FOR THOSE IN THE know, the annual celebration of Nurses’ Week for this year began three days ago (May 6 – May 12).
It is ideally a remarkable event held worldwide to celebrate the devotion, commitment and compassion of the nurses who put in efforts everyday to care for their sick patients.
However, the Covid-19 pandemic, which turned out to be the unforseen plot twist this year, had disrupted events, resulting in a much low-key, hush-hush celebration.
The event usually ends on May 12, International Nurses’ Day – strategically fixed obviously – to coincide with the birthday of the founder of modern nursing, a British woman who was born in Florence, Italy: Florence Nightingale, aka “The Lady with the lamp”, (12 May 1820 – 13 August 1910).
The theme of this year’s International Nurses’ Day celebration is “Nurses: A voice to lead – Nursing the World to Health”.
Beyond all that, the celebration this year is all the more significant given the starring role that nurses had played – and are still playing – in the battle against Covid-19 pandemic worldwide. It is so significant that the World Health Organization (WHO) had to change its annual World Health Day celebration theme on April 7, 2020 to “Support Nurses and Midwives”.
As a child growing up, I was surrounded by nurses. Some of my little sisters initially wanted to be nurses before they changed their minds.
We had many of them, especially family friends; and when I fractured my right leg as a child while playing football with older guys on Saturday 13 April 1996, four days to my birthday, (I still have the scars till date) I was nursed back to health by both nurses and of course a skillful traditional bone setter my dad employed.
For some of us who grew up in Onitsha, we barely visited the hospital when I or my siblings were sick cos of the huge cost, so my parents often had nurses come to the house to minister to us. One of them then, a much older woman whom I used to tell that I wanted to be a doctor if I grew up, used to tell me not to forget to come marry her very little daughter, Ifeoma, whom she wanted to grow to be a nurse.
Ehem, where is the babe sef make I shoot my shot!?
Even now as a doctor, I owe a lot of the little clinical skills I have to some of the best nurses I’ve worked with at UBTH, especially when it comes to assessment of a critically ill patient.
Renal Unit nurses are just my favorite biko. Their dedication to nursing kidney disease patients, even with attendant health risks, is second to none.
Some of them can spot a renal patient in Acute Pulmonary Oedema (difficulty in breathing due to water in the lungs from kidney failure) from a mile away, arrange or administer the drugs and kit for immediate resuscitation (Furosemide, Oxygen, etc.), prepare the dialysis machine within the twinkle of an eye, and estimate the volume of Ultra Filtrate (UF) to be removed. All of this would be done sometimes even before the doctors arrive.
The Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) nurses, as much as I hate their approach most times 😏😏, could spot a premature baby about to go apneic (stop breathing) in the next few seconds or begin Ambu-bagging (pushing air into the lungs to revive someone) when it has happened. Those people can sometimes detect the earliest signs of infection in a newborn baby even before a doctor could smell it.
Nna mehn! Ike gwuru! 😁😁
But some shaa! Some can disturb or get on your nerves like kilode! 😏😏😏
As a doctor on call in SCBU, you will just be sleeping jejely in the middle of the night and you will hear, “Doctor, that baby on first incubator, his line is in tissue! Please go an resite it!”
Some are like that your sister at home who can be doting one minute, and very annoying the next. You can’t get rid of her cos she’s your sister (in the medical profession) and you can’t do without her.
Since the nursing profession is dominated by ladies, most of them, the younger ones especially, are very beautiful and sexy. Now, given that, on the other hand, the medical profession is dominated by “fresh” male doctors, it is only natural that some young nurses turn into our best friends. And as the law of attraction goes, we end up dating, “knacking” or even marrying ourselves (some nurses will come and say it is a lie).
Like someone said on Twitter, special thanks to those that usually give us their pen for us to write prescription for patients even though they know that we often misplace them. To those that usually refuse to give us their pen, I hope you are now the Secretary of the Federation.
HAPPY NURSES’ WEEK!
The world appreciates you all. Keep being awesome.
+++Impossibility is nothing. Just believe+++
© Caséy Amaefule ’20