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Onyekwelu Chinenye Scholastica is a nurse who believes that hope and confidence do wonder in the healing process.
Nurses are the front-line health care providers, who have to be highly knowledgeable of the condition of their patients and innovative when handling them, says Scholastica, who completed her bachelor’s degree in nursing at Texila American University, Guyana.
“I loved the positive pressure that kept me on course,” she says of the environment at the university.
She says the modules and the curriculum were designed uniquely and sustained student interest effortlessly.
From mentors to co-students, every day was an opportunity at Texila, Scholastica says.
Today, she is the unit team leader at a hospital where she coordinates patient management. “I keep the team together and we collaborate through shared experience, and the outcome is wonderful,” she says.
Scholastica believes that out-of-the-box healing techniques must complement treatment or therapy for better results.
“It is important to talk to patients and help them stay positive while receiving the treatment, and this way they come out of their condition without much pain.”
“Alongside treatment, it’s crucial to understand patient’s mindset and their situation, and help them stay strong.”
Citing a case, Scholastica says how she brought about an attitudinal change in a patient’s caregiver to derive maximum benefit from the treatment.
“A patient who visited the hospital for fever was diagnosed with terminal cancer, and her husband resorted to the internet to ‘comprehend’ the complications of her disease, but was causing alarm and confusion. I counseled him, and convinced him into giving all his attention to his wife, who needed his care the most, and leave the treatment to doctors.”
She responded well to treatment, she says.
Scholastica says she as a nurse, tried to keep the patient, especially the seriously ill ones, surrounded with positive vibes.
“I even discourage visitors, who have a good chance to infuse the patient with negativity.”
Scholastica who joined Texila in 2015, says how there was remarkable knowledge-sharing among the students with the faculty helping students meet deadlines without compromising the quality of work.
“We got the much-needed push to comfortably complete our studies.”
Scholastic, who has specialized in midwifery, has also assisted surgeons for eight years and has experience working in the various departments of a hospital.
“Whichever department I work, I have always been flexible with my approach to patients, and have learned to go with the flow, especially when they are difficult.”
Recollecting a day at work, when she was attached to a psychiatry department of a hospital, she says she was guiding a mentally challenged patient to the doctor’s room only to find the doctor was not in his seat.
The patient flew into a temper and said the doctor has to wait for the patient and not the other way round.
“I immediately agreed and even ‘chided’ the doctor when he finally made an appearance. When I took his side, there was a sense of camaraderie and the patient calmed down,” she says.
Aspiring nurses can, perhaps, take a leaf out of Scholastica’s experience and ensure the psychological and emotional well-being of the patient as much as the physical.