By James William Mugeni
U.S.—July 3, 2020: Editor, Aliona Mary joins Doris Okundinia, the Arua nurse who trekked about three kilometres pushing a patient on a wheelchair from Ediofe health center III to Arua Regional Referral Hospital.
In the battle against Covid-19, leadership is emerging to champion the fight. No wonder Aliona Mary who is a former nurse has responded to her true calling. Her video has gone viral, and the world is still sharing it. Nursing is a calling. Nursing is courageous, nursing is brave, you cannot get it better than in the video by Aliona Mary.
The carefully recorded video by this patient is a challenge to the Covid-19 task force of Uganda.
It is the likes of Doris Okundinia and Aliona Mary who give hope to the nursing profession. The country is struggling with professionalizing the forces; army, police, LDUs but the medical profession stand a test of time. The partisan medical practice as introduced currently in Uganda will collapse, but the true practice will sprout.
Do not respond to this gallant nurse with the police, local defence units, RDCs and the many security personnel that are used to abuse reason in Uganda. We are known for methods that suffocate voices. This nurse is retired but is a professional. She should shine and some of us are here to elate her if Uganda is not willing.
The principles of nursing practice describe what every nurse lives for, from nursing staff to patients. These principles become a way of life, and nurses use them as values of nursing profession until death. Even if one has resigned from practice like Aliona Mary, the Masaka asymptomatic Covid-19 nurse in the video, those values push them.
The principles of nursing constitute safe and effective nursing care, and cover the aspects of behaviour, attitude and approach that underpin good care of patients who become part of the nurse’s permanent lives.
Nurses and nursing staff treat everyone in their care with dignity and humanity. They understand their individual needs, show compassion and sensitivity, and provide care in a way that respects all people equally. Aliona Mary defended this.
Nurses and nursing staff take responsibility for the care they provide and answer for their own judgements and actions in a way that is agreed with their patients and in a way that meets the requirements of their professional bodies and the law. Challenge Aliona Mary on this.
Nurses and nursing staff manage risk, are vigilant about risk, and help to keep everyone safe in the places they receive health care. What more did you want to know about sanitation, design rules, privacy about the Masaka isolation centre beyond what asymptomatic Aliona?
Again, nurses and nursing staff provide and promote care that puts people at the center, involves patients, in decision and helps them make informed choices about their treatment and care. She was asymptomatic and able to jump around how I wish she were given an opportunity to monitor and educate the rest of the patients. Occupational therapy.
Nurses and nursing staff are at the heart of the communication process: they assess, record and report on treatment and care, handle information sensitively and confidentially, deal with complaints effectively, and are conscientious in reporting the things they are concerned about.
The quality of that video is enough for the Ministry of Health to design management of Covid-19 cases across Uganda.
Nurses and nursing staff have up-to-date knowledge and skills and use these with intelligence, insight and understanding in the line with the needs of everyone in their care.
Nurses and nursing staff work closely with their own team and other professionals, making sure patients ‘care and treatment is coordinated, is of a high standard and has the best possible outcome.
Nurses and nursing staff lead by example, develop themselves and other staff, and influence the way care is given in a manner that is open and responds to individual needs.
I am labouring to put this down, to show you how resourceful nurses are and how deep our evaluation of our cases should be. Take it or not, the shape of the hospital in Masaka as shown in the video is a condemned place. And we are also doing a lot by dehumanizing patients.
The Ministry of Health, your letter is more exaggerated than the video. You can only respond with a video of the updated care center.
There will always be that candle in the wind, light shines in darkness.
Dr Nathan Onyachi, the patient does not have motives beyond as you alluded in your letter; she has a story about patient care based on principles. She got you guys flat footed, down up. You are protecting your job based on the political environment. Nurses do not lie, but they are being forced to lie.
What are you supposed to be doing? We the public expect you to “objectively implement” often intentionally vague public policies. Use your professional discretion to ensure that public intent is fulfilled.
The author is a Medical Clinical Officer/Certified Public Manager based in the United States of America