I was inspired to share this because it’s election season in Nigeria. Many people are declaring their intention to contest for political office (including a good friend who I will soon be campaigning for, lol). Recently, I saw the poster of an ex-convict who was pardoned, claiming to be a “tested and trusted” candidate! I want to believe it’s a prank. Though some argue that he is being singled out for ridicule because he was caught, while others are allowed to get away with worse crimes, I think we are missing the point.
The next generation is taking cues from us. When we were kids, we were told that you had to get an education to be successful. Now, the subtle message children are getting, is you have to be willing to appear on TV, scantily clad, to be cool. Morals are flying out of the window. If you can get away with it, lie, cheat, kill, do whatever you feel like. Later, you can ask God for forgiveness. We forget the consequences of our actions on those who have no one to speak for them, the downtrodden, the poor, the elderly, and more.
I was a rookie of rookies at this time. It was my very first job after internship. The clinic was a staff clinic in a polytechnic. I was working for a hospital that won a contract to send a doctor to cover the clinic twice a week. My duties included, review of laboratory tests and chest xrays, to certify new students physically fit, treatment of common maladies, and emergencies. I worked with a bevy of nurses, mostly 15 to 20 years older than I was. Since the clinic was not busy, they spent most of their time gisting, and I was great friends with them. They often teased me for dressing well despite my skinny frame, and I enjoyed their banter.
One day, one of them asked me to prescribe medication for a patient.
“Where is the patient?”, I asked
“He’s in the ward”, she replied.
We had a small ward where patients could be admitted for observation, but could not spend the night.
“Let me come and see him. What exactly is wrong?”
“Don’t bother. It’s nothing serious. He has an old wound we’ve been treating. He just needs pain relievers and antibiotics”, she replied.
“Let me look at the wound. I don’t mind getting up”
“Just write some medication. We’ve been dressing it for 2 weeks, it’s almost healed”
“If it’s almost healed, why does he need medication? Besides, without looking at it, I can’t document my findings properly, and I won’t know what to prescribe. The state of the wound will determine what kind of drugs he needs”
With that, I got up and went to the dressing room. She followed me reluctantly. When she refused to open the wound, I got some materials and started.She saw I was serious, and offered to take over. My dear muses, you will never believe the sight that greeted my eyes! This young man was involved in a motorcycle accident and ended up with a laceration on his scalp. He was taken to a nearby drugstore, where someone stuffed cotton wool into the wound and bandaged it. Then he came to the staff clinic (he was a student), for futher treatment. They did not open up the wound, but proceeded to clean the stuffing and bandage it over. Do you get the picture? For 2 weeks, someone had been cleaning cotton wool! I held back a screa
Removing the stuffing, I found that the cut had actually peeled back his scalp to reveal his skull. The skin around it was rotting away, and giving off a putrid odour. I debrided the wound to the best of my ability (that means to cut away the decayed flesh), and referred him to a surgeon. Then I politely begged them to “disturb” any doctor on duty to look at wounds henceforth.
This is in no way to put down nurses. I have worked with many smart nurses, some even pick up on things I overlooked. There are bad eggs in every profession, even among doctors. My point is that my reputation was at stake. That wound would have gotten gangrenous and the man would have died of septic shock. An investigation would be launched, and every doctor who signed off on his treatment would be questioned. Who would I tell that I took her word that the wound was healed? My licence would not only be revoked, I would be liable for prosecution. In this part of the world, patient’s relatives don’t wait for the courts, they way lay you, and beat sense into your head!
I hope you get my point. Be a light to the next generation. Stand for the truth even when it hurts. Let it be you who refuses bribes, refuses to compromise, protects the defenseless. Why do you think God placed you in that exalted position? To buy cars and houses? No! He wants you to be the husband of the widows and the mother of orphans. You don’t need to give millions to charity, just insist on doing the right thing. The effects of your actions will be enjoyed by posterity. Besides, you will be protecting yourself from the fall out. So join the army, for a good name is better than silver and gold (proverbs 22:1). Peace!