Nurses are trained to be caring and tolerant while dealing with patients, knowing fully well that their actions and attitudes go a long way to heal or worsen patients’ condition.
As important as this nurse to patient relationship is, it has been observed that most Nigerian nurses are not friendly while attending to their patients. Most times they are insultive, rude and believe that once you are a patient , you deserve no honour and regard.
This is prevalent in both private and public hospitals. Even though the nurses are gisting and laughing their countenance change immediately they sight any patient whom they see as a burden who has come to disturb their flow.
Patients start having problems with them from ordinary filling their names on the patient’s card shouting at the patient who manage to get to the hospital in pain for not speaking louder while giving the name . It becomes a different ball-game if a dying patient mistakenly threw up without using the toilet. Forgetting that as a patient, one is helpless and need the love and support of a caring nurse to scale through.
In their defence, some nurses blame patients for asking silly questions behave in away that can aggravate their conditions. In the reactions of some patients, they stressed the need for nurses to be mannered while dealing with patients because anybody in pain is not normal and needed every assistance in such a condition to get back on his or her feet which the nurses had been taught while undertaking the training.
In her opinion, Mrs Wumi Akingbade, a nurse in one of the government hospitals explained that patients’ behaviours atimes are responsible for the nurses actions, she said most patients believed that because they are sick it gives them license to misbehave.
“What can you say of a patient who is before a nurse to give details of his or her health condition in order to guide the nurse on what to do, receiving phone call while the nurse dare not do that. Will this not infuriate the nurse who still have other patients to attend to? I am telling you what had happened to me.
“The patient in question wasted my time such that the medical doctor who witnessed the scene asked me to walk him out. Whereas my own phone rang in his presence but, I dare not pick such call except it is official. “There was another case of a patient who told a medical doctor not to call his name until he comes from where he went to eat”.
Akingbade, who maintained that not all nurses are unfriendly appealed to patients to always behave well and give their total support to nurses while trying to save their lives.
Sharing a similar experience, Mrs Toyin Obateru, a private hospital nurse blamed emotional and marital reasons for the unfriendly nature of most nurses. She submitted that nurses are like every other human beings facing environmental, financial, emotional and marital challenges who can not be expected to succeed in their chosen profession without the cooperation of patients.
Her words: “A nurse who receives peanut as her salary could be liken to a loaded gun ready to fire at any slightest provocation. Most patients often ask silly questions or behave in a way that could provoke a nurse.
“For instance, a patient on admission receiving drip will want the drip that will last three or four hours to last for 30 minutes.
Once the nurse who fixed the drip is not there, they will adjust it and the drip will start rushing against doctor’s advice which can claim the lives of some patients except for the intervention of God.
“How will a nurse who left home sad not be angry with such patient? There are situations in which some patients will not give accurate information about themselves especially as regards their ages, forgetting that doctors prescribe drug dosages based on ages. Some patients after taken their drugs for a while and feel better believe that the drugs should not be continued only to rush back to the hospital later complaining of the same symptoms, giving doctors and nurses stress. How will nurses not be angry at that situation?
However, a patient, Mrs Idowu Olubori, blamed most Nigerian nurses for lacking morals in the delivery of their services.
“Most nurses see patients as nobody. It is one thing to be sick, it is another thing to be immediately and well attended to. Ask some nurses simple questions on drugs prescription and this will give them headache. Some of them will not even be moved on sighting a patient writhing in pain. They will shout on the top of their voices using vulgar languages on patients”.
Olubori, while appealing to nurses to always be calm with patients also urged the federal and state governments to train medical workers on the essential services hey render.
“Nurses can only be motivated better if they are trained no matter how civil or well mannered a patient may be, such could hardly please a nurse who is emotionally imbalance.
“Patients too need to be mindful of their conducts because they are the ones at the receiving end. An already provoked nurse or doctor can mistakenly administer drugs wrongly which may worsen patient’s conditions. They should always have at the back of their minds that nurses who are not friendly are the products of the situations across the nation so they are not to be blamed”.