A Health Practitioner Cautions Excellence Nursing School Graduates

By: Esau J. Farr esaufarr1980@gmail.com/0770838175/0886838175

MONROVIA-A Liberian health practitioner, Abel G. Jonkatornon, has urged health practitioners and future health practitioners not to allow their nursing profession to be influenced by anyone.

According to the Liberian health practitioner, the use of parental influence and friends as a means to select a profession, especially in the health sector is a very dangerous one and unacceptable.

He made the statement in brief remarks during the graduation program last weekend.

He warned against friends and relatives using their influence as a means of choosing a profession for students and those wanting to practice in any given field of study.

“Let me say this to you the graduates and parents or guardians, it is not good for one’s profession selection to be influenced by a friend or any relative,” Jonkatornon stressed.

“It is good for an individual to willingly choose career professions on what to do and what not to do or study; in other words, follow your hearts and not what your father or mother wants you to study,” he averred.

The Registered Nurse (RN) and a graduate of the Cuttington University Graduate Program of Professional Studies words of caution steamed from the background where many are asked by their parents, relatives or friends to follow a career that they do not have fundamental knowledge about or passion for.

According to him, if one chooses a profession that he or she does not have fundamentals about, it becomes risky and dangerous for both the individual and society.

He said, many at times, some Liberians choose to venture into the nursing profession because either a relative in the United States told them to do so saying, ‘nursing has attractive salary grades in the US’.

Mr. Jonkatornon also added that others go into the nursing field because others told them to choose the profession on grounds that it has fast money and or they are promised future jobs even if the person asked has no passion for said profession.

The Liberian clinician and health researcher sounded the warning when he served as guest speaker of the 9th Graduating Ceremony of the Excellence School of Professional and Vocational Institute Inc. in Paynesville last weekend.

Located in the compound of the Bethesda AG Church along the 72nd Boulevard, the institution has and continues to provide professional skill training opportunities to Liberians, especially young people in the nursing profession and others.

The guest speaker speaking on the topic, ‘Who I want to become after graduation from High School’ then used the opportunity and give a few important pieces of advice to the nine graduates who made it to the promised land despite being in a class of forty members.

“As you go out today, please know and always remember that an RN (Registered Nurse) is superior to you no matter what you learn, and therefore, you must always respect them or those above you the knowledge and professionally wise; know your term of reference (TOR) or scope of the profession (SOP) and never pretend to know all because every level of study has a limitation,” he pointed out.

According to him, there are some health practitioners who feel they know all only because they graduated from one level category in the nursing profession to another.

He said it is not enough to feel complacent but to be focused and strive for greater and higher heights.

In closing, the RN thanked the head of the institution, Chris Myers, and all the staff members for their patience in running the school while at the same time encouraging them to keep focus and persevere as a way to achieve the utmost goal.

He also called on the parents and relatives of the graduates as well as the public to speak out on the behalf of health practitioners in Liberia in general for improved salaries so as to help provide the needed quality health services to the Liberian society.

Mr. Jonkatornon lamented that unqualified individuals in Liberia make swooping and huge salaries because of political and or societal connections and affiliations while trained professional RNs and degree holders make less than two hundred United States (US$200) Dollars as a take-home salary thus making them to live below the poverty line as their children are forced to go to sub-standard schools in the quest for education.

He encouraged the graduates and their parents not to see the holding of a Nurse Aid Certificate by their children as the end or being sufficient, but that they should see it as the beginning for their kids.

“If you will depend on Nurse Aid certificate and its salary as being satisfactory and depend on its salary to improve your life, it will be a big mistake if not a lie because being a clinician alone can’t earn you the expected salary to live an improved life as you think,” he advised.

“To you the parents and sponsors, one best way to help these ones who are graduating today is to help them to have a drug store or pharmacy for them each as a means of using income from there to further their education or studies,” the Liberian health practitioner concluded.

Meanwhile, the head of the institution, Chris Myers, was impressed by the speech, and words of motivation for the school, and the graduates vowed to do their best in helping to always prepare potential health practitioners and other professionals to serve their country.

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