Nurses have been urged to emulate Florence Nightingale, the Mother of modern nursing, who, by organizing the treatment and tending of wounded soldiers during the Crimean War of 1853 to 1856, had laid the foundations of the nursing profession.

Dr Lydia Aziato, Senior Lecturer and Head, Department of Adult Education, University of Ghana, who made the call, underscored the importance of commitment and dedication to the nursing career to the provision of quality care to patients and the reduction of the death toll among patients.

Dr Aziato was delivering the key note address at the end of a Trade Fair to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the 37 Military Hospital and the annual Military Nightingale’s Week celebrations in Accra on Friday.

She said emulating Florence Nightingale meant presenting a positive image of oneself as a nurse and providing effective leadership through the acquisition of social and inter-personal skills.

She stressed the need for competency in the use of the computer and the internet as well as Continuous Professional Education and Development (CPED), academic progression and specializations.

Dr Aziato said there could be no quality if the client was not satisfied and that quality care entailed courtesy towards the patient through the choice of words and demeanour, and good sanitation and hygienic practices, among others.

She urged the leadership of the Ministry of Defence to create an enabling environment, both material and human, for the Military Nightingales to give off their best in the care of clients.

She said opportunities should be created for further studies and CPED/ skills development that would meet international standards, adding that a Research Fund for the Military Nightingales for research activities was essential for the provision of quality care.

In his remarks, Brigadier-General R.K. Ametepi, Director-General of Medical Services, 37 Military Hospital and the Special Guest of Honour, said the provision of quality health care was the goal of the Military High Command and pledged to endeavour to support the Military Nightingales in the achievement of that target.

The Chairman of the Planning Committee, Lt. Col. F.A. Amakyi, in a welcome address, reminded the Military High Command of the human resource constraints of the nursing and midwifery Departments in the face of mounting demands from clients of the Hospital.

In an address, the Chairman for the occasion, Col. Rtd. Monica Andoh, stressed the need to give the nursing profession a more positive image.

Col. Rtd. Andoh said underlying that positive image was tolerance and positive attitude towards patients, the root of which, she said, was commitment and dedication to the profession.

The Nightingale’s Week celebration was instituted at the 37 Military Hospital four years ago to honour the memory of Florence Nightingale.

It is also in recognition of the exceptional services and contributions of nurses to the 37 Military Hospital and to society.

This year’s celebration was on the theme: “Military Nightingale- Ensuring client satisfaction through quality service and adequate staffing.”

The celebrations were climaxed by a Nightingale’s Awards to deserving current and retired nursing officers of the Hospital.

Source: Government of Ghana.