Nursing has become a warehouse of intimidation
By: Innocent, Ivan Kyei
In my previous article titled "Nursing in Ghana, old gurus brand" I have realized a mistake l made by comparing GMA to NMC instead of GRNMA and l use this medium to apologize unreservedly to my readers and to the council for the contrast and the twist the situation is likely to have created but the issues raised in the article remain unchanged and l still stand by every piece of information raised in the said article, readers should rather substitute NMC with GRNMA in the previous article.Thank you..
For clarity the NMC and GMC are statutory bodies under the ministry of health mandated to regulate practice by issuing or confiscating license.
The GRNMA, Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association is the body supposed to look at the welfare of nurses across the country but the leadership is a failure considering the abysmal performance they have exhibited over the years.
There are several issues affecting nurses in their line of work which require the intervention of their leadership but the GRNMA has a become a toothless bull dog that can neither bark nor bite.
Whiles other bodies are often seen pressing hard on government consistently to factor their concerns into policy framework to ease their burden, nurses remain at a stagnant position and watch other professionals move on.
They prefer locking themselves to their positions just because of the goodies they enjoy as leaders. A friend nurse showed me his payslip and looking at the deductions which go to GRNMA it's mind boggling considering the lazy posturing the leadership has assumed.
Then one will begin to interrogate what at all are t hose deductions used for since there's absolutely nothing to show.
The various teacher associations at least have something to justify similar deductions of it members, for example GNAT has made significant investments with their deductions from members and have many projects in stream like the GNAT hostel projects and several others.
NAGRAT which is another association for teachers has been very instrumental and vocal by influencing majority of policies concerning welfare of members.
One could recall the position of the various teacher groups when teacher trainees allowance was scrapped by the Mahama-led government and ironically similar scrapped happens to trainees nurses. What was the position of the GRMNA and how vocal was it. This is a toothless bull dog incapable of barking, screaming or biting no wonder policy makers do not regard them as a serious group to be consulted before rolling out policies affecting it's members.
In the various hospitals doctors drive nurses around outside their line of duty like their puppets, at times sanctioning nurses for what is perceived to be improper conduct, a responsibility supposed to be exercised by their leaders.
This lazy posturing by the leadership of the GRNMA is having a significant effect on practicing nurses in the various health facilities.
I have personally seen a situation at a hospital where a particular facility pays allowances to workers monthly aside their salaries. The nauseating aspect of this gesture is that doctors were paid GHC 1500 whiles nurses were taking GHC 150 cedis and interestingly I never saw a single nurse raised any flag about this cheat and I 39;m very sure several nurses are facing similar problems of injustice in their various workplaces but they have lost their voices to trim the situation.
I understand doctors play critical role in the facilities and same are nurses so if we create a situation where 10% of allowance paid to doctors is what is paid to nurses who spend
much time at the facility than any member of the healthcare team, then it will naturally breed silent frustrations and dissatisfaction and will again be a huge indictment on the professional integrity of nurses but sadly enough these same old DDNS have always been part of such poor decision of cheat yet they sit aloof and swallow whatever thrown at them.
I understand nurses are doing a fantastic job but the poverty of leadership its leaders offer is a shame.
GMA always throws its weight behind members to seek higher education in diverse field, currently we have several doctors pursing degree in law, administrative programs and several others.
In nursing one is tagged truant or an enemy when he or she decides to further education and sadly same colleague nurses will act in tandem with its leaking leadership to wreck hell on you, the only time a nurse will be allowed to further his or her education with a sound mind is when one offers to do a course a particularly facility prescribes else forget it.
So l ask, with such a negative mentality how will the profession grow and gain respect from policy makers as long as majority of its members remain outside the bracket of higher learning.
The question that's often asked to frustrate them is "when did you come" forgetting that even though they are all nurses, everyone has his or her dream as an individual.
The profession has become a citadel of intimation and those lucky enough to have successfully extricated the numerous challenges to a greater height, pursuing their masters, PH.D. programmes all have a story to tell, which will obviously chronicle the ordeals they went through before getting where they currently are.
In view of this the very few who have gone higher feel or have no interest for saving the profession from the annals of pity the profession is currently locked to, considering the overwhelming authority the old comrades exercise over the profession and the fact that most of them have shut their doors to emerging innovative ideas modern leadership is bringing to bare.
Most of the times the DDNS position is not even open to competitive selection process where qualified personnel are required to submit their documents for consideration followed by a possible interview, and a consideration of applicants leadership qualities, competences and expertise, most facilities resort to the traditional ways of appointing leaders, they practice the traditional dynasty succession where one automatically succeeds the other after either resignation, retirement, death or incapacitation and it's purely based on the number of years one has served at a facility.
In a modern society, if such archaic succession method is practiced by a particular profession then you will appreciate the poverty of intelligence such leadership will offer, the current leadership woes facing nurses is not a surprise to many in Ghana.
Other professionals in the healthcare team intimidate nurses and treat them with impunity and disdain and mock them because of the extent of rot in its leadership structure.
But I still believe there's still hope for the new generation to lead intellectual revolution by either forcing their leadership to do the right thing or force them out.
The world is changing and the idea that the youth cannot take leadership positions is no longer relevant in any discourse. Modern Leadership has no link to age and how long one has served, it's about competence, resilience and dept of knowledge one offers.
Like the various teacher union groups emerging, nurses could do same by congregating under a either a single umbrella and form potent and viable groups which will serve the interest of members and champion their welfare.
Freedom of association which the constitution guarantees makes it possible for members to abandon the non-functioning GRNMA.
If you ask for my firm opinion l will propose Coliation of Young Nurses Assiciation (CYNA) because the energy in some of these young nurses is overwhelming after talking to a couple of them especially those still at the universities who are already intimidated by the poverty of leadership they are likely to face after school, most have Â expressed the need for change, and it's no surprise majority of them have plans to either read medicine or divert to other field after school.But together young nurses can pull the impossible and remove all the hindrances choking them in their line of work.
It's no time to give up yet, you can make the difference. Those with passion for the profession are encouraged to stay and make it beautiful and attractive and l tell you again and again this intellectual revolution must be won to save the sinking integrity and the shivering confidence of nurses in diverse field, the bible is my witness.
Ivan Â Kyei Innocent