AFTER graduating from the Highlands Regional College of Nursing at Goroka in 2002, I was accepted for employment by the Catholic Health Services of West New Britain based in Kimbe.
My first post was at Kilenge Sub-Health Centre in the Kandrian-Gloucester District. Kilenge is at the tip of West New Britain facing Siassi Island of Morobe Province.
Well, without further ado, let me get into attitude of some of the nurses not only in Kilenge but at other centre’s where I have worked.
“Morning sista!” No response. Her face was as dull as the black clouds above about to let off rainwater. Her lips pouted.
The patients queued for histories, examinations and treatment in outpatients. Sista was rostered to taking histories and performing examinations. It was after 8:30 when she started moving instruments to the table at snail’s pace. There was no smile to a patient to make them feel welcome.
Village ladies chatted with each other about local issues and they laughed among themselves.
“Yupla, lap lo husait, lap lo mi?” Sista’s voice burst into air. [Who are you laughing at, are you laughing at me?]
“Yupla tink yupla moa yet, lukim yupla yet.” [You think you’re smart, you ought to see yourselves.]
“Yupla waswas lo moning tu, wasim ol pikinini tu or yupla ronron lo haus sik moning yet lo kisim marasin osem brekfast. Skin blong yupla stink nabaut.” [Have you and your kids bathed or just rushed to the health centre early to take medication as your breakfast. You stink.]
Listening to her from the dispensary while I was packing drugs for the day, I came out in time to impede her next torrent of criticism.
I called her over to the dusty office and suggested she settle down and take a day off. I then went out and apologised emphatically to the patients. I took over her roster and completed the tasks accordingly and peace and smiling faces reigned.
I later found out that, before her morning shift, sista had been arguing with her husband at home. Her domestic dispute was brought to the workplace and unloaded on innocent people in need of attention.
What she did was totally beyond the rules of nursing rules and the nursing code of ethics. No tolerance and no empathy towards the patients. As stupid as the words she spoke.
Many nurses, whether in remote or urban settings, have attitude problems. And domestic problems are brought to workplace. Nurses-patient relations can be very poor. Some patients are not carefully examined or properly treated.
In my experience many nurses serve for the sake of money but only a few serve with their hearts.