“Unprofessional” nurses irritate P.M. Tuilaepa

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi has criticised the performance of nurses, accusing them of “unprofessional behaviour.”

Tuilaepa did not name anyone in particular but he referred to the general attitude shown by nurses throughout the country at public hospitals.

He also claimed that some nurses think they know more about the medical profession than doctors.

 “The nurses need to stick to their profession and stop telling-off patients,” Tuilaepa said, speaking during his weekly press conference.

 “This is not the first time that I have been informed about such unprofessional behaviour towards patients.”

It was not possible to get a comment from the Samoa Nurses Association (S.N.A.). 

But Tuilaepa said the behaviour of nurses today is not like that of nurses in the past where they were courteous, professional and polite.

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 “Nowadays, it appears the nurses with degrees think they know better,” Tuilaepa said. “A nurse will always be a nurse, that’s a fact.”

Tuilaepa pointed to nurses with higher qualifications as some of the worst culprits.

He said it appears their qualifications have “gotten into their heads and they forget their job is to serve the patients and not scold them.”

He also accused them of being rude to doctors.

 “This is the same attitude they display towards the doctors,” Tuilaepa said. 

“I am telling you (nurses), if you want to be a doctor, go back to school to get your doctor's degree. But for now you are a nurse, stick to being nurse.

“If you are a nurse, work in accordance with your abilities, but don’t work like you are the doctor when in fact you are a nurse,” he said. 

In May this year the Cabinet appointed a Commission of Inquiry to consider the proposed organizational structure of the merger between the Ministry of Health and the National Health Services. 

The report outlined that leaders of the health sector in Samoa exist in a “state of warfare.” 

And unless “reconciliation” takes place immediately between leaders of the “warring occupational groups”, especially doctors and nurses, members of the public whose lives depend on the sector, will continue to be victims. 

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