SAVING AFRICAN NURSING PRACTICE FROM INTELLECTUAL EXILE

A CALL FOR ACTIVE INVOLVEMENT IN RESEARCH

BY – Kofi Daniel ( RN, BSN, MSN)

As an editor for Lead Nurse Africa (LNA), I was carrying out a thorough online search to monitor the volume of published studies by African based Nurses both the clinicians and  the academicians.

In comparison with other elite professions, we are far behind. The consequences are there for all to see as we have perpetually struggled with the implementation of evidenced based practice in most African countries. It is simple, “No human endeavor has been able to develop without serious research work”.

We must give credit to some academicians whose relentless effort in nursing studies enjoys good highlight in many notable publication and journals.  Strikingly, a group of nursing scholars from different African Universities acknowledged that the entire concepts and theories that form nursing practice in Africa are product of studies carried out in the developed countries . Put it in another language, it is a total indictment that we have all failed to develop a local scientific base for nursing practice that reflects the configuration of our emotional and psychological dispositions as influenced by our culture and ideologies.

Take for instance, it is medically advisable in the united states of America, to inform a patient whose condition is deteriorating that he has two years to live. you can also tell people their HIV status and they handle it positively without  defaulting from medication and counseling . In African society , observation suggest that the situation is different. Tell a patient that his condition has no remedy, the next morning, they might vacate your hospital to a spiritualist or another hospital where they would be given fake promises for financial gains . In fact, it can result to insult as they will demand to know “if you are their God”.  Also in most African society, Most HIV patients die from anxiety and defaulting from anti-retro viral treatment. Just when their medications are beginning to control their viral load after being on recommended treatment for a while,  a spiritualist (which most members of our societies blindly follow) can claim that his or her condition was never an HIV case, but an attack from an angry ancestors, aging grand parents or a suspicious neighbor. The patient would abandon all expert advice and claim that he has been spiritually healed. These category of people , Who would have lived as long as possible if they had maintained the standard management as recommended for them by experts, often remain in denial until the end stage of their sickness.

There are many other scenario, yet the major question is;

  • How many studies have been carried out by African nurses to reflects this situations in the ethics of nursing practice?
  • How much have we, from empirical evidence, modified some of the theories we borrowed from western world to reflect our local circumstances?
  • What introduction have we made in client education, counseling, initiation and disengagement of therapeutic relationship, to ensure that an evidenced based measures were taken to counter the existing local challenges emanating from our cultural and religious orientation?
  • How much effort have we made through empirical studies, to develop solutions which will reflect in nursing education curriculum and ultimately be implementable in practice for improved therapeutic outcome. etc?
  • Have we even sufficiently carried out a historical review of nursing practice and education in Africa, the influence of colonialism and the inputs of great nurses of old, whom despite all odds , contributed commendably to the growth and development of the profession?

This is not the moment to point fingers and trade blames. Lead Nurse Africa therefore call on all nurses in Africa, to embrace research as an indispensable components of our professional practice and education .  It is the only way we can develop nursing education and practice, nursing leadership, nursing advocacy, nursing entrepreneurship and ultimately advance the promotion of the well being of members of our society.

From Admin: Kofi Daniel writes for lead Nurse Africa from New York City, United States

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Lead Nurse Africa is a Pan-African nursing organization dedicated to public health promotion and professional development.

2 thoughts on “SAVING AFRICAN NURSING PRACTICE FROM INTELLECTUAL EXILE

  1. ok, im trying to see if I can gain the consent of the establishment I work with in carrying out a research within its environment, a research that at the end of the day would benefit the establishment in vital areas…..protocol….bottleneck…..cover up …..don’t expose our shortcoming …..this and that . Nobody is looking at benefits.!!!!!!! instead the head of my unit says “please its not in my tenure this noozing about would start” . research is now noosing about!

  2. Nursing and Research. back then in school more than half the graduating students in my set copied and pasted their research work. LOL. and that trend has been passed on from generation to generation. I don’t know why but i just think that we nurses shy away from Technical Scientific things….

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