Poor nursing care



CONCERNS of poor work attitude exhibited by civil servants in Government institutions is a source of great worry.

The high levels of utter incompetence and inefficiency displayed by some health workers threaten the very purpose of Government’s drive to achieve better healthcare delivery.

Many health personnel have such pathetic attitude towards work that we wonder why they elected to join the profession in the first place.

Why do some civil servants, especially health workers, have such bad work attitude? Are they qualified for their jobs, let alone passionate about it? Do they lack motivation?

It must be noted that the nursing career ought to be taken as a vocation or calling by virtue of the nature of the job that requires one to work not for the monetary gain only but the love and intrinsic desire to help the sick.

However, it is apparent that unlike in the past when career choice was done out of one’s conviction and passion for the field of study, many of our health personnel might have chosen to become what they are today because they could not pursue their desired career paths. It was the last option.

Working for a health institution was probably the least, far-fetched and wildest dream they ever hoped for. They were forced by circumstances to become health workers, hence their manifest lack of enthusiasm.

The appalling negligence and lack of courtesy towards patients by some nurses at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) where an expectant mother had to give birth on the dirty floor of the hospital on Saturday makes very sad reading.

It shows how seriously deep-rooted the problem of bad work attitude has compromised efficient service delivery in our hospitals.

Nurses and other health personnel must know that at the core of their daily duty lies the care of patients seeking medical attention. They are the thin line between life and death.

Needless to mention that theirs is an essential service to humanity unlike any other profession. This is the more reason why hospitals and clinics remain open every day throughout the year, including weekends and public holidays.

Health workers were trained to know that the nature of their job is unique. It is about saving human life.

As such negligent behaviour leads to loss of life. And it is for this reason that correct attitude by health personnel as they attend to patients is of paramount importance.

How would Government, through the Ministry of Health, attain its goals of reducing child mortality, improving maternal health and combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases if health personnel have such negative and repulsive attitude?

Poor attitude, lack of passion and enthusiasm for the job they are employed to do has on several occasions not reflected the Ministry of Health ethical values: that is, to offer selfless and dedicated service to humanity with whatever they have, wherever they are.

One thing we know is that Government has invested heavily in many hospitals by equipping them with state of the art machinery to raise the standards of health care to our people.

How can the health workers at Levy Mwanawasa referral hospital explain the unhygienic environment in which they operate?

A hospital which has been in operation barely six years now is allowed to run down as though it has been in existence since 1900. All this is because of the poor work attitude that cleaners and other health personnel have towards their daily work.

Society anticipates that health personnel know better than we probably do that a hygienic environment is a major contributing factor to the healing process of a patient.

We urge the Minister of Health and his team to work tirelessly to find a lasting solution to the poor work attitude among health personnel to ensure smooth and effective service delivery to our people.