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Home Opinion Opinion: Our attitude: The greatest hindrance to our altitude – By Pharm. Maryam Aminu
Opinion: Our attitude: The greatest hindrance to our altitude – By Pharm. Maryam Aminu

Opinion: Our attitude: The greatest hindrance to our altitude – By Pharm. Maryam Aminu


I grew up hearing this ‘your attitude determines your altitude’. It might not have made much sense then, but right now it does, so much so that I keep chanting it some times. 

For those who went to the same secondary school with me,  we had them up on every notice board. It was a daily reminder, that has luckily stuck to us. The phrase is simple to understand but hard to act with. But on a deeper thought you can make it hard or easy on yourself. 

I am a pharmacist and by extension a health worker. In my own understanding a WORKER is anyone willing to give out particular services in exchange for a reward.  Be it monetary or in heaven.  A reward is a reward.

We chose a career to cater to sick people, which is a good thing, considering there are other options less disgusting and emotional, but we chose it. We signed the contract, agreed to the terms and conditions, and swore to uphold them.

Why then does a patient have to deal with a doctor chatting away on his phone, an angry nurse, or a rude pharmacist or even an attendant telling him rubbish!

No one would be in a hospital if they had a choice, yet we make the experience 100 times worse.

We talk to people without respect or regard, we get angry at someone who is nursing a dying patient. Where is our empathy?  Where is the humanity?

Health workers forget their oaths and treat people based on tribe and religion…

What did we all learn in school?  What did we swear to?

Yes we work round the clock sometimes, we are over worked, we are underpaid , but we still signed up for it. We may be unappreciated or unacknowledged, but we still agreed to it. 

It can be insulting and emotionally draining, but we still signed up for it. No one forced it on us. Well maybe some parents did, but we still have an option to work in this field or move elsewhere. Yet we chose to stay. We owe it to our conscience and humanity to do the right thing.

Taking us back to the topic… Our attitude, determines our altitude. Its that simple.

And no, health workers are not special workers,  they are simply people who chose a career to cater to sick people and make money out of it. People or my colleagues may have differing views, but its a job we are being paid to do.  We either do it the right way, or leave the job. Its not a favour you are doing the patient. IT IS YOUR JOB!  So do it well.

We do not have the most important jobs, we have jobs in a vital sector, so do teachers, farmers, lawyers, bankers(even though they can be rude too) and a host of others without whom life wont be easy.

The bottom line is, if every sector treated people like trash, it would be an eyesore.

In all this, the patient /or his relative has been so tolerant of our rudeness, our inhumanity,  and lackadaisical attitudes to our jobs.  If you had stood up to a rude nurse or negligent doctor or a pharmacist with a court summon. Sanity will begin to return.

It is your right to be treated with utmost care and attention, it is not negotiable. It is your right to be compensated for negligence on your life or that of your loved one. Demand it, you are the same voices that demand for change in other aspects of the country , yet you do not demand it for your health.

Our attitude to our work wont change unless we understand that, their is a repercussion for the wrong attitude we deploy towards treating the people we have sworn to care for.

It is so bad that when a health worker does his job the right way, a series of thank you’s and prayers and sometimes even gifts always follows.

Showing you how much that patient appreciated not being shouted on, neglected or even how much he appreciated the fact that you listened to him solve his own problems a times . How bad can we get?

I have a  colleague who will always say, ‘you do not need to thank me for doing my job, i am paid to do that’ .  But saying thank you is just showing you have being brought up right.  You can say thank you to your househelp, it doesnt take anything away from you, rather it shows you have regard for the human being.

In conclusion, i hope i have made sense of what i wanted to pass accross, that we simply need to change our attitudes in order to make positive strides in whatever aspect of life we find ourselves.

Thank you


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