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Tuesday, 03 August, 2021
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Nurses called out for unprofessionalism

An outcry over the alleged misconduct of nursing professionals at the country’s public hospital and community clinics has brought to light the widely reported neglect of patient care on island.
Former Superintendent of Public Health Nursing, Coralita Joseph said she has witnessed the misconduct by colleagues and it is a long-standing issue that high ranking officials must no longer downplay.
“Nobody is paying attention. Everybody seems to have this familiar attitude where they think they and the sisters, doctors and senior nurses is ‘fren and company’,” Joseph said.
“They want to believe they are equals with whoever is in charge [but} you have to set a standard and you have to understand that this is the person who is in charge and you must be respectful to the person and their position.”
Joseph, in an exclusive interview with OBSERVER media, was responding to a video complaint, that went viral, on the quality of care given to patients at the Mount St John’s Medical Centre (MSJMC).
By late yesterday, the video had garnered 19,000 views, 435 shares and about 200 comments from residents who joined in solidarity with a nurse who spoke out after an unsettling ordeal at the hospital.
Josette Gilead, the woman behind the video, urged the viewers to share the Facebook post only out of “the common concern for my profession and as a medium for change”.
Gilead was visibly upset over what she described as a lack of respect and compassion by a member of the nursing profession during a recent visit to MSJMC.
The incident has led the president of Antigua and Barbuda Nurses Association (ABNA) Karen Josiah to pen a release in which she “totally condemns the indiscriminate use of social media by nurses” especially when it is “unprofessional and unethical”.
The same sentiments of unprofessionalism were expressed by Gilead in her video to describe the incident where a nurse, whom she named in the video, left her on the hospital floor even after Gilead’s mother appealed to the nurse’s station for assistance.
During Gilead’s encounter with the health care provider, she drew attention to the same nurse, as she was speaking harshly to a man who was standing when he should have been lying down. Gilead used the opportunity to say
“Nurse, that’s not how we deal with our patients.”
The nurse allegedly responded: “The devil sent you for me? Well, tell the devil you nuh find me, wa you need fa do a just mind your business.”
Gilead rebutted, “How unprofessional are you? Is that a threat to me that you gon’ done me? Ma say nurse you gonna done yourself before you even done me.”
Meantime, Nurse Joseph gave her account of an ordeal she experienced with her son when she, too, was out of uniform but maintained that poor service to colleagues and other residents is unacceptable.
“We need to open our eyes as nurse leaders (yes it’s good that someone went to Facebook). It’s been going for a long time and it’s defacing the care that is given. So, we really and truly need to get them back into the classroom and bring them back up to [standard],” Joseph said.
In reiterating an appeal to nursing officials, Joseph said there must be closer scrutinity of the character of the health care professionals who work in the emergency room and community clinics especially.
 
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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