I first met Mrs. Omolola Adetunsi at a seminar organized by my church for members of the church that volunteered to be child’s teachers. At the meeting, Mrs. Omolola introduced herself as a mother, and a Licensed Vocational Nurse who has been working with Methodist Hospital, Sugarland, Houston Texas, in the last 2 yrs. Consequently, I decided to interview her since she is currently practicing as a nurse in the state of Texas.
On the day of the interview, I arrived at Mrs. Omolola’s home at 4 P.M., and was welcomed by the firstborn daughter who ushered me into a nicely furnished house. The serenity and the ambience that pervaded the house suggested a house that is well looked after. Mrs. Omolola was sitting in the visitor section of the living room helping her children with their homework, so she asked me to make myself comfortably, especially as I was no stranger to her. Once she was through with helping the kids with their assignment, she instructed them to go into their rooms and study.
Mrs. Omolola whom I had briefed on what the interview was about started by asking “Do you want to be a nurse, “Are you certain this is the job you want to do,” and my silence set the tint for the interview, which had some component of what Nigerians call Pigin English- which is a local an general way of communication between the educated and uneducated. For example the statement ‘How you dey,’ means how are you, and ‘Open your eyes well well,’ means to be very observant, or be very vigilant or to be focused. Mrs. Omolola was born in Nigeria and she is the first of three kids. She said growing up was very difficult, especially in her community where they lacked basic social facilities such as schools, better hospitals, recreational parks and so on. She said that it was very common to hear people getting sick and dying suddenly and as a young girl she always wished that she could help support and care for people. Finally, in 2008, her family moved to the U.S.A. and for her it was the opportunity she needed to pursue her dreams of caring for the sick by studying to be a nurse.
The excitement with which Mrs. Omolola recounted her childhood experiences inspired me to ask her – what are the pros and cons of the nursing profession. She reclined into the sofa, smiled and said that nurses are in demand, and there are abundant job opportunities, good salaries, and decent benefits to prove it. She also told me that nursing also allows for flexible scheduling, interesting specialties, and a variety of job settings, topped off with plenty of room for advancement. The sentence that caught my attention as she went on and on was “But the biggest advantage to being a nurse is the satisfaction that comes from knowing you make a difference in people's lives.” According to Mrs. Omolola, “No job is perfect, and nursing is no exception.” She opined that nursing job is demanding and challenging. Beginning salaries are high, but in most cases, they plateau, creating frustration for experienced nurses. She also said that hazards abound because nurses are exposed to infectious diseases, chemicals, and violence and the hours can be long and all these challenges extend into the student experience. From Mrs. Omolola, the life of a nursing student is quite different from most other majors. Time is at a premium, and practicum experiences can be life-changing, for both client and student
And so I asked her whether she can remember making any medical mistake in the course of discharging her duties and this is what she stated to me “ I thank God that I have not made any such mistake, because it can be the end of one’s career.” However, she told me of her co-worker (Ufoma) who was about to get off a night shift and got a call from another co-worker pleading with Ufoma to work her shift because she was not feeling well and…