been treated any differently by her co-workers because of her gender and was always given the opportunity to show off her abilities.

"They give me a shot at everything but it comes down to me being aware of my strength," she said.

"If I find I can't lift something or get that extra bit of torque in because my arms won't let me, my biceps don't have that muscle, I can just go to one of the tradesmen.

"I think it's the same with any other apprentice.

"Even when my partner was an apprentice, when he was 16, he couldn't lift tyres."

'Cradle to grave' change needed
Although Ms Milne followed her passion, the lack of role models around her contributed to her hesitance at a young age.

Workplace Gender Equality Agency director Libby Lyons said most people had never worked in a gender-balanced organisation or industry.

"In Australia today, I can tell you from our data, that six out of 10 Australians work in an industry or an occupation that's dominated by one gender or the other," she said.

"So we have these entrenched ideas about the sorts of work that women and men should do.
"It's about challenging those ideas and challenging the culture that we've grown up in, that actually entrenches those ideas in our mind."

Ms Lyons said it had to start from day one and everyone needed to be a part of the change.

"As parents, as grandparents, as aunts, as uncles, as brothers, as sisters, we have to start talking about women becoming mechanics, becoming train drivers," she said.

"We have to talk about men becoming nurses, men becoming child carers, men becoming primary school teachers.

"This is cradle to grave stuff."
Source :
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