Health News of Thursday, 24 September 2015
A retired matron of the 37 Military Hospital, Lieutenant Colonel Eleanor Atiemo Bampoe, has said the absence of morale-boosting incentives for nurses makes them dangerous weapons in the health care delivery system.
She, therefore, called on the state to ensure adequate incentives for nurses in order to boost their morale for enhanced productivity.
She stressed that “a demoralised caregiver is a dangerous weapon in the system”.
Lt Col Bampoe stated this when she delivered the keynote address at the opening of a week-long celebration by nurses at the 37 Military Hospital in Accra on Wednesday.
It is on the theme: “Military Nightingales, a force for change: Caring for the carer”.
She said the quest for quality health care required retooling, with emphasis on the caregiver who is the driver in that case, noting, however, that the welfare of nurses had not been the best over the years.
Even though nurses had been trained to care for others, she said, there was the need for them to be adequately taken care of in order to ensure that they gave of their best.
“Rewards, promotions and recognition for carers can go a long way to bolster their confidence,” she said.
Lt Col Bampoe observed that the low nurse-patient ratio and lack of modern working tools had imposed an extra burden on nurses, leading to instances when they had had to cut corners and improvise, sometimes affecting the quality of care.
She, therefore, called on policy makers to give attention to the need to acquire gadgets that could support the delivery of quality health care.
Lt Col Bompoe also advocated the progression of a matron of the 37 Military Hospital from the current ceiling of Colonel to Brigadier.
The National President of the Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association (GRNMA), Dr Kweku Asante Krobiah, urged nurses of the hospital to eschew mediocrity and resist any temptation to corrupt their morals that would make them indulge in professional corruption.
“Be immune to professional corruption and let your morals stand the test of time. You cannot let the people of Ghana down,” he urged them.
He said the association would go the full hog to negotiate for better working conditions for members.
The Chief of Army Staff, Major General R.K. Edusei, said the military system would be non-functional without an efficient healthcare system, stressing that the role of nurses within that set-up was indispensable.
Patients now sophisticated
He noted that patients had become sophisticated in their quest to access health care and urged nurses to enhance their services.
He cautioned those whose attitudes had attracted complaints from the public to desist from those acts that brought the name of the hospital into disrepute.
The President of the 37 Military Hospital Chapter of the GRNMA, Colonel Sally Mensah, said the year had been a very challenging one for the Military Nightingales following the June 3 flood and fire disasters in Accra and the strike by the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) which brought undue pressure on the facility.
She congratulated the nurses on their diligence and hard work that ensured the professional handling of all the cases that came to the hospital during those periods.