Nurses face a raw deal – Mavhaire

Deplorable working conditions in the health sector need an urgent review, a senior nurse officer has said.

Graduate nurses make their pledge.
Graduate nurses make their pledge.

“This system must be modified if we are to progress towards needed changes in nursing,” said Helena Mavhaire, the principal nursing officer at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals, Zimbabwe’s biggest referral centre.

Mavhaire, speaking at a prize-giving and graduation ceremony for 273 nurses last week, said poor working conditions, long hours and low pay were demoralising for health workers.

“We are appealing to the powers that be to consider the plight of the nurses seriously. As a country we cannot continue to train (staff) for other countries while the solution is here,” she said.

Mavhaire asked the new graduates to soldier on and execute their duties diligently, being sensitive “to the needs and demands of the communities you serve”. The quality of hospital services was the subject of recent public outcry, with patients raising concerns about nurses’ attitudes.

Sydney Makarawu, the clinical director at the hospital, said: “We are accused of offering less than ideal services to our clients. Any bad publicity affecting Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals paints a black picture of its entire staff without exception.

“The derision of these workers by detractors and the community is hurtful,” said Makarawu. “However, as a profession, we take stock of all the criticism that comes our way at all times and revisit the way we do things and correct them as best as we can.”

He urged nurses, as the link between the hospital and patients, to be professional and humble.

“We appeal to the nurse to play his or her role efficiently for the harmony expected by the patient. To our clients we ask for your support and understanding and motivate us to do better,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe donated five computers and three printers to Parirenyatwa Hospital.

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