By Jonah Gwatana, Esq.
The Nursing profession is as old as the history of human existence on the planet earth. Adam and Eve, the first people to inhabit the earth according to the Holy Books (Qur’an and the Bible) begat Cain and Abel and nursed them to adulthood. Therefore, any attempt to suggest that the practice of the Nursing profession should be restricted to only hospital base is a gross display of ignorance arising from knowledge deficit on contemporary nursing field.
The International Council of Nursing (ICN) defined “Nursing” as “encompassing autonomous and collaborative care of individual of all ages, families, groups and communities sick or well and in all setting. It includes the promotion of health, the prevention of illnesses, and the care of ill, disabled and dying people”. From the above definition of nursing by ICN, it can be conveniently submitted that nursing is as wide as the sky!
Unfortunately, several misconceptions about the nursing profession abound. One of such is the recent comment credited to one Comrade Idoboise Nkanta, a retired Deputy Director of Health in Akwa Ibom state. In my humble view, it is either the said Comrade Idoboise Nkanta was been malicious or needed to return to the classroom to actually know who a professional Nurse is and the scope of nursing practice in Nigeria and the world over. IT IS ONLY A CLEAR MANIFESTATION OF KNOWLEDGE DEFICIT TO REFER TO NURSING PRACTICE IN ANY PART OF THE WORLD AS PROFESSIONAL BANDITRY.
A Nursing practitioner does not need a “standing order”, a book used by the Community Health Extension Service Work (CHEW) to attend to their clients or patients, because a Nursing professional is adequately educated for independent reasoning and to offer individualistic care based on his/her client’s/ patient’s need and peculiarity.
Nursing is a profession within the health care sector focused on the care of individuals, families and communities so as to attain, maintain, or recover optimal health and quality of life. It is not in any way an appendage of the medical profession, and neither is a Nursing professional inferior to any practioner within or outside the health sector.
A Nursing practioner as one of the most humane actor within the health sector is therefore adequately equipped with the requisite knowledge and skills to operate any where in the world and in any part of Nigeria including any primary health care facility in Akwa-Ibom State because a Nursing professional has no territorial and/or jurisdictional limitation.
Section 32(2) of the Nursing and Midwifery Act provides for a Nurse or Midwife who has spent up to five years in a recognised health establishment as a registered nurse or midwife to own and or operate a Nursing home. As a matter of fact, Nursing is the most caring profession within the health sector!
The misconception about the Nursing profession is heightened mostly by those within the health sector who prefer to be addressed as NURSES rather than their actual identities especially hospital attendants, CHEWS (who are not nurses nor educated in the art of nursing) and many other irritating bunch of quacks who parade themselves as auxiliary nurses.
Written by Jonah Gwatana, Esq.