Health News of 2014-03-16

Health professionals must be civil always- Nuertey

Dr. Joseph Teye Neurtey, Volta Regional Director of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) has again stressed that health professionals need not know patients before showing civility towards them.

He said all clients must be accorded the standard professional courtesies as prescribed by local and international charters.

Dr. Nuertey was speaking at the closing ceremony of a two-day workshop in Ho on “Ethico-Legal Issues in OPD/Ward Management for Nurses and Midwives (Clinicians and Tutors) in the Volta Region.

He also reminded health workers that patients had rights, and could sue their facilities if those rights were disregarded.

Dr. Nuertey observed with regret that it was common for nurses and doctors to deride patients for seeking information about their conditions, and explanations for clinical decisions on them.

The series of workshops, dubbed “Sankofa,” aimed at reviving professionalism among nurses and midwives, are under the aegis of the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Ghana.

Dr. Nuertey reiterated the Ghana Health Service Director-General’s position that no health professional would be shielded if found wanting.

He complained about the trend among nurses to refuse bedside duties on account of being graduates.

“We are professionals and so when we improve on our skills, it must be manifested at the bedside,” Dr. Nuertey stated.

He said the many opportunities for nurses to upgrade themselves should impact on the standard of health care in the country.

Dr. Nuertey again expressed worry about the high failure rate at the licentiate examinations of nurses and midwives, promising that a diagnosis of the phenomenon was going on, whose results would be tabled for discussion soon.

He urged nurse-managers to sit up and restore dignity to the profession, reprimanding colleague nurses when need be.

Dr. Neurtey conceded that the situation now was bad, but expressed the hope that the current re-trainings would transform attitudes at the health facilities, so that an aged person wheeled to any facility speechless, could be confident of getting good care.

Mr. Felix Nyante, Acting Registrar of the Nursing and Midwifery Council, urged nurse-managers to help weed out unapproved nursing education institutions.

He said a full list of the accredited institutions was available for perusal.

Mr. Nyante also urged nurse-managers to refuse teaching jobs at unapproved institutions.

He said the Council would adopt mechanisms for monitoring the impact of the workshops on the field.

Hajia Mariama Sumani, Board Chairperson of the Council, insisted that nursing and midwifery were callings, and that people “desirous of making wealth should look elsewhere”.

She said the trainings should provide the measures to give “respite to the crying public’.

Madam Sumani said she believed errors were minimal in the past because nurses and midwives were guided more by ethical standards.

Objectives of the workshops include building the capacity of participants to become competent Ward Managers, remind participants of responsibilities when caring for the sick, re-orient participants regarding their legal responsibilities in the practice of nursing and midwifery and equip them with supervisory skills.

A total of 160 participants drawn from hospital, clinic, Nursing and Midwifery Training Schools and Universities attended.