In an effort to retain skills within the health care system outgoing Health Minister Reverend Dr. John Seakgosing has urged retired nurses to mentor young nurses.

Delivering a guest speech during the launch of the Botswana Retired Nurses Society (BORNUS) – Francistown Branch last Friday night, Seakgosing urged retired nurses to be responsible for guiding and mentoring young nurses.

Seakgosing said though the standard of nursing education has improved over the years, the nursing professional values and conduct leave a lot to be desired.

“The novice nurses often display conduct that can do with couching and direction of experienced professionals,” lamented Seakgosing during the launch ceremony held at Tati River Lodge in Francistown.

Seakgosing added: “The standard and level of health care delivery in most if not all health facilities across the country is appalling.

It (the situation) needs your (retired nurses) expertise that will help us with the experience you gained over years.”

According to Seakgosing, some nurses have lost the passion and compassion commensurate with reasonable nursing prudence.

The minister’s conviction is that it is incumbent upon the older nurses with experience to uplift the profession to the required standards.

Ministry of Health prides itself on robust efforts and initiatives to improve the health of Batswana with increased access and improved quality of health, he said.

However, Seakgosing lamented that the ministry still has some challenges including a shortage of skilled manpower (especially nurses), the burden of diseases, communicable and non-communicable ailments as well as continued dissatisfaction by consumers of healthcare.

“It will be a lost opportunity not to consider partnership with realising the potential it (BORNUS) has that can change a myriad of health and social problems at community and health facility levels and to bridge the gaps that exist in the health sector,” said the minister.

Speaking at the same event, BORNUS Francistown branch chairperson Boremo Mpinyane said retired nurses have just retreated but are not tired.

Mpinyane said the nurses still have the zeal and professional skill to undertake nursing duties at any level.

“Once a nurse always a nurse! We have retired but are not tired. The retired nurses still have the knowledge, skill and the passion for the job,” said Mpinyane.

The retired nurses have also pledged to assist nursing management in mentoring both ward sisters and nursing students in the spirit of ‘getting back to basics’ in health where nurses were pillars of society, known for their caring nature and dedication towards their profession.

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