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Revamping Work Ethics In Nigeria: Attitudinal Change In Nurses (II)



Picture a scenario where a patient is on admission at the hospital, then at night the attendants are nowhere to be found to assist the patient to the restrooms. Or picture another where the nurse on duty is glued to the television, watching Zee world or worse sleeping soundly when he or she is needed? And when their attention is gotten, they glare at the patient as if he or she had no right to wake them up.

There have been real life cases where a nurse who, coming on ward round, did not know who her patient was and began asking a colleague as she glanced through the wrong file! A relation of the said patient came to the rescue before the wrong drugs could be administered!

Another case study was that of a nurse who was trying to find a patient’s vein and ended up not only finding it but splattering blood everywhere in the process of fixing a drip.

Ok, the drip was successfully fixed but guess what? The liquid was flowing and lodging anywhere else but the patient’s veins! Imagine the swelling that took place of the patient’s hand and the massaging it took by the relation to reduce the swelling and bring the hand back to normal.

Certainly you find others who are quite friendly but have no clue as to what they are doing! Take for example a really nice pleasant and amiable nurse who cracked jokes so your ribs hurt with laughter. And when finally, you thought nurses were not bad at all, she forgets a thermometre in the armpit of a patient, like literally forgot it!

When you think you have noticed it all, then come the nurses with complex issues. Pray never to encounter such nurses and that if you do it’s over lunch or dinner but definitely not as a patient in the hospital! They want to be treated like kings and Queens but have done nothing to deserve it.

Beware when you start hearing words like“I have fifteen years of training!” And yet lacks decorum in the communicating with people department.

During his shifts he or she does not check up on patients after ward rounds, but would rather look for a spot at reception to doze or chat with colleagues.

He or she is the sort that will make a patient’s relation do an attendant’s work without batting an eye lid. Such a nurse has sadistic tendencies.

He/she is the sort you find laughing with his colleagues and when asked why he does not laugh with his patients, his disturbing reason is this, that patients tend to disrespect nurses!

Beware for he or she is the sort that when in a ward round with a doctor present wears his/her complex like a badge of honour! Feeling inferior to the doctor and trying to compete in terms of knowledge and English grammar, forgetting that both play separate roles and complement each other.

A nurse is there to make a doctor’s work easy and vice versa.

However, in all of these case scenarios, nothing is more important than attitudinal change, no matter the circumstance where duty is concerned. Your attitude to work determines how well the work would be done in spite of it all. Attitudinal change would muster a lot of courage and will in the face of challenges, but then every job has its setbacks and challenges.

Attitudes are said to be connected to beliefs and behaviours towards an object or objects. They tend not to be stable but change as a result of communication and behaviour of others as well as social influences.

Attitudinal change is moving towards a positive way of thinking, feeling, or behaving that shows a state of mind or disposition.

In the face of the unpleasant behaviours of others or even a troubled state of mind attitudes come out and are reflected.

According to Geoffery James a contributing editor to, 8 Ways To Improve Your Attitude:

  • Always act with a purpose. …
  • Stretch yourself past your limits every day. …
  • Take action without expecting results. …
  • Use setbacks to improve your skills. …
  • Seek out those who share your positive attitude. …
  • Don’t take yourself so seriously. …
  • Forgive the limitations of others. …
  • Say “thank you” more frequently.

What is accountability? It is termed the fact or condition of being accountable, responsible for ones actions.

Nurses work in a sensitive area, no one is asking that they be cookie cutter perfect, but a nurse should aim to live by ethics guiding the profession in spite of the challenges. If one is passionate about one’s duties it is easier to follow the ethics. So it is important to be in the line of duty that one is passionate about.

What can be done to revamp work ethics?

A part of revamping Work Ethics is through encouraging nurses to always be at their best in the work place. Work of individual nurses should be monitored and assessed with feedback from patients recorded. Nurses with above average performance should be rewarded to encourage them in doing better, and inspiring others to attain such heights.

There are several ways that ethics in the workplace can be revamped, but first it has to begin with the determination to be good at what you do. Attitudinal change as well as accountability are key ingredients to revamping Work Ethics.