KAMPALA – Case Hospital continues to ride on its team of professionals to offer the most deserved services to its clientele and this is thanks to its skilling of the nurses.
It tries to make sure that as it grows, the people with it grow with the institution thereby being able to provide the best in health care.
Ms Teopista Nantongo, the Nursing Director at Case Hospital says it has been an evolutional journey as quite a number of things have changed in the nursing department from the time she joined to date.
She says there are trainings they have been able to train nurses in basic and advanced life saving skills which are essential in life saving.
“We have also been able to get our nurses trained in all the various departments of the hospital, get them skilled to work anywhere in the hospital be it in the critical areas or emergency areas, the nurses are skilled to work anywhere,” she shares.
Nantongo adds that as far as the recruitment process is concerned, they upgraded and are currently taking only diploma nurses and above and this has encouraged most of their nurses who had certificate qualifications to go back to school which of course improves the level of service that they are giving to their clients because more knowledge comes with better troubleshooting.
She notes that they have been able to implement their Homecare Nursing and for their very sick patients they give them Homecare so they have a nurse who is trained and can understand their needs.
“It is a transition of care from hospital to home. We have also been able to implement bedside nursing for our critically sick patients in the hospital so the patient gets a nurse dedicated to them and their specific needs which helps us to give better and detailed care tailored to a specific patient.”
According to Nantongo, their trained personnel have been poached over time as the more nurses they train with all these hospitals that keep coming up every day, their nurses are poached and it becomes a never ending cycle of training.
“We still have a training schedule that we adhere to but if someone who has that experience in the hospital is taken away it leaves a very big gap. People identify centres that train nurses adequately and Case is identified so they start poaching.”
She further shares that government revising the salary scale of nurses kind of set them a step back with as they struggled to keep up and adjust the nurses’ salaries to match up with what government is giving which is not directly in line with what their budget had projected but they were able to bridge this challenge as management was also forth coming and gave some incentives that were also supposed to cover that gap.
Case being so keen on training personnel, the Nursing director foresees management sending nurses abroad for training for the state of the art facilities they (management) are bringing on board.
“We are getting a cath lab so we are going to take nurses for cardiac training. We are expanding our ICU, so we are going to basically train nurses in intensive and critical care. I foresee case sponsoring some nurses to go and up skill,” she says.
Nantongo adds that the demand for home care is also going to increase because with the more advanced surgeries, patients require nurses to be with them after the hospital because that transition needs to be smooth so they are going to have to implement a more rigorous home care system and get the patients the services they need at home.
“Digitalisation has come and someone wants to have someone/thing a call away and get what they need so we are going to seriously implement the home care and get it more advanced; have nurses give treatment at home, nurses doing home visits, we may also chose to explore the idea of home deliveries to meet the market demand.”
The 25 years have not been an easy journey. Being a pioneer of so many advanced services in the country is not easy; it is baby steps where you make mistakes here and there but overall the hospital has grown.
“We are a competitive employer and we have established ourselves as a trustworthy brand and we continue growing to be the pioneers in the market. I came in as the head of outpatients nursing services and I was promoted a year later into this role. This a true manifestation that Case has really enabled me to grow in my career. I have been able to make decisions at a lower level and then know how they transition into a higher level,” she says.
She says she has been able to work in both positions and know what people on ground go through and that she has carried to management to know what to do for the people on the bottom-line. “We have a better trickle down management effect of management decisions which I think is good for the brand and the hospital generally. The public does not know that we have nurses who are trained and went to school for dialysis but we actually have in-house dialysis trained nurses from India and Nairobi.”
She notes that Case Hospital also does the home care but patients tend to think that when they come to the hospital, that is that and when they get home they are on their own.
“The public needs to know that we have a dedicated homecare team so we are able to offer the same quality of care to the patients at home. People usually do not know who the Case nurse is. A case nurse is a compassionate and professional nurse.”
She reveals that the public needs to know that case is evolving, growing, improving by the day and advancing so with this advancement and the fact that we spearhead most of the advancements in the country, they need the public to trust them and know that they are delivering quality service.
“We also value and appreciate the feedback from our clients. I would like to appreciate all the efforts of Case Management for they value us the nurses, staff and they strive for career growth. Case is not somewhere you are going to be and be static because we are a competitive employer out there,” she shared.