Wed, Sep

Of Restored Nurse Trainees' Allowances

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I've been described as stupid because of my opinion in favour of the restoration of allowance for nurse trainees. I contemplated writing an intellectual argumentative piece defending my stance. But I have changed my mind. Of what effect is the knife to the skin of the dead goat?

But at least, I know the allowance restoration coupled with the quota system will bring back the seemingly lost glory of nursing. It doesn't make sense to keep churning out nurses every year when the system can't absorb them. That's tantamount to willfully causing financial loss to the state. It is same as cooking ten cups of rice when you can only consume a cup. There is a backlog of nurses who are tired of sitting in the house. That is frustrating! Their acquired knowledge is been haunted with the decay theory of memory.

The liberalization of nursing admissions opened a floodgate for all manner people with terrible and sickly grades to enter the health training institutions. The quota system presumably will be competitive and admissions will be based on merit. The best enter and the best come out.

The non-quota system reduced nursing to some kind of apprenticeship vocation filled with town girls and sakawa boys. Experientially, I've seen many acquaintances in nursing uniforms, and felt like buying a plot of land and then fainting on it.

The removal of the quota system hurt nursing so badly. I have come across a student nurse mock's exam paper wherein she defined female circumcision as the removal of the "clitoris" in the "respiratory system."

Last year, I invigilated student nurses (NAC) for their final examination. And I was shocked to the marrow when a candidate had no idea of what "surname" is?
I've supervised student nurses for their final practicals and some of them actually can't perfectly perform the most rudimentary task in nursing, vital signs. Do you know what vital signs means? Vital signs is the primary indicators of health of an individual. They are BP, pulse, respiration and temperature. So, imagine someone who can't assess your primary indicators of health. How much more secondary?

In an exam situation, I've seen a student nurse wear a stethoscope with the binaural part on his back and the tubing crisscrossing through his armpit. You can call that exam tension. But what about his inability to tell who an "unambulant patient" is? Seriously, I can't think far.

There is no need for these tales. But in case you want to hear more nerve-racking tales, see Saeed Al-Hassan Sheriff.

All these lapses and problems are/were as a result of the so-called non-quota system meant to drive enrolment up. The admissions were more porous than sandy soil.
The quantity we allowed into the admission criteria compromised quality. Scrutiny, supervision and teaching were all very poor. Nursing has seen enough dilution with erratic political policies and it about time it is restored to its former glory.

I am a senior nurse, and one of my responsibilities is to teach student nurses. I hesitate to share unfathomable experiences with student nurses auditioned into our training institutions courtesy of the non-quota system.

It is a fact that we have a huge deficit of nurses in the system. However, we are not unable to readily engage those we train out every year. Sometimes, it takes picketing (or demonstrations) at the seat of government for them to be given clearance for posting. Again, the nurse-patient deficit correction should not be a yardstick to producing substandard or murderous care givers.

Indeed, it is important to learn how to count but it is even more important to know what counts.

By the way, is it thoughtful/sane for a center-left (social democrats) to oppose the restoration of trainee allowance by a center-right people? Won't it be an indictment of an ideological identity crisis?

Well, there is no way the allowance restoration can be opposed in its unrelated sense except that our leverage over our girlfriends in the nursing colleges will reduce.

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