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The treatment of our nurses is unpatriotic

20 Apr 2018 at 07:07hrs | Views
Nurses can only render quality services if their work environment provides conditions that support them and the patience. Positive work environments are important in achieving patient and employee safety, quality care and favourable patient outcomes Healthy work environments involve all practices implemented to attain the highest level of nurse health and well-being, quality patient care outcomes, high institutional performance and positive social outcomes. Work environments play an important role in securing employee health and safety and obtaining a desirable level of productivity from employees it is unfortunate that most people in Zimbabwe have condemned nurses from the comfort of their well-paying jobs or from absolute ignorance of fact.

Nurses are not on record striking for pay and allowances, they are not seeking to be paid as much as the doctors. Their complaint is very much pregnant with the love and passion of their work. They are requesting that the working environment be conducive and be humane enough for the good of the patient and the freedom of working. Providing health care needs to be powered by a healthy working station. The condition of service covers the equipment which includes gloves, needles and general smartness of the wards. beds for the patients places to rest neatness per sur. Occupying a crucial position in the development and advancement of health services, protection and improvement of individual, family and community health and provision of effective patient care and education, nursing is among the complex and risky professions in terms of working conditions, so the nurses are striking for the whole country. No one in Zimbabwe is exempt from being sick. If only the government can ban treatment of any person outside the country if anyone gets sick a chopper is commanded to Parirenyatwa then we would see a different thinking the cry of the nurses.

Nurses are exposed to risks because they spend time with patients and occupy themselves with the direct care of patients they know that most deaths are due to poor working environment. Aside from infections, nurses face stress and overwork . Nurses work in a system of shifts and night duties, and they are subjected to excessive work load, long working periods without breaks, tiring and irregular working hours, role confusion, and lack of support from managers, low professional status and distressful work relationships. All they are asking for is that just make a hospital a better place to get your health. How can you enjoy your Sadza from a soiled plate?

All what nurses are crying for is an enabling environment an environment that allows for performance. Health is and must be a priority Unhealthy work environments negatively affect the performance of nurses, patient care outcomes and patient safety and cause nurses to become alienated/distracted from their profession; several of them even leave their profession, a situation that leads to a decrease in the nursing workforce. It is not proper to abuse nurses because the country is in a situation where employment is scarce. Understaffing of nurses resulting from a decrease in the nursing workforce negatively affects the quality, efficiency and prompt realisation/provision of appropriate patient care.

As one of the environments that involve busy work schedules, hospitals are complex and dynamic organisations that provide services 24 h a day and seven days a week; they operate with an open system and matrix structure.

Most hospitals have no pain killers, yet a hospital is a place to remove pain, some simple illness killing people are laughable. Firing nurses enemas is an emotional reaction which needs to be revisited. Questions that needs to be answered are Will the process of firing all nurses save lives in public hospitals? Does the government have enough personnel to replace the fired nurses, will the replacements get better working conditions or it's just dipping the clean water in a dirty cup. Is anybody thinking of the future of our health sector?

We should realise that replacing all fired nurses is not an event but a process. The government must never adopt a big boss mentality. The nation is not a unit or a squad. Labour issues are internationally followed and our rushed big brother reaction is counterproductive and repugnant to natural justice. The government of the people must compromise learn to discuss and never be quick to squiz a trigger. For improved patient outcomes, quality care and contented employees, it is necessary to assess how nurses perceive their work environments and make necessary improvements.

It was far much better if the minister of Health was to deal with the matter than for him to push the bark to the VP.

Before we condemn the nurse we must remember the inherent risks of being a nurse, the noble job they do and the lives they serve and save.

Nurses in other fields also have risks associated with their work, such as HIV/AIDS nurses being more exposed to the possibility of infection and traveling nurses being more at risk for accidents on the road (many also work in underdeveloped, high-crime areas). Hazards that every nurse must deal with include the risk of contracting infectious diseases (including HIV, tuberculosis, hepatitis B and malaria. or being exposed to radiation, chemicals and injuries, mostly caused by physical strain or from being in contact with needles or electrical equipment or simply from a work station which is unsafe and under equipped.

The largest percentage of nurses work in a hospital or clinical setting, dealing with patients directly throughout their shifts. Shifts are usually done on rotation (mornings and nights) or over long periods, where a nurse may work long shifts (of anywhere between 8 and 14 hours a day) on consecutive days, and then have 2 to 3 days off before the shift repeats. Nurses who work in nursing care or ER facilities may have to work night, holiday and weekend shifts frequently or may have to be on call. Much of a nurse's shift is spent walking or standing, which can lead to back pain, knee injuries and other associated problems. Lifting, stretching and bending is very much part of the job as well and can also lead to body harm if not handled properly. In all this they simply ask for the ground they launch their rescue mission from to be solidified. This cannot be a dismissible offence.

Emotional strain and stress greatly affect the working conditions of a nurse. One of the major difficulties nurses face is the short time they can devote to each patient, since there's usually a rotation to cover several times during a shift. This usually involves checking on patients and ensuring that their life stats are normal and medication has been administered. The rushed environment of hospitals sometimes results in stress and depression, as well as "emotional draining" caused by dealing with patients with chronic diseases, unrelieved intense pain or near death conditions. Emotional distress and depression problems affect a high percent of nurses, according to a study by the School of Health Care Practice, Anglia Polytechnic University. The study also cites lack of reward, understaffing, ethical dilemmas and shift working as important causes of stress among nurses.

The average nurse works 50 hours a week in an uncomfortable environment. Most nurses work full time, Nurses have less access to equipment and treatment methods, making their job more complex and more stressful. Condemning them because they are requesting for the working ground to be level is lunacy. . The opinions and ideas that constitute the initial design of a healthy work environment date back to the time of Florence Nightingale. In her book ‘Notes on Nursing', Nightingale described a healing environment as that in which patients feel warmth and happiness. She also stated that ‘healing' environments should prevail for nurses who are responsible for patient care and stressed that healthy work environments should have the necessary infrastructure to create ‘healing spaces' for all medical staff .

Safe patient care is directly related to the quality of work environments of nurses. Effective healthcare services require individuals providing such services to be physically and mentally healthy, which is only possible in healthy/positive work environments. A positive work environment involves the "creation of a business environment where policies, procedures and systems are designed for the employees to fulfil institutional goals and achieve personal satisfaction in the workplace" In other words, a healthy work environment involves practices carried out to increase the health and well-being of nurses, quality of patient care and social outcomes and institutional performance to the maximum level Nurses can render high-quality services only if their work environment provides conditions that support them . Many standards, suggestions and approaches for creating positive work environments that support superior performance, attract nurses to the profession and achieve expected patient outcomes have been neglected by our economic condition. Pressure must be piled on the government who have the duty to provide that health care. It is a social service which must be provided by the government without victimising the nurses.

Zimbabwe is blessed with resources and as we are now open for business we must allow free protest. Free expression of one's emotions and make a working and pretesting environment free.

The situation in our hospitals must never be accepted, and talking about it must never be taken as unpatriotic.

vazet2000@yahoo.co.uk


Source - Dr Masimba Mavaza
All articles and letters published on Bulawayo24 have been independently written by members of Bulawayo24's community. The views of users published on Bulawayo24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Bulawayo24. Bulawayo24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

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