International Nurses Day: From a laundry woman to a seasoned nurse

When Delore Kuyein took up the job of washing her mum’s nursing uniforms in the year 2000, she did not know that would birth the desire to become a nurse.

She is one of the nurses who has stood the test of time, braved the odds and stayed true to her passion. Delore is among the nurses across the globe whose hard work is honored on International Nurses Day.

Hardwork and steadfastness over the years has propelled the 44-year-old to become a full-fledged nurse, serving as a wound care nurse at the Baptist Health Centre Nkoabang, on the outskirts of Yaounde.

She might have been inspired by her mum, a nurse for over 43 years, but Delore’s professional growth is anchored on dedication and passion to care. The journey has lasted 23 years and counting.

“I got inspired by my mother, a retired midwife. Whenever she asked me to wash her uniform, I always tried it on first”, Delore explains.

Delore’s story is that of resilience in a profession that has got it’s own fair share of challenges.

As the globe pauses to celebrate the International Nurses Day this May 12, Delore’s growth from a laundry woman to a ward assistant and today a full-fledged nurse deserves to be amplified.

“Each time I used to pass by a hospital, I would ask myself if I can make a good nurse. The love for the profession kept growing and I decided to follow my passion. Today, I am happy I did”.

Early beginnings

Delore Kuyein’s work at the hospital as a novice started in the year 2000. As a ward assistant, her responsibilities were limited to “taking vital signs and keeping the ward clean”.

This humble beginning paved the way for what has today become a lifetime profession. The 44-year-old nurse says she owes everything to nursing and has been investing in professional training. Today she is a master student in Public health.

“I have undergone lots of training. The first training course was after nursing at the Nursing Training School at the Bamenda Regional hospital.

She ahas gone through in service training programmes like the Advanced Practice Nursing organized by the Baptist Health Board.

In 2019, the 44-year-old nurse obtained the Higher National Diploma (HND )in Nursing and a BSC in Nursing 2020. She is currently rounding up a Masters in Public Health, despite the challenges.

“ I work everyday from 8am-3pm and go to school there after. classes begin at 4pm. Working and going to school is very challenging, but I’m up to the task.”

Braving the Odds

Eighteen years of Delore’s 23-years professional life were spent at the Mbingo Baptist Hospital and four years at the Baptist Health Centre Nkoabang.

During this time, she has had to deal with countless challenges but continues to fix her gaze on the heartwarming experiences of her profession .

“ Sometimes we receive instructions from ults from patients even when trying to do the very best. We know that the patient is always right, so we know how to handle that. The ethics of our profession does not permit us to confront patients.” Delore said.

The Bright Side

The challenges are however not comparable to the fun memories of Delore’s 23-year experience as a nurse.

She has always enjoyed working in the women’s ward because she considered  elderly female patients as her mothers.

“They motivated me to care for them properly. When they give you pat on the back for the work you do, it feels so good,”

Delore keeps fun memories of her profession dearly.

“An aged man brought his daughter who had cancer to the hospital for chemotherapy. When the treatment began, she was throwing up and her father was trying to clean it up. I asked him to stop and I did the job. He has never forgotten about me. He always calls me his daughter, and has vowed that one of his daughters must become a nurse.”

“Once a nurse, forever a nurse”

The 44-year-old nurse has never dreamt of leaving the profession for greener pastures. She is contented with her job and ready to make it a lifetime profession.

“I can not leave the profession because once a nurse, forever a nurse. Even if I’m not working and my baby falls sick, I will know what to do at home. Anyone who leaves the profession to do something else did not have the calling to become a nurse”.

Delore Kuyein says she will continue putting smiles on the faces of patients for the rest of her life.

Kathy Neba Sina 

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