NURSE – “ A FORCE FOR CHANGE”

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Asian Lite wishes a Happy nurses Day to all those who serve for humanitarian causes day and night . . . . by Agimol

This is the story of a humble Nurse, who proved that with passion and knowledge a nurse can

make difference in many lives and can act as ‘A FORCE FOR CHANGE’. I am proud to be

a Nurse. Nurses are the only professionals who get the privilege to look after a human from

the moment a new life begins, to saying goodbye to their loved one, and all the stages in

between. So, let me take this opportunity to congratulate and praise all my Nurse Friends

around the world, who nurse the ill, bandage the wounded and care for the broken hearted.

You all are selected from among the millions to do this noble work so let us do it with 100%

effort and dedication. For me Nursing is beautiful as it is a career embedded with the passion

Change in today’s health care system is a daily, if not hourly, reality. Most of us in the

clinical field think that it is the Nurse Manager’s responsibility to act as that change agent.

But from my own experience, I want to amplify this fact that one does not have to be in a

managerial role to act as a change agent to improve the life of those whose care you are

entrusted upon. Therefore, change agent means the person who helps or facilitates in bringing

positive change in any area related to health. So as a nurse you can play a pivotal role in

bringing improvement in various health related aspect of individual, family and community

you care for, without the hierarchy of your grade or position.

 

Reflecting on my personal experience as a nurse, to be the change agent, nurses should focus

on a few key areas of their work i.e.; vision, passion and dedication along with in-depth

knowledge in the area, they are working in. Never face challenging situation or questions

from your patients or colleagues with a negative view or aggressive attitude, instead take

them in your stride and convert those weak links as golden opportunities to improvise on

your existing skills. That is exactly what I did in my nursing job. I commenced the Transplant

coordinator role in 2010 at Central Manchester Foundation Trust. Shortly thereafter, I started

enjoying the challenging role and realised what a difference a nurse can make to sooth a

patient’s journey, while they wait for transplant. I started doing clinic for my patients who

have been on the waiting list for more than a year. It was during this time that my passion to

address and work on increasing the number of South Asian organ donors grew exponentially.

Moreover, I was verbally challenged by South Asian kidney failure patients who felt the

allocation of organs to be inequitable, and expressed their concern on disparity in organ

allocation due to their ethnicity. They openly questioned why they weren’t receiving a

transplant as quickly as their White counterparts.

 

As a Nurse I could have ignored that question, justifying that it is not my responsibility to

answer that query and that the onus lies on the Medical Staff or NHS Blood and Transplant

Team who are highly skilled and answerable. But instead of ignoring those concerns, I tried

to look for an answer to that question with real anxiety as I was sure NHS system will never

discriminate patient’s needs due to their ethnicity. So I took that question to my Clinical

Director to find out what his response was, who guided me to the Tissue Type Lab Scientist

who in turn explained to me the reason why Asian patients are waiting longer than Caucasian

patients for a transplant. Having learnt that there is no disparity in organ allocation, I could

have put this on the backburner. But alas, I did not sit back with that message; I took the

answer back to my patients and explained the root cause behind it. The fact remains that our

community is not helping each other and we need more Asian donors to match with Asian

recipients to have a successful transplant outcome and there is an alarming scarcity of Asian

organ donors. With my patients support I started relaying the same message to their families,

friends and community members.

 

It was not an easy path to tread, but very rewarding as I witnessed the shift in individual’s

attitude towards organ donation. This resulted in me being able to register more individuals to

organ donor register to save more lives through a concerted campaign. On the other hand, the

public perception of what I am doing also was different. Especially transplant being such a

sensitive topic, even though I was doing my campaign in a voluntary capacity without any

benefit, financial or otherwise, some of the well educated members had an impression that I

have been paid for this role and there is some hidden agenda.  Thankfully, most of the

individuals were supportive and thought this is something we are doing to support our current

and future generations. On another note, I strongly believe that God has a definite purpose for

each of His creation and that’s the reason I am able to have such a great positive impact on

Even though it was financially and physically draining journey, it satisfied my emotional and

spiritual aspect as a nurse. I completed a Doctoral Study on the topic of “Increasing South

Asian organ donors through targeted education” with very positive outcome from University

of Salford. That’s why I said if you have passion, vision, dedication along with knowledge in

the area where you want to make the change, you will be able to successfully act as a change

agent. During the course of this voluntary work, I managed to potentially save more than

25,000 lives as I persuaded more than 3,000 (One deceased donor can potentially save 9

lives) potential organ donor registrants on to the NHS organ donor register. This rare

achievement was made possible by voluntary community education.

Now isn’t that worth a Nurse/Change Agents’ role!

Happy Nurses Day……

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