byOlayemi Adeola

Life of Nurse  

It is 11:05pm, and I just realised I need to write again. There are so many things going on in my mind, I am wondering why a patient comes to the hospital without bringing money, and they expect the nurse to do miracles.


Sometime last year a new rule called the PATIENT'S BILL OF RIGHT was passed and a short video that portrayed two careless, non-sympathetic nurses was uploaded alongside with the bill. Prominent nursing organisations in Nigeria stood up against the video, but the truth is the deed had been done.


I wrote concerning the #PBOR and how some things will never work in this Nigeria as of today. I attended to a patient's wound dressing this evening, after I was done my ward orderly informed me that I should stick around the ward, because I told her I wanted to get to the hospital gate. I asked why, she said a patient is at the OPD and it is likely we admit him.


I had to go and see for myself, I went there, only to see a patient rolling on the floor, I heard that the doctor had seen him and he was informed that he needs an emergency surgery, but they had no money. His diagnosis was ruptured appendicitis, while his friends were calling his relatives, more friends came into the hospital to meet them at that spot, while the guy kept wailing.


After few minutes, they concluded that the boy should be taken to the Federal Medical Center, because the surgery will be cheaper there.

I was glad that the guy's relatives were calm, they acted so mature, they did not cause a scene in the hospital and even those who drove in to meet the boy at that spot did not try to create any scene at the hospital.


When a patient comes to the hospital, another patient with a greater pain comes in and it is usually the first come the first served, except in emergencies.

Sometimes a patient who only wants to ask if he can drink a cold tea is angry at me for not answering while I am attending to a patient who is semiconscious.

It is crazy how I hear epic questions from patients or unscientific rationale.


The work of a nurse is crazy, and so demanding, you have to be multifaceted and able to multi task yourself.

If people ask how I survive in the midst of many challenges, I tell them I delegate some duties to the patients’ relatives.

It is not the duty of the patient's relative to change an unconscious patient position; I involve them while changing my patients. I can't carry a patient that weighs 70kg when I weigh 55kg, I need helping hands. I need someone who will help me with powder while I rub it on the back, I need someone who will help me mix the hot and cold water to become warm while I prepare to bed bath.


I need someone to keep a watch on an intravenous infusion that is to run for a hour while I attend to other patients. The truth, we can have great nurses if people can see that nurses are humans like they are.


Stop shouting at the nurse for not attending to your father when you know three patients were rushed into the ward at the same time, and she needs to attend to them.

As much I have so many things to rant about, nurses are humans like you.

We are not perfect,  we have our crazy moments, we fall in love like you do,  we feel sad,  we go hungry, we become weak,  we cry,  we have our weaknesses, we battle with life just like you,  don't make the job miserable for us the same way life makes living outside the hospital miserable.



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