A caring nurse

A friend of mine was so touched by the care of a nurse recently that he composed a letter and circulated it to share his New Year joy. Good news is almost something we have come not to expect. It is somehow unsettling. We are supposed to be only having bad news in Zimbabwe. Well, this friend had

a serious accident towards the end of the old year and he and his fellow travelers were cared for initially in a government hospital in Mutoko. They received the best care possible and what struck my friend particularly was the follow up. The nurse who cared for them phoned several of them later to find out how they were getting on.

It is common knowledge that our hospitals are struggling. The government itself described Parirenyatwa last year as being ‘in intensive care.’ Supplies are hard to come by and nurses are not paid a living wage. The morale among nurses suffers as a result. Just this week a baby died in hospital in Harare because at a critical moment after birth there was no one in attendance on the mother.

Yet this particular nurse rose above all the limitations of her job and situation to reach out to someone who was hurt and badly shaken by his experience. She decided a long time ago not to give in to the general discouragement in the profession but to make her own way and set her own ideals. In her family life she felt herself blessed by God and in return decided, in my friend’s words, ‘to do her job to the very best of her abilities.’ What a simple everyday expression and yet what a powerful one! She cared for the bodies of the wounded people but much more she touched their hearts. The poet Yeats has a line about someone who

Wild with divinity
Had so lit up the whole –

There is no more powerful incentive than the witness of action, which goes against – or rises above – the normal. It releases something within us. We catch fire. We can call this quality ‘leadership.’

Post published in: Opinions

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