Pretoria - As the country marked Nurses’ Day yesterday, members of the Young Nurses Indaba Trade Union said there was nothing for them to celebrate.
They were marching to the South African Nursing Council in Pretoria to submit a memorandum, which was received by registrar Sizo Mchunu. He promised it would receive attention.
The memorandum was addressed to the Council of Higher Education, South African Qualifications Authority, as well as the Ministry of Health and the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology.
The general secretary of the union, Lerato Mthunzi, said that instead of attending commemorations and put up a façade, they opted to take their commemoration of Nurses’ Day to the South African Nursing Council.
“The nursing profession is filled with lots of problems,” she said. adding theirs was not a cry for the profession, but for the community.
“We are tired of being scapegoats for not giving citizens the best service, and we are also tired of being accomplice to murders in hospitals and clinics that could have been prevented.”
The nurses said they were tired of health facilities being short of nurses, medication and equipment needed to give patients the best service.
Ramaano Mulatedzi said nursing was a good profession and the backbone of life, but institutions were turning it for the worst.
“Now nursing feels like a punishment, and when you wake up to go to work you feel demoralised and not motivated at all. We lack resources and we also lack human resources.”
Mulatedzi said with Covid-19 overwhelming the health system and the shortage of resources, those who may have wanted to join the profession would not get the motivation to do so.
One of the demands is for the nursing council to desist from stifling the progress of nursing education and training by allowing a fast-tracked total transitioning of the regulation of nursing education and training to totally reside with the Council of Higher Education.
The second demand is to dissolve the advisory committee composed of “geriatrics”, who are not in practice and are allegedly not representing the nurses’ interests. “That is counter-progressive and misleading the Council of Higher Education to arrive at wrong decisions informed by their selfish interests and ambitions.”
Urgent attention must be given to unwarranted academic exclusion and discrimination by nursing academic institutions of legacy course R425.
The third demand is for the nursing council to focus its attention on nursing practice, which it has neglected, and urgently review the scope of practice of new and legacy qualifications.
Their other demand is for the prioritisation of many enrolled nursing assistants and nurses produced by legacy courses, affording them an opportunity to fulfil their ambitions to further their studies in nursing with clear and simple guidelines.
They also want the nursing council to fast-track the process of accreditation and course curricula offering postgraduate diplomas.
“The nursing council must pay attention to its administrative flaws, which cause serious frustration to nurses who fund their existence.”
They also wanted the industry regulatory entity to desist from its “cowardly tendencies” of being reluctant to challenge employers, and opting to “displace and exercise their muscle with nurses’ unlawful restoration penalties”.
The trade union gave the nursing council seven working days to respond to the memorandum.