I was very pleased and saddened by the letter sent by Alex K. Mucyo in the Thursday 26th November 2009 issue of The New Times. Mucyo exposed the lack of nursing spirit at the Nyagatare Health Centre and I was pleased because someone at last took a step against these bad behaviors.
However, I was sad because I thought my case was isolated. But after thinking for a minute I realized that this health centre is very infamous to patients and many are frightened when they get transferred there.
It is not because they don’t get drugs or anything, but the way they are treated is not nice at all. Nurses are not friendly, and as Alex said, they often sit and gossip while a patient needs them.
I have been treated this way before.
In my experience, I think they have created a hostile environment where patients feel unsafe, unwelcome and unaided.
Unfriendly nurses have created barriers, they are disrespectful, cheerless, unresponsive, and domineering so patients feel belittled, disheartened, unprotected and distressed.
When patients are placed in this position, their self-efficacy is undermined, and their recovery takes longer.
I think nurses are not there to just distribute drugs. Good nurses protect, promote, and optimize health and abilities.
They also try to alleviate suffering through the diagnosis and treatment of human response, and care of patients. This is practically impossible if a nurse is not friendly.
In other words, when people are sick, nurses are supposed to be there for them, showing them compassion, and taking good care of them.
It’s truly sad to see a nurse with an evil look on the face, yelling at a patient in pain, or sitting and gossiping while there is someone who needs him or her.
The nurses at the Nyagatare hospital do not set a good example at all. If people get scared of nurses, who will then take care of them if they get sick?
I think the hospital authorities have to remind nurses that they need to give good care to patients. It would be better though if nurses themselves changed their mindset.
Names withheld on request