NURSES have been called upon to endeavour to deliver the best services possible and uphold professionalism in their work.
This was said on Thursday by the Director for Nursing Services in the Ministry of Health, ‘Makholu Lebaka, during International Nurses Day (IND) commemorations in Mohale’s Hoek.
IND is celebrated around the world on 12 May annually to recognise the contributions nurses make to society.
The date was chosen because it is the anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, who is widely considered the founder of modern nursing. The commemorations were held under the theme “Nurses: A Force for Change: Improving health systems’ resilience”.
Ms Lebaka said the theme was apt given the need for nurses to fulfil their pledge of service.
“Resilience means the ability to recover from, or adjust easily to difficulties, misfortune or challenges,” she said.
“Improve is to make better, ameliorate, upgrade, refine, enhance, boost, and build on, help, raise, revamp, and many other synonyms.”
Ms Lebaka said nurses were found at every level of care and formed more than 83 percent of the health workforce. As a result, she said, they could make a huge impact in improving the health delivery system.
“Nurses make an incredible impact through the provision of quality care and patient safety without risking their own lives and without compromising their family life,” she said.
Nurses, Ms Lebaka further noted, should continually introspect to ensure they are providing good service delivery.
“The definition of introspection is self-examination, analysing yourself, looking at your own personality and actions, and considering your own motivations,” she said.
“As nurses, if we consciously examine the following dimensions as examples; integrity, conscience, communication, personality/attitude, professional ethics, we can definitely make the current situation better without compromising our own safety.”
For her part, Lesotho Nursing Council (LNC) Chairperson Tlalane Letsie said nurses were the backbone of the health delivery system.
“Nurses are the anchor and coordinators of patient care as every health professional who has a stake in patient care has to liaise with them in order to deliver his or her service effectively,” Ms Letsie said.
She said nurses faced many challenges, such as the increase in non-communicable diseases and change in disease patterns thereby putting pressure to the health system.
“These challenges can cripple the health care system unless nurses use their competencies to enhance its resilience. Resilience is attained when one is able to adapt in the face of stress and adversity,” Ms Letsie said.
“Nurses need to work on their own resilience in order to improve that of the health care system. A broken soul has no way of mending another.”
She said a continual search for knowledge and good attitude would enable the nurses to shoulder the health care demands of their patients.
“Keeping abreast with new developments, engaging in research and sharing ideas with colleagues will enable nurses to provide evidence-based individualised care rather than routine activities,” said Ms Letsie. “As a result, LNC introduced continual professional development. It provides them with competencies that will enable them to coil and recoil around the health care challenges.”