The Need To Maintain A Safe Environment To Facilitate Effective Nursing Practice In Nigeria

An impoverished and toxic environment has a harmful and hazardous effect on nurses' health. Thus, the need for safe surroundings.

Often, nurses are the first and closest to clients and patients in the healthcare system, from the emergency room down to the consulting and wards. They are referred to as the closest to clients and hence the highest team at risk of contracting infectious diseases. By the definition and roles of nurses in society, they are not just a caregiver but also an assistant, a friend, and confidence. During the cause of care, clients seem to have direct contact with nurses 60 times more than they do with any other healthcare team. From the administration of medication to physical and psychological care, history taking, down to assessment and examination. This list goes on and on. 

 Should we talk about being in the hospital wards with the patient and attending to emergencies? Ensuring and collaborating with healthcare personnel in other to have a smooth and effective treatment plan. Preserving a safe and protective environment for the patient, preventing the spread of infection, and ensuring a conducive environment in the ward are entrusted to the nurse team. With this, they become a potential risk of any infectious diseases and injury either from the client by mishandling of items or within the ward.

Conserving the environment has become a topic of concern and a priority for nurses. Several hazards have been reported in recent years. Injury and cross-infection have also been leading problems. This creates a vacuum and impairs effective nursing practice and holistic care. Studies have shown 60-70% of nurses who are either retired or voluntarily left work do come down with severe back pain, while some continue to nurse the injury sustained at work throughout their life, which deprives them of the enjoyment and relaxation necessary. Others so come down with infectious diseases as a result of having to improvise where there is an inadequate supply of essential equipment.

In addition to this, personal protective apparatus, which should be readily available, are hard to find, which makes them more vulnerable to disease, especially from a client who hasn't been diagnosed. Impacts of these have caused the lives of many health teams in the health facilities, especially the nurses; many began to seek greener pastures either elsewhere or in other professions. This causes more decrease in the population of staff in a country that lacks an adequate number of nurses. The workload then becomes more cumbersome for the few available ones, which makes them more vulnerable.

The outcome then goes back to affect the general public, they tend to lack holistic care, and their cases are not probably looked at. These then lead to a sick society with little or no help, which then affects every other sector of the community as it is said that only a healthy person attends to another aspect of life.

One of the best ways to tackle these aforementioned challenges is by maintaining a safe and standard environment for all health workers, particularly the nurse. This includes; lessening the workload, which enables effective and efficient practice, among many others, and provision of essential equipment, including the personal protective apparatus (PPA), which helps to reduce the rate of infection spread from an unknown client, new staff (Registered Nurses) should be well informed and educated on the legislation of every ward.

Conclusively, appropriate ward management should be ensured and entrusted to only those who are skilled in the field.

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