As today is International Nurse’s Day, we thought we would take the time to show some appreciation to these superheroes. Marie Stopes’ centres are set around a model where our nurses are the heart of the healthcare that we provide.
Our founder, Dr Marie Stopes, built her clinic around a client centred service delivery and her service delivery philosophies hold throughout all Marie Stopes International progammes— gender equality, para-medicalisation and the need to respect and communicate with clients. This means our centres are run full time by our professional nurses who provide 90% of our services using a non-judgmental, client-friendly approach.
A few of our nurses took time to tell us a little about what they do and we came up with the following list to show the various hats that they wear on a daily basis. These men and women surely have superpowers and we appreciate the work that they do.
Effective communication is an important element in the healing process so a nurse being a good communicator can improve outcomes in the healthcare environment. If the communication is not effective, the healing process will be inhibited so a nurse has the responsibility of devising the best strategies for communicating to the patient. A patient needs to know what to expect during a procedure and the effects that the procedure or any medication they are on is going to have on their bodies so that they are prepared for it.
Nurses must also act as a teacher. Being a teacher to the patient entails assisting patients in gaining knowledge about their health and medications. The use of contraception and family planning is a big part of our sector and our nurses need to teach women about the various hormones that involved in the process of preventing pregnancy. These hormones work differently and have different effects on the body and it is the nurses’ responsibility to ensure that the patient understands all this.
In the business that we are in (Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare) there is a lot of listening to the client involved and counselling required to help our clients navigate through their needs, lifestyles and feelings in a way that works the best for the client’s health and safety. In order for our nurses to do this successfully they need to create a space that allows to talk about their problems and feelings in a confidential and dependable environment. It does not make it any easier that our nurses work in a highly stigmatised sector which means the clients are faced with stigma for needing an SRH service and it is up to the nurses to empower the women by destigmatising the service for them. Not only is this the way they face this challenge, they too are stigmatised in their various communities for providing this service and this adds to the strain of their workload.
Patients are different, even if they are going through the same procedure or illness and the care given depends on the needs and requirements of an individual patient. Our nurses know this and apply a holistic care approach to all their patients. What this means is that the Marie Stopes nurses’ care giving addresses not just physical needs but expand into cultural, spiritual, and mental needs concurrently.
This role is the most important of the nursing roles, especially in a sector that is as destigmatised as sexual health, and entails protecting the rights of the patient and empowering them to be able to advocate for their own needs even when faced with opposing views.
Happy International Nurses’ Day to our SRH superheroes and all the nurses everywhere. Thank you for all that you do.