KIU, Western Campus – The last time I interviewed Emmanuel Gutaka in May 2020, he was just an ordinary nurse. It was therefore a big surprise to me when I ran into him again and he told me he had been promoted to Deputy Principal Nursing Officer (DPNO).
I sat down with him to listen to the secret behind his slow but steady rise up the Nursing profession ladder.
Q. Emma, why do you think you were promoted?
A. I think it is because of the historical background of my work in the hospital first as a unit nurse and then as a ward in-charge, and also courtesy of discharging the mandate entrusted in me as the leader of other staff on ward.
As an in-charge, I led in enabling other in-charges in different ward units to achieve a common goal or objective that the hospital needed to achieve.
Q. What does your work involve?
A. My work entails having all wards organized and making sure all staff are on duty so that patients receive services in time. I also have to ensure that there is a good relationship among the nursing staff and other medical teams that are involved in delivering health services in a particular department for effective running of the unit.
I am also involved in emphasizing continuous medical education (CME) for nursing staff and other medical health providers for continuous medical improvement of service delivery.
Administratively, I am involved in formulating nursing policies that enable us to run daily activities smoothly in the hospital.
Q. What is your daily routine like?
A. When I arrive on duty, the first thing I do is reading through the supervision book for the night supervisors. Then I move from ward to ward to ensure staff are present as scheduled and try to ask them about some of the challenges they might have encountered during the night shift.
After that, I go through the files of patients to ensure they were given the right drugs at the right time. Then I interact with the patients in the different wards about any challenges they encounter on ward and the progress of their illnesses as well as listen to their ideas for possible improvement on our side where necessary.
Q. What do you love about your job?
A. it enables me to deliver a service to someone who is in need and is unable to perform that service themselves, and that is the patient.
Q. The COVID-19 pandemic was a very challenging period and you were one of the people at the frontline. What are your memories of the pandemic especially when it was at its peak?
A. It was indeed a very tough time but despite all the challenges like receiving an overwhelming number of patients, we endeavoured to selflessly develop different mechanisms to curb the rate at which the virus was spreading.
Q. What are some of the challenges you face on duty?
A. Whatever challenges that arise, we usually have a plan in place to solve them but the common challenge is that sometimes, the patient inflow overwhelms the nurses.
Photo: Collins Kakwezi