‘Nursing is a calling from God’
Originally posted at: https://www.ugandapartners.org/2020/02/nursing-is-a-calling-from-god/
Annet Kabanyoro is a doctoral student in healthcare at the University of South Africa. The dean of the School of Nursing at Kampala International University, she has rose through the ranks from enrolling in a certificate in nursing and kept on advancing, including with a master’s degree from Uganda Christian University (UCU). This is part of her story as told to UCU journalism student Esther Byoona.
What do students learn in a doctoral health science program?
There is an advanced level of learning. Communication and how you communicate are advanced. We do write ups, learn how to write, scientific writing, completing the thesis because you’re at that advanced level. Everything is advanced.
How does this level of health education improve healthcare in Uganda?
When you’re at an advanced level, you can influence policy in a positive direction, to make sure health service delivery is improved to make sure people do the right things. You ensure people using evidence, evidence-based practice, research and published scientific information so when you’re at that level you are able to influence policy, read literature synthesize it, write in scientific journals and implement more.
Why do you care about healthcare in Uganda?
A population that is not healthy cannot advance. Without healthcare, more people would be sick all the time. People cannot go to work, go to business, and go to school. There is nothing that can go on. Health and care of it should be taken as a priority. When you are healthy, you could do many things including self-care, but sickness debilitates and some people can hardly care for themselves.
What does your career path in heath care look like?
I started at a low level in 1992. I was at the certificate level in nursing and I kept on advancing. I did a diploma, degree, a masters, now am doing my PhD. I have done other courses like leadership and management and others. But I started at that lowest level so I’ve gone through all the levels of training in nursing since 1995. I assumed different roles ranging from being a bedside nurse in the clinical area to a nurse educator.
What do your love about the healthcare profession?
When you’re a health worker, and someone comes to you very sick, and they get better, you feel motivated. You feel happy, you feel great and sweet and you know that wow, you did your part. I love to see a patient who came when they were very sick and then improve and walking and smiling and thanking you. In education, when you see students on day one, you see they don’t know anything about the profession so you train them. They get to know what you do. Seeing students advance and get well socialized in the profession excites me.
What are the other benefits?
I get enumeration, and enumeration helps me take care of my family. My first born is a doctor. Though it can never be enough, we thank God we have food, housing, and clothes. I network with my colleagues professionally both locally and globally. I did a module in America.
What are your challenges?
Working in a resource constrained environment. Sometimes you want to do something but you don’t have the resources. I have to improvise all the time whether in clinical or education. You want to do a training you want to train them you cannot refuse them because it is there right but the resources are never enough. And culture can be a challenge.
Do you have any advice for those who may want to study in healthcare?
They should understand nursing is a calling from God. You should deliver service above self. The nurses’ anthem spells it out. There is not much money earned from nursing. Professionalism is key.
To support Uganda Christian University programs such as the ones in nursing as well as other programs, students, activities and services, go to www.ugandapartners.org and click on the “donate” button, or contact UCU Partners Executive Director, Mark Bartels, at email@example.com.