Yes, there was an earthquake and these are extraordinary times.
and Yes, if you call for volunteers, the nurses of Nepal will respond. They already have. During the first day, there were nurses who worked a twentyfour hour shift, then slept for six hours and came back. These were nurses who could have stayed with their family and maybe their family was sleeping under the sky. These nurses are heroes.
But – we need to adjust to a new reality. The hospitals are full and this is not going to end in one day, or one week, or one month. You will need nurses for months, not just one day. There needs to be a system. The ones you now have, can not work at this pace forever. Even though they all want to.
Now, it had always been odd that Nepal hospitals should be understaffed during a period when there were ample nurses that were unable to get a nursing job. Some have said that in the Kathmandu Valley, forty per cent of all trained nurses were unemployed. In the past, this was used by employers to demand that a nurse work for free (“volunteer”) for a period of six months or more, before they could ever be considered for actual employment.
The earthquake has changed everything.
But this is a new reality. Those nurses are needed, they will work hard, and this will go on for months. so –
Give them a letter of employment.
give them a regular schedule.
Budget some of the international aid money to pay them. They need to eat, to get to work, to buy things.
Some of the international aid teams will bring specialized nurses. These nurses should not take the place of a patriotic Nepali nurse who is willing to work. Don’t allow a videshi nurse to work for free to take the place of a Nepali nurse. And if the young Nepali nurses get experience helping now, they will be better skilled if there is ever another earthquake disaster in the future.
If the Army, police and government officials of Nepal are getting paid ( these are male), the nurses (who are female) also deserve to be paid.
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