Durban - A nurse who verbally abused a patient at the Prince Mshiyeni Memorial Hospital has been suspended. This comes after a woman's tirade was caught on camera in a video that went viral on social media.
MEC for Health in KwaZulu-Natal, Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu, said she hoped that the nurse's suspension would serve as a stern warning to all healthcare professionals in the province that the mistreatment of patients will not be tolerated.
The 30-second video clip, seemingly captured by another patient, has been shared extensively on social media. In it, the nurse is seen severely admonishing a patient in his hospital bed.
“Why are you so insolent, you piece of sh..? Hey, v....sek. You’re wasting my time. I’m trying to put on a drip to try and help you... You want tea? Are you here to drink coffee and sleep? Do you think this a hotel, where we must provide tea and coffee for you?,” the nurse can be heard saying.
MEC Simelane-Zulu said she was shocked and appalled by the nurse’s apparent attitude, and has declared that there is no place for such conduct in the department.
“We are extremely taken aback by the nurse’s attitude as depicted in the video. I don’t care what the circumstances are, or what had frustrated the nurse, but that is just not the way to address a patient. Our fellow compatriots come to our health facilities out of a desperate need to receive care, support, and overall nursing so that they can overcome whatever ailment they are suffering from. They have no-where else to go," she said.
The MEC said e very nurse takes a pledge where they solemnly swear to commit themselves to the service of humanity.
"In the pledge, they promise to endeavor to practise their profession with conscience and dignity. They say the total health of their patients will be their first consideration. They also make a vow to maintain, by all the means in their power, the honour and noble tradition of their profession. So, when we see something like this, which is diametrically opposed to those ideals, we have to act very decisively. Such behaviour is abhorrent, and besmirches the good name of the majority of nurses, who are respectful, committed and dedicated to their work," Simelane-Zulu said.
She said the nurse has been placed on immediate suspension, pending a full investigation into her conduct.
"We want to send a strong message that the days of mistreating patients are over. Both patients and healthcare workers have rights which must be respected. You misbehave, we deal with you," the MEC said.