Thursday, April 16, 2009

Interview Thursday:" Health workers need to realise they are professional" Sting

The brain behind Naija Blogger Awards 2009 is here life and direct sharing and interacting with us on Interview Thursday! Welcome Lady Sting!
Sting is a typical Introverted-extrovert.She is quiet around people she is not close to and can’t shut around her close friends. She loves reading and writing (hence the blog). She thinks people are very interesting and one of her favorite past-times is people watching.
Sting has a Bachelors of Science in Psychology and currently work as a Mental Health Assistant in a Psychiatric hospital, and also as a Research Technician in an Obesity research lab. She is very passionate about women’s issues and she hopes to become more active in that regard in the nearest future.

Is Sting a doctor?
No, I just go accepted into medical school and I get to start in August. I’m very excited about that because I’ve wanted to be a doctor for so long. One of the things which inspired to become a doctor was watching doctors come to the Northern part of Nigeria offer free surgeries to girls with Vesico vaginal fistula (VVF). Having this surgery gave these girls a second chance at living a normal life and I hope I’m able to do that for someone someday.

What does your Job entail as a Mental Health Assistant?
I work in a psychiatric hospital. Basically, as a mental health assistant I am supposed to build a therapeutic relationship with the patients. Assist them with day to day activities. We have to do Q15 checks which means we have to check on each patient every 15 minutes and note what they are doing on their flow sheet. On any given day you can get between 14 – 28 patients. Since I usually work the night shift at the hospital, I get the whole unit by myself, so on average I have between 24-28 patients. We also have to check the vital signs of patients at assigned times, take them to the cafeteria (for those allowed to go) and hold groups. The groups MHA’s facilitate are Community and Goals group, Wrap up group and Psyc groups.

Is there a part of the Job you would rather not do?
Sometimes, depending on how much assistance a patient needs, we might have to assist them in taking a bath. In the 7 months I’ve worked there, I’ve only had to do that once. It wasn’t that bad, but I did not enjoy scrubbing a grown person’s bum. Also, being assigned to the highest security unit (which has the most unstable patients) can be scary at times. It all depends on the group of patients on the unit. They feed off each other so when someone starts getting out of control, the chances that the whole unit will start acting out increases, so it’s a little stressful. Besides, you always have to be very alert because you can’t predict those patients.

From personal experience and the ones I gathered from others, so many health workers in Nigeria have become so rude, indifferent and unconcerned about their patients and they the way they attend to patients, what do you think can be done to correct this?
In my opinion, it all boils down to accountability. When there are no checks or punitive measures to deter health workers from treating patients anyway they want, then a system in which the patient’s needs are put last develops. In order to correct this problem, I think the health care workers need to be made to realize that they are professionals whose duties are to serve the patients and provide the best care possible. Hospitals need to set a standard and hold their workers accountable if they do not meet those standards with regards to patient care.

Will Sting practice in Nigeria?
One of my goals after I become a doctor is to work with Doctors without borders or any other similar organization. I will definitely be spending lots of summers in Nigeria doing pro bono work, and giving back to my community as best as I can. Luckily about 5 of my close secondary school friends just graduated from medical last year in Nigeria. I have talked to a couple of them about doing something together in the future and they are up for it. As for practicing full time in Nigeria, I don’t see that happening any time soon. Going to medical school in the U.S. is very expensive (~ $200,000), so I’ll be stuck here for a good while paying off those student loans.

You are the brain behind Naija Bloggers Award 2009, what sparked your interest?
I’ve been blogging since January 2007 and in that time, I seen a lot of bloggers come and go. Regardless, there always seemed to be a sense of community and belonging amongst the Nigerian bloggers. Lately, it seemed like a lot more bloggers were becoming dissatisfied with being a part of blogsville. More people were leaving or going private. There were indirect warning about wolves in sheep’s clothing and people creating blogs just to wreck havoc and all that type of stuff. I felt we needed something to bring us closer together and re-spark peoples interest in being a part of this community. I also wanted to give people a chance to find new Nigerian blog(gers) and I think that part was successful.

Can you summarized how you felt during and after the awards?
Putting on this award was a great learning experience for me. I didn’t anticipate how difficult it would be to keep the ideas flowing and keep people interested in what was going on. There were also challenges with regards to working with other bloggers that I did not anticipate. However, during the awards I was very surprised at how excited people were about the awards. I didn’t think we would get the amount of participation or support that we got and that was very encouraging. I’m glad that people are already looking forward to next years award and I know it will be bigger and better than this year’s. After the awards, I was glad the work was over but I’m happy I can no longer complain there are no new blogs for me to read because I discovered a ton of blogs, so that’s a good thing.

Is there any reason why any of the organizers weren’t nominated?
Not really. The people who were nominated were people who got the highest number of votes.

What is Sting’s Philosophy?
My philosophy is “live and let live”. I believe we are all entitled to our opinions, beliefs, way of life or whatever. I don’t like when people try to force their beliefs on other people. Do you (as they say), and let other people live their lives the way they chose to.

Any last words?
I would like to thank you, Standtall. I admire what you do and your interest in gender inequality in Nigeria. Not a lot of women are proud to be feminists and I think we all should be. Special thanks to Toluwa, Naijagirl and Geisha who helped with the Naija Bloggers Award in one way or another. There’s no way I would have been able to do it by myself. Thanks for taking time out to interview me. Much love!

Thank you and you are very welcome my lady!


Adaeze said...

Yet again a wonderful interview with great questions. I recently discovered Sting's blog and have been following since, and I enjoyed getting to know her better. I love her goals for when she becomes a doctor! I was contemplating becoming a doctor for a while and also wanted to do Doctors Without Borders. Go for it girl! Nothing will stop you. I understand why watching the docs in Northern Nigeria do the free surgeries for girls with fistula. I watched a documentary about the same but it was in Ethiopia.
I can imagine how challenging it might be to work in a Psychiatric Hospital. Takes liver.
All of this is evidence that Sting is a person who cares greatly for people around her and will only do greater things in the future.
Reading your blog Standtall and the interviews, give me such a positive feeling. More and more like-minded people who also want to make a change continues to be uncovered :-) Sometimes we are caught in negative thinking, being reminded of how many things are going wrong in this world, but reading your blog I am always reminded there is tons of hope out there. Tons. Thanks Standtall & Sting.

LusciousRon said...

Give it up for the lady. She is a wonderful woman who has come in to her own. I wish her all the best. And I hope she works out anything that may detract her her from full attaining all she wants to be,

StandTall keep up the good work. Lovely interview.

O'Dee said...

Sting is a very interesting blogger. I think the name sting, is the opposite of who she is.

John said...

Nice Job! Hey, doesn't This looks like an awesome place to begin your academic program! The True Blue Campus at St. Georges University.

Kafo said...

@ sting it wasn't too wordy, i think you were on point

@ standtall thanks once again for bringing a wonderful interview to us

CaramelD said...

Yeah!!! Doctors without borders! Cool!!! Lovely interview Sting.

Nice job Standtall!

Writefreak said...

Oh i feel like i know Sting a bit better. I can't imagine working in a psychiatry unit so kudos to you dear!
And the bit about pro bono work in Naija, i hope you get to do it, great idea!
Thanks for organising the awards!
Well done once again Standtall

NigerianDramaQueen said...

This interview showed a different side of Sting. Didn't know she worked at an obesity research lab..that must be interesting.
VVF breaks my heart...great to know she was inspired by that.

Doctors without Borders would be a great thing to do...good luck on that Sting! I plan to do Lawyers without Borders....

As always...great interview Ms.Standtall!

Just...Toluwa said...

sting is very interesting...her personality intrigues me...she sounds like she can be fun and at the same time extra quiet!

Girl....go on! doctors without borders eh? do us proud jo!

Good Naija Girl said...

I love sting! Great interview questions and great answers. She comes across as such a down to earth chick.

All the best in medical school and making all your dreams come true, girl!

Geebee said...

Glad to know that there are a lot of independent and brilliant minded women still out there. Sting definitely sums that up. Kudos sis. Thumbs up for you and the crew of Naijabloggersaward. You guys did a fantastic job!

Buttercup said...

i really admire Sting..her job is one i'd NEVER consider doing even if that were my only means of making an income so to me, that says a lot about her!

welcome Standtall! :)

Tigeress said...

Another good job Standtall- didnt know who organized the award. Sting- i shall check out her blog.

Btw, hope u found ur cat/ she came back.

StandTall-The Activist said...

Lady Sting made it happen. She is really an awesome and amiable individual. I wish her the best too

Amina said...

What a great interview and thought-provoking questions!
She is a wonderful person and her take on how health workers treat their patients is so right.
In Senegal, nurses can be sooo mean with women who are pregnant during the childbirth. They hit them, abuse them with hurtful words and it is just so sad!!

Chari said...

standtall joo ma binu...on a serious note...ta ba rira ni maa le explain daadaa...plz resend the said email....

Original Mgbeke said...

Very interesting stuff. I once audited a mental health hospital and man it was quite an experience going into those high security units. Much props to Sting. And props to you again, Ms. Standtall for putting these interviews together.

PS:- Can I just say that I LOVE your hair?

Sting said...

Thanks everyone. Standtall is 3 much as usual.

aloted said...

another great read....

sting all the best with medical school...

madam standy! holla!!!

Danny Bagucci said...

Great Plans - great interview yet again.. Thanks Standtall for giving honor where its due...

My Passion, my focus, the change that I want to see in the world - is my propellent factor.

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