Nigeria with a population of over 200 million people is one of the countries with highest number of human resources for health in Africa, out of 49 low income countries identified by world bank parameters as having markedly low numbers of nurses and doctors, Nigeria is sixth in position and falls well below the critical threshold of 23 nurses per 10,000 population. Despite the progress made by the Nigerian Nursing and Midwifery Council, there is still shortage of nurses in Nigeria.
Before becoming an auxiliary nurse, it’s important to understand the different terminology that can be used to describe this position. Auxiliary nurses are often referred to as healthcare assistants or nursing assistants. But no matter what your job title is, you will have the same responsibilities.
What Does An Auxiliary Nurses Do?
The role of an auxiliary nurse is to assist qualified nursing practitioners in administering care to patients. Auxiliary nurses are often referred to as health assistants. Auxiliary nurses require no academic qualifications, and the role can serve as a pathway into a career as a registered nurse. The main responsibility of an auxiliary nurse is to ensure patients are kept as comfortable as possible. An auxiliary nurse washes and dresses incapacitated patients, feeds patients at meal times and helps those who have difficulty walking to get around. Auxiliary nurses also help the elderly and disabled with toileting. An auxiliary nurse is also assigned to assess patients’ health condition by taking temperatures, measuring weight and assessing respiration levels. An auxiliary nurse also performs minor medical procedures and assesses blood pressure levels. She or he will also make patient’s beds, change their sheets when required and assist with the general upkeep of the ward.
Auxiliary nurses also work alongside health care scientists, assisting them in the identification and treatment of a range of diseases. Some work with audiologists, for instance, and help qualified scientists to research hearing disorders and develop effective coping strategies for patients. Auxiliary nurses also help health care scientists with the analysis of blood and urine samples and patient histories.
Auxiliary nurses also perform clinical support roles under the supervision of health care professionals including physiotherapists, nutritionists, pediatricians and speech and language therapists. Duties vary widely depending on the form of therapy administered. Nurses may have to help patients mentally prepare for therapy sessions or set up equipment required for a session. They may also play a more proactive role and assist the therapist in actual treatment. Auxiliary nurses in this role play a key administrative duty, taking notes and keeping accurate records of patients’ medical histories. When performing these duties, auxiliary nurses are sometimes referred to as assistant therapists or therapist helpers.
How To Become An Auxiliary Nurse In Nigeria
Due to scarcity of qualified nurses in Nigeria, Auxiliary nurses are in high demand especially in large cities like Abuja, Lagos port Harcourt and other major cities. To become an auxiliary nurse in Nigeria, NO fixed training or syllabus or a minimum level of education is required. They trained on the job to follow orders from a Registered /Qualified Nurse or a Doctor. They are not trained to make a medical diagnosis or commence treatment.
However, according to the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria, any hospital operating or replacing nurses with auxiliary nurses, is operating with quack nurses, because they are not competent to deliver nursing care and members of the public that access services from such hospitals are doing so at their own risk. Hospitals are supposed to ensure that nurses are qualified, registered and licensed to practice as nurses. According to an official of the council, if you want to set up a hospital, you send the list of nurses to our organization, we then send our officers to verify, because we have verification offices which verify whether a person is qualified to practice or not. Also trained nurses are issued practicing licenses. A practicing licensed lasts for a period of three years, and before the expiration, the nurse is expected to undergo a mandatory development program which is attached with a two credit unit.
Difference Between Qualified Nurse and an Auxiliary Nurse
In certain countries, the training of auxiliary nurses is at such a level that the dividing line between their duties and those of fully qualified nurses has become difficult to draw ; provision is even made, in certain countries, for the nursing auxiliary to acquire the title of qualified nurse. In other countries, on the other hand, the training prescribed is not sufficient to make it possible for greater responsibilities to be given to nursing auxiliaries.
A certified or registered Nurse will need to attend a national regulations’ specified period of Training in a recognized School of Nursing school or University, and then pass a standardized exam by Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria before he/she can practice. Moreover, a Nurse is expected to make some diagnosis and commence treatment before the arrival of a doctor.
Experience by an auxiliary does not equate to a Certified Nurse despite the fact that they put on similar uniform and work for the same health care providers.
Salary of Auxiliary Nurse In Nigeria
How much an auxiliary nurse earns in Nigeria depends on a number of factors, which include location of hospital and years of experience. The average salary of an auxiliary nurse in Nigeria ranges between =N= 25,000 – =N= 70,000 monthly. Those employed by state and local government health authorities earn higher than those in the employ of private hospitals. READ :7 Things a Public Health Nurse Should Not Do