Registered nurse Taimi Ithindi has experienced many challenges in her profession but remains dedicated to providing quality care to her patients.
In light of International Nurses Day, celebrated earlier this month, Ithindi, who is employed at the Roman Catholic Private Hospital, sat down with Youth Corner to share her insights into the world of nursing and how new nurses can overcome the challenges they face.
She acknowledged that the expectations of competence and accountability can be daunting, but noted that with a good mentor and a willingness to learn, the journey can be made smoother.
“It’s overwhelming and exciting at the same time. Exciting in the sense that you are now a degree holder; all the hard work and sleepless nights are finally starting to pay off, and you get to do what you love – helping people,” said Ithindi, who studied at Unam’s School of Nursing and Public Health for four years.
She noted that the reality in the first few months of being a professional nurse and not a student nurse can be quite scary because everyone expects you to be competent and accountable for all your actions.
“But as long as your mentor is good and you show them that you are determined and willing to learn as much as you can in your new career, then the journey will be smooth for you.”
One of the reasons Ithindi joined the health profession was to be a voice for the voiceless and advocate for quality treatment. She shared the heartbreaking story of her father’s misdiagnosis and how it fuelled her passion for healthcare.
“A few years back, my dad passed away and it was later discovered that he was wrongly diagnosed and by the time they found the correct diagnosis, it was too late for him,” she expressed.
Her journey was not a walk in the park and she felt like giving up at some point, but through determination, a strong support system and knowing where she comes from, she pushed until she achieved her goal.
Ithindi told this paper that she has had many experiences where patients have returned to the hospital to thank her for the care she provided. She finds this rewarding and a reminder of the importance of the work nurses do.
New nurses face numerous challenges, from encountering senior colleagues who undermine their competence to being asked about medications they don’t know. Ithindi advises new nurses not to take criticism personally, to learn from it, and keep themselves updated on health topics.
“No one knows everything and every day is a chance for you to learn something new, so my advice to people is not to take it personally, and positive criticism allows you to grow into a better person. Also read and do research on health topics to keep yourself updated and on top of your game,” she noted.
Despite the challenges, Ithindi believes that dedication and a positive attitude can make the journey easier. Emotional support and in-service training have been crucial in helping her navigate the healthcare system.
For Ithindi, the most rewarding aspect of nursing is being able to provide holistic care to patients and putting a smile on their faces during their most vulnerable times.
“Taking care of oneself is vital in nursing,” Ithindi said, emphasising the importance of getting enough rest and seeking support from family, friends, and mentors during times of psychological stress.
She believes that patience, empathy, compassion, good communication skills, confidentiality, dignity, and respect are essential qualities for nurses to possess.
Ithindi advised aspiring nurses to join the profession for the right reasons.
“Nursing is one of the most noble professions out there, you should join it for the right reasons. It might get hard along the way, but the reward you get by helping those that are helpless, being the eyes for the blind, the ears for the deaf, and simply putting smiles on thousands of people’s faces is priceless,” she said.