NURSES at the Accident and Emergency Centre at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital have resumed work Wednesday following a successful meeting they held on Monday, April 6 with the head of department (HOD) of the centre.
They are however, warning that they would not hesitate to withdraw their services if at any point in time they felt the safety of staff and patients was being threatened by the actions and inactions of the management team.
“It is important to note that we are resuming work against our earlier position to have all tests results before resuming work. This decision was taken with our dear clients in mind, considering the important space occupied by the Accident and Emergency Centre. The Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in the Ghanaian healthcare industry and more especially this trying time of fighting an invisible deadly viral agent,” a letter signed by the nurses at the centre to the HOD said.
The letter which did not give details of the meeting held between the nurses and the HOD, was copied to the chief executive officer of the hospital.
On Monday, staff of the centre said they were not going to work until they were all tested for the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
According to them, they wanted to ensure that they were all safe before resuming work after a patient who was on admission at the facility tested positive for the disease.
The staff said they feared for their lives given the situation at the place.
An initial press statement from the staff, especially the nurses said they were not going to work because of the fear of contracting the COVID-19.
“We write in line to the content of a letter circulating about a patient who tested positive to COVID-19 at the Accident and Emergency Center. It is sad to inform our heads of department that it has created fear and panic among we the nurses who are always close to the patients.
“We write with deep pain and regret as such information has been kept from us and consequently putting us at risk. As we write this letter, a substantial number of nurses at the center are not in their right state of mind. We are emotionally and psychologically stressed and saddened with fear and panic,” it said.
The nurses said their head of department informed them of a planned mass testing for staff but they were yet to be informed of a date for the exercise.
“We, therefore, come together as aggrieved nurses of this center that we are not working until everyone in the department is tested and results submitted and sorted out.
“Also, all the appropriate PPE should be provided to aid us work effectively and efficiently without putting ourselves and patients at risk,” the statement said.
Provision of those demands, they said would help them deal with all forms of psychological and emotional stress, “so we can work with sound minds and give our patients the best of care”.
During a visit to the Accident Centre, some of the staff told the Daily Graphic that although a disinfection exercise was carried out at the place over the weekend, they too had to be tested “to be sure that we are safe before working.”
They said as the country had introduced measures to prevent the further spread of the disease, it would be prudent to have them tested so that it does not spread further.