Worried about the occurrence of preventable deaths in Nigeria, the National Surgical, Obstetric, Anaesthesia and Nursing Plan (NSOANP), in collaboration with Smile Train, has embarked on capacity building for nurses in the country.
Experts in the health sector have revealed that a good number of deaths in the nation’s health facilities were a result of a limited number of healthcare professionals including nurses, lack of modern medical equipment and the inability of nurses to carry out certain critical functions.
Consequently, NSOANP the duo has organised a five day training on ‘Nursing Care Saves Lives,’ with participants drawn from the nursing profession across the country in Abuja.
Speaking at the opening of the training, Smile Train Programme Manager, West Africa, Victoria Awazie stressed that the training was critical to ensure that nurses were abreast with global best practices in providing care to patients.
She further disclosed that 84 nurses from the six geopolitical zones were physically in attendance, while over 200 joined the training online out of over 400 that registered.
“It is a way of equipping our nurses to be abreast with the right knowledge on how to deal with their patients, considering the psychological emotions that patients have.
“Sometimes patients don’t die at surgical bed, but after the surgery as a result of complications. So, we are training the nurses to be more equipped to know what to do when such issues arise, especially when the doctors are not available”, Awazie noted.
On her part, immediate past president, National Association of Nigerian Pediatric Nurses, Comrade Lawal-Aiyedun Olubunmi who raised concerns over the government’s poor investment in health, stressed that adequate health budgetary allocation, timely release of funds, and training of nurses to undertake critical surgical interventions and emergency care, would help save more lives from preventable deaths.
Olubunmi who doubles as a member NSOANP committee maintained that there could never be successful surgical intervention care without quality nursing care, as nurses were always available even when other health care professionals, especially doctors, were not.
She said: “It is critical for nurses to have this knowledge and capacity to provide safe and quality surgical services in the country more so, nurses are the largest health care team and what is left for us to do with the number is to build their competency and confidence to be able to give quality care.
“I want to plead with the government; the issue of inadequate healthcare professionals where one nurse will take care of 30 to 40 patients is exhaustive, and it’s not giving us desired results.
“Our patients are dying, and we don’t want that. We want our government to be committed and invest right from the national to the state and local government to prioritize surgical anesthesia nursing intervention in this country.”
A critical care nurse with Defence Intelligence College, Morayo Eboh, lamented that nurses were usually forced to improvise while rendering services to patients, due to inadequate equipment that would help provide quality care to patients.
“If medications or equipment are not available, there is little or more the nurses can do within their capacity. Sometimes we tend to improvise.”
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