:: A Letter To The Director Of Nursing ::

Dear Nursing Director,

I am a Nurse from the XXX Hospital. As you are our Director, I feel that it is just appropriate for me to bring up my distress and concern about my working environment.

I am a Staff Nurse from the Major Operating Theatre and as a staff here for a short period of time, I have encounter many concerns and issues that have sadly not been dealt or paid close attention to. Back in 2011 as a fresh graduate from the nursing school, I was eager to start my journey as a nurse. I was very passionate to be a scrub nurse and it was the area of my interest when I was a student. But my journey was cut short due to my National Service. But with the short 3 months I spent in the Operating Theatre, I was grateful and thankful to have had a wonderful experience, filled with both good and bad ones, in the Major Operating Theatre. Despite of the negativity that I faced daily during those 3 months, I had this sense of believe that after my National Service, things would change.

And after 2 years, I finally came back. Having learnt a lot from my National Service, I was hoping that Nursing would be different. After all, we know that the nursing profession is all about compassion, collegiality and respect. But to my horror, things have remained the same. What is worst is that, it even got more horrific hearing from fellows nurses the emotional and psychological distress they encounter each day by other fellow nurses.

I feel that we have nowhere to run. Many of these nurses and me are being bullied constantly daily and even if we would bring the matter up to our Nurse Clinicians, no action seems to be taken.

We are not asking for much, all we are asking for is to be spoken to with a little bit of respect and dignity.

How can one call herself a nurse when she goes around saying something like, “Why here no phone you must use your own phone is it? When you get brain tumour then don’t come and complain to me!”. Dr Tracy, how can this lady call herself a nurse when she is cursing another person with an illness.

Another encounter shared goes like this, “If you don’t want to learn, you can go to hell!” How can this senior staff nurse call herself a preceptor when an innocent new nurse is trying very hard to catch everything she is trying to teach her. We all have different pace of learning.

And the most famous one goes like this, “When you go people house you just enter without knocking?” This senior staff nurse calls herself the in-charge, and yet she treat she fellow nurses under her without any respect. But yet in front of the Nurse Clinician she talks as if she is just another innocent nurse. All the innocent staff was trying to do was help her fellow colleague move a patient after the operation.

There are many other encounters but if I were to list them all, we would take forever.

Dr Tracy, the meanest patient, yes, even the very lowest is allowed some say in the matter of her own prescription. Thereby she defines her humanity.

We talk so highly of our missions and core values. But yet I don’t us practicing it.

One of our missions statement says something like, “We are dedicated to meeting the needs of our staff in continuing development and welfare.

The term welfare is stated clearly, in the mission. Yes, the one we put together with our name tag and staff card and go around walking with it. So what is the point of having it with us, if we do not practice it?

And our core values, which includes commitment, collegiality, compassion, respect, integrity, openness and professionalism. Yes a nurse has with her commitment, openness and integrity but what is the point if she doesn’t possess the rest?

I seek your help in this situation, as the leader amongst us nurses, to put a stop to belittlement and bullying in the nursing environment.

As nurses, we are here to provide goodwill amongst our patients and colleagues. It is not the roles of a nurse to spark unhealthy confrontations and provide negativity in a profession that is supposed to be filled with compassion.

From your humble Nurse,

Muhammad Kai Ibrahim Ergo.

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