September 5, 2018
By Hassan Gbassay Koroma
In bid to contribute to national development, members of the Sierra Leone Nurses Association in Los Angeles, California in the United States have provided scholarship to 23 nursing students from various colleges across Sierra Leone.
The 23 recipients yesterday, Tuesday, 4th September, gathered at the Conference Hall of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation to receive their scholarship from the Association’s coordinators in Sierra Leone.
Addressing beneficiaries during the ceremony, Minister of Health and Sanitation Dr. Alpha Tejan Wurie said it was unique for Sierra Leonean nurses residing in Los Angeles in the United States to support their compatriots back home, especially in the area of health.
He noted that they were among few and good Sierra Leoneans who believe in their compatriots and the country, thus the reason for their decision to help and contribute to national development by providing scholarships to nursing students in various colleges.
Dr. Wurie disclosed that government, by next year, would provide uniforms for all nurses in the country bearing the logo of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation.
He implored the student nurses to improve on their communication skills and to be disciplined by reporting for work on time, improve on their dress code and their way of talking to patients.
According to one of the coordinators, Bockarie Med Conteh, the Association was formed in 2007 by Sierra Leonean nurses based in Los Angeles with the objective of helping their deprived brothers and sisters in Sierra Leone who want to become nurses.
He narrated that in 2008 they started providing scholarships to sierra Leoneans, and in 2012 shipped and donated medical equipment to the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, adding that in 2014 they also donated to the fight against Ebola.
Reading a message from members of the Association, Alhaji Ahmid Kabba said the role of a nurse is not only to carry orders from the doctors but to be able to communicate with the former effectively to create a positive outcome for the patient.
He said a nurse is trained to gather accurate information and diagnose patients precisely, and that he or she sees, touches, talks to and educates his or her patients and their families many a times than the doctor.
He noted that a nurse knows more about the patient than the doctor.
“Without the nurse, the work of the doctor would be incomplete. A nurse is a communicator, an advocate, a caretaker, and a healing process of a patient. A nurse should be there to advocate for patients, to represent their best interest when dealing with doctors and other medical health professionals,” she said.
He said that a nurse protects the confidentiality of the patient and the family, and that they are trained to use critical thinking skills to decide what would benefit the patient, adding that those critical thinking skills involve accurate assessment to identify the real problem.