The deficient number of healthcare professionals in Nigeria is one of the reasons for the high demand of auxiliary nurses in Nigeria. While they may not be trained to administer medications and are not registered as certified nurses, their contribution to the effective delivery of healthcare services to the populace cannot be underestimated. They are the assistants to the certified nurses we exalt, the ones that help to make the services of the nurses in a hospital go smoothly.
Due to their high demand, you might have been on the lookout for how to become an auxiliary nurse in Nigeria. You may just be on the right path as this career path can serve as a spring board to help you become a certified and registered nurse. It will also give you the needed experience and an edge over your peers if and when you become a registered nurse.
In this article, you will have all the information you need concerning how to become an auxiliary nurse in Nigeria. We will also give you the differences that exist between an auxiliary nurse and a registered nurse, while helping you become familiar with the roles of an auxiliary nurse in a hospital.
Who is an Auxiliary Nurse?
In many countries, there is hardly any distinction between the types of nurses that are in a hospital. When a patient sees any other staff of the hospital in white gown, they assume they are nurses. Although they may be right to refer to them as nurses, they are all not the same types of nurses.
In Nigeria, many people know that there is a majority of auxiliary nurses in the hospitals but they have no idea what the responsibilities of the auxiliary nurses are. Most of the registered nurses are easily confused with the auxiliary nurses because their roles are not well defined.
Auxiliary nurses are healthcare professionals that aid registered nurses in providing comfort and attendance to patients’ needs. They are usually referred to as nurse or nursing assistants, that is, they assist professional nurses in administering care to the patients. Auxiliary nurses are the nurses you can find in some Nigerian hospitals, wearing blue gowns, as opposed to the white gown and ribbon the registered nurses wear.
As an auxiliary nurse, you do not need to undergo any form of formal training or scholarly education to administer the type of care they do to patients. In most cases in Nigeria, informal training under a registered nurse, who is in active service or retired, is the norm. However, there are better avenues to acquire training to stand out from the rest and aid in helping you step up later in your nursing career.
What Does an Auxiliary Nurse Do?
Auxiliary nurses are not professionally trained or registered nurses, therefore, they are not ethically or legally allowed to administer medication or injections to patients. Their major responsibility is to help patients remain comfortable in their beds and help them in their recovery process. They do these by feeding patients that are unable to do so themselves, help the patients that are unable to stand do so, especially if they have to use the convenience.
Auxiliary nurses are also responsible for aiding other health professionals such as physiologists, in getting their patients up and about when they need to. They are important in helping patients who are relearning to use certain parts of their body get their training sessions done.
However, they do more than these in many Nigerian hospitals, especially private hospitals. They administer drugs and give injections in the absence of a registered nurse. Although this is contrary to their legal role, the registered nurses train them to do these things to lessen the workload on themselves, and cut cost for the hospital.
Differences Between Registered Nurses and Auxiliary Nurses
The major difference that separates an auxiliary nurse from a registered nurse is the administration of drugs and injections. While registered nurses legally allowed to administer drugs to patients and give them injections, auxiliary nurses are not legally allowed to do so.
The training they have is also a major differing factor between these nurses. A registered nurse must have attended and graduated from a school of nursing in Nigeria but an auxiliary nurse does not need any scholarly training. Most times they receive informal training from clinics and with the basic knowledge of patient care and medication principles, they can be employed as auxiliary nurses.
The difference that exist in their appearance in some hospitals can be seen in their uniforms. A registered nurse will wear a white gown while an auxiliary nurse usually wears a sky-blue gown.
How to Become an Auxiliary Nurse
To become an auxiliary nurse in Nigeria involves receiving informal training from any medical practitioner, usually, registered nurses that are still in active service, or retired nurses with a private basic healthcare service outfit. As you must have known that it is illegal for a nurse to own a hospital in Nigeria, they can only train auxiliary nurses in clinics that are legally allowed to own and run.
Also, auxiliary nurses are trained in some private hospitals across the country, although it is against the law and some states have kicked against this act. The nurses trained in these hospitals have a more practical training as they are in contact with patients regularly and watch the professional nurses administer drugs and injections to patients. The registered nurses in the hospitals are usually given the responsibility of training the auxiliary nurses.
The requirement to be trained usually is a desire to become an auxiliary nurse and the acquisition of certain medical tools and implements, such as a stethoscope, bandages, first aid kit, among other things.
Frequently Asked Questions About Auxiliary Nurses in Nigeria
Can Auxiliary Nurse Become a Registered Nurse?
A registered nurse is a healthcare professional that has received training and passed from a school of nursing in Nigeria, while an auxiliary nurse does not receive any scholarly training. However, an auxiliary nurse can become a registered nurse if he or she goes on to a school of nursing to get a degree certificate and register with the appropriate body.
Is Auxiliary Nursing Legal in Nigeria?
Auxiliary nursing a legal profession in Nigeria and around the world. However, the illegality that is in auxiliary nursing comes from the roles they perform in the hospitals. They are legally in line if their roles are limited to providing care and support to patients, checking for change in vital signs, addressing minor conditions, such as cuts, but if they cross that line to administering medications, their roles have become illegal.
How Much is Auxiliary Nurse Salary?
Auxiliary nurses’ salary differs from hospital to hospital. Some big hospitals pay as much as 70,000 naira monthly while smaller hospitals can pay as low as 20,000 naira monthly. Also experience of the auxiliary nurse plays a role in their salary.
The massive population of Nigeria necessitates the need for auxiliary nurses to help reduce the pressure on the available healthcare workers. To become a part of the healthcare system, one of the basest avenues is to become an auxiliary nurse. Auxiliary nurses are legally recognized in Nigeria but their roles may infringe the law.
To become an auxiliary nurse, enroll with any hospital that you prefer, if they have a vacancy for such, or enroll at a clinic.
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