How to Avoid Inter-Professional Crisis in the Healthcare system – Gaius BALA

Delivering quality Healthcare service, takes an integral contribution of various stakeholders. It is a simply complex system that can be compared to the human body; the central intent of every contribution. Reminding everyone involved that we are, because the Patient is. Our own kinda Ubuntu!

In a health facility, you’ll find Doctors, Nurses, Pharmacists, Medical Laboratory Scientists, Physiotherapists, Dietitians, Radiographers, Optometrists, Dentists, Health Information officers, Servicom officers, Mortuary attendants and a host of other walks of life. I would have stopped by just mentioning Doctors and Nurses, but I laid these broad list for a purpose; to introduce the others areas you probably don’t hear much of. The quest is not to bring awareness; but if in the course, you gain awareness, that would be a double fit.

Truth be told, these areas differ based on the sophistication of training and the overall impact of service to patient wellbeing. For examples, the years a Doctor invest in training, cannot be compared to that of a Mortuary attendant, However, the variation in competency is to increase the power of contribution, not to become a bone of contention.

In Nigeria, there are recurrent frictions between various health professionals. These frictions result in Professional disregard, strike actions, physical combat; yes, it has happened, and it’s still happening.

In my few years in this system, I’ve seen Doctors exchange words with Nurses, Nurses exchange words with Doctors. I have read about places where the issues were intense that patient and caregivers had enough story to tell, that will last them till another one erupts.

These are hard sayings, but they happen.

It is true, disagreements do happen in a working environment, this is not only peculiar to the health sector, but when disagreement shifts to be unending seeds of discord, there is need to address them.

Our system is already experiencing enough crises, fuelling it with Professional mishaps isn’t the remedy at all.

This article captures ways to better manage inter-professional crises, in a health system already having its internal crises

If you are a health provider, caregiver, or just an interested reader. You will find this as a wisdom pill to the issues faced.

  • Lift your perspective above the local; there is so much that lies in being Global

The world is fast growing to be a global village, presenting diverse opportunities to thrive. In this era, blaming your limitations on those in the helm of affairs is questionable. Nurses are offered opportunity to take courses that their national curriculum might not accommodate. In the field of Medical Laboratory, there are global professional exams like American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP), International Association of Cytology (IAC) exams, and a host of others. There are massive opportunities to study in developed countries and get exposed to cutting-edged technologies, more than ever before. Programs in the global scene are fluidic in nature, giving room for any profession to flow to the health scene. Computer experts are getting a place in Bioinformatics, in the department of Biomedical Science. The wave of interdisciplinary exchange is a work of wonders. This should remind you that, you can be anything you put your mind to be. If we understand the place of excellence and global relevance, we will know that settling for professional fight is just not a worth it.

  • Embrace Competence; let your excellence do the speaking. Let it be your widest and clearest placard

No matter how overbearing people can be, they understand the valuable place of excellence. Somehow, the excellent ones will make the work easier. If as a Radiographer, you are exceptional, you will be sought after, no matter how the system is. There is only how far a system will move, without competent hands. Choose to be the one that helps in making decisions that will help the patient. Need will always arise; your contribution will be called for.

  • Understand that some personal problems can disguise as professional problems.

Some people are just parading personal grievances, in the name of professional fight. If you never got the opportunity to study Medicine and Surgery, kindly don’t get jealous at every Doctor. The Doctors are not your problem. If you badly wanted nursing, and never got in, don’t generate hatred for nurses; they are not the cause of you not getting what you ever wanted. Learn to not channel a failed pursuit to someone who has attained it. It will only put the patient at loss. A medical Doctor who is personally sound in character, knows that every health worker is deserving of respect. A nurse who is empathetic will not disregard where the cadre system placed a Doctor. A Pharmacist that is thoughtful, will know how to address discrepancies in drug-related communication. You can’t be this good, and blame your profession for changing you; unless somehow, you had an inner character struggle.

  • Give the Patient or Patient Caregiver a Good impression of other health professionals

In the eyes of the patient, health professionals should shun the habit of selling another Profession as incompetent, in a quest to promote their expertise.

For example, as a Medical Laboratory Scientist in the blood bank; If at any point you feel a young House officer did something wrongly, it’s best to not rub off that in the presence of the patient.

Else, the patient will lose trust in the services of the House officer.

Let it not be in your conversations, that patients will find evidence, as to why they don’t trust the healthcare system. You can communicate with patients, and leave a deposit of trust, not a crack of another Profession. Yes, nonchalance amongst health workers is real, and whoever chooses that path should be brought to order. But communicate thoughtfully!

I sat down the other day, to listen to the conversations of some health workers. To my utmost surprised, none of their Communication was patient centered; each had a story of how they reciprocated a so-called unmannered behavior from other sister professions.

Dear Health professional, be reminded that, the patients will not be the grass that will suffer when two elephants. They are too important to be your grass. They are flowers to their families. And when condition brings them to your healthcare facility, they are planted flowers there, deserving of being watered by your expertise; not being trampled by your inter-professional grievances.

#Healthcareworkers #TogetherForThePatient #CollaborationOverCompetition

Gaius BALA
Show full profile Gaius BALA

A Global Shared-Leadership Biomedical Scientist, with over two years working experience in the diagnostic landscape of northern Nigeria. As a firm advocate of healthcare system strengthening, Gaius is committed to repositioning rural health practice to World Health Organization's Universal Heath Coverage. Currently, He is serving as a core team player for MEDLAB CONVO; one of the fastest growing medical laboratory platform for students and young professionals. He also doubles up as Youth Community Ambassador for UNFPA, representing IGABI local government of Kaduna state. Outside the field of health, you will find him extending his winds of social innovation in community development programs, Arts and literature and Teens Capacity Development. He served as the Organizer of Sokoto Book and Arts Festival 2021; Head of Online Promotion, TEDxArkilla 2021.

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