Why nurses go through burnout as brain drain worsen– Practitioner explains

A Mental Health Advocate, Mrs Veronica Ezeh, says nurses are going through severe burnout due to excessive workloads amid the incessant increase of brain drain in the Nigerian health sector.

Why nurses go through burnout as brain drain worsen– Practitioner explains.

Ezeh, a psychiatric nurse who works at the Federal Neuro-psychiatric Hospital Yaba, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Wednesday.

She said that the greater percentage of nurses in the field sought for greener pastures abroad, as good number of them had left Nigeria to practise in other countries.

According to her, the development has resulted in drastic reduction in the number of nurses (particularly psychiatric nurses) available in the hospital.

She said that the few remaining nurses were going through severe burnouts due excessive workloads and overtime services.

“The truth is that majority of the psychiatric nurses has left the country to practice abroad. As a result, the few remaining nurses are going through severe burnouts due to too much workloads.

“Imagine a nurse doing three to four stretch of shifts consecutively.

“Presently, at yaba psychiatric hospital, a nurse will consecutively do morning shift, do night and equally continue the next morning as there’s no one available to exchange her because of the limited number of nurses.

“The normal ratio supposed to be one nurse to four patients, in order for the nurse to render holistic care and services.

“But currently, we are having one nurse to 35 patients and the nurse will still not handover to another person at the expiration of a shift.

“No doubt, the excessive workloads and inconveniences are talking toll on the available psychiatric nurses, yet there’s no motivational package or allowance of any kind,” Ezeh told NAN.

She explained that the few new younger nurses who were being recruited, were just using the Yaba Psychiatric Hospital as a starting point in preparation for their way out of the country.

She, however, said that the Medical Director of the hospital, Dr Olugbenga Owoeye, was doing everything within his power to salvage the situation, like talking to the nurses to stay back.

“But being a Federal Government health institution, there is a limit to what he can do except with directives from the authority.

“As I am talking now, one or the other nurse somewhere is writing examination to enable her travel out of the country, and it’s as bad as that.

“And if nothing is done to curb the trend, I wonder what will become of Yaba Psychiatric Hospital in the next six months,” she said.

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