The Head of Department of Adult Health at the School of Nursing, University of Ghana, says nursing and midwifery would be respected if officials step up their game to improve on their image across Ghana and beyond.
“In today’s Ghana, the image of nursing is on the negative trail where one can find negative media reports about nurses and midwives across the country,” Dr Lydia Aziato lamented.
She said “within the Ghanaian milieu, the populace expect the nurse to show desired courtesy,” adding that “the demeanour of a nurse and her choice of words are important determinants of satisfaction”.
Dr Aziato was speaking at the Nightingale Awards Ceremony held at the 37 Military Hospital to climax the hospital’s 75th anniversary celebration in Accra.
The occasion, which saw both serving and retired military and civilian staff receiving plaques for their long service and hard work, was on theme, “Military nightingale: Ensuring client satisfaction through quality service and adequate staffing.”
The occasion was also used to mark the end of a weeklong trade fair held by the hospital.
Dr Aziato noted that no matter the competency of a nurse or midwife, if their communication with patients was not appropriate, the care they would be offering to patients would also be perceived as negative.
She, therefore. urged them to acquire social and interpersonal skills that were responsive to the socio-cultural needs of the patients.
The Head of Department of Adult Health, School of Nursing called on the hospital staff to continue to acquire requisite skills and expertise saying, “Requirement of quality care calls for continuous professional development as well as seeking academic progression and specialisation.”
According to her, “An enhanced expertise would contribute to autonomous nursing practice where specialists nurses and midwives are able to make independent decision and contribute to policy.
“I caution her that such autonomous actions should be done within the legal framework and institutional policies and protocols.”
Dr Asiago opined that quality care was enhanced when nurses and midwives were enlightened.
She admonished the staff to always be committed to lifting the image of the hospital and emphasised the need to actively engage in research at all levels so that care in the future would be evidence based.
On staffing, Dr Aziato asked the authorities to take steps to employ more hands to avert cases where nurses and midwives were overworked.
She proposed an effective mentorship for new student nurses and midwives in order to prepare them for the future.
Dr Aziato called on the Ministry of Defence to create a more enabling environment for staff so that they could give off their best to clients.
She also recommended the establishment of a research fund so that officials could access it to enhance their research activities which include client satisfaction surveys.
“Let us remember that there is no quality if clients are not satisfied,” she added.
Brigadier General Ralph K. Ametepi, Director General of the Ghana Armed Forces Medical Services, congratulated the staff who had worked tirelessly for the hospital over the years.
He said the Military High Command was taking steps to curtail shortage of staff and other medical challenges.