I was in high school when my aunt decided to practice nursing and I used to go visit her at work. She motivated me into studying it but I fell in love with nursing and working with patients as I trained and did the rotations at hospital.
Name: Emily Kemunto Tamboki
Place of work: Top Notch Home Care Services
Esther: Thank you or your time Emily, we are glad you created time for this interview. Please tell us a brief history about yourself.
Emily: Thank you Esther. My name is Emily Tamboki, born and bred in Nairobi. I went to school to a local primary school in Nairobi and later proceeded to Nyabururu Girls High School for my secondary education. I was successful to join KMTC Nairobi where I studied for my course in Community Health Nursing. I graduated couple years and I’m currently working in home based care.
Esther: That’s great. What motivated you to practice Nursing?
Emily: My aunt ventured into practising nursing when I was still in highschool. I would visit her at her work place on occasions when schools closed. She motivated me into studying it but I fell in love with nursing and working with patients as I trained and did the rotations at hospital.
Esther: Why did you choose Medicine and not other fields such as Public Health or Pharmacy?
Emily: Nursing allows you to spend more time with the patients tending for them and their needs. It makes me feel like that’s the best way I can make and impact change in patients lives. Patients need a lot of attention and especially to those whom I attend to in my area of working in a home-based institution, I encounter such patients who need a lot of care.
Esther: Wow, that’s so passionate of you. So far, would you say that you have tested your motivation?
Emily: Yes. I believe my motivation has been tested quite thoroughly, working with patients is not easy sometimes. When people are in pain they tend to project a lot of what they are going through to those around them and it needs patience and empathy to still keep working despite feeling like you are on the receiving end of all those emotions. It is easy to give up but the fulfillment that comes with being there for someone at their point of need and encouraging them is what keeps me going.
Esther: Amazing. If you were not accepted at medical school, would you have an alternative career plan and still pursue your motivation?
Emily: I have not really given it much thought as I have always imagined becoming a nurse like my aunt. Maybe I’d have ended up in a totally different profession, who knows.
Esther: Haha, that’s for sure. How do you visualize using your Nursing Education?
Emily: I would love to use my nursing education to create awareness in the community about health conditions, how to stay healthy and the role of the family, friends and community in walking with the patients in their journey of healing.
Esther: Which other field would you want to pursue and why?
Emily: I would like to pursue further education in critical care nursing. I believe with more knowledge I will be better equipped to make interventions helping my patients more. Patients in critical care will require a lot of attention.
Esther: How have you been able to handle work-related stress and time management considering that you’re balancing between family/individual and work?
Emily: Balancing work and social life can be a little bit tricky if you concentrate on one side the more. I think the trick is finding a healthy balance and sticking to it. When it’s time for work give it your all and when it’s time off take a break to regenerate and connect with family and friends. They play a major role in life.
Esther: That is so thoughtful. And what do you for fun, Emily?
Emily: I enjoy reading books, listening to music and hanging out with friends. I find it really therapeutic.
Esther: What role has your family played to influence your decision in pursuing Nursing?
Emily: I am really grateful for my family. They have been there for me emotionally, spiritually and financially. They helped pay for my tuition and upkeep while I was studying and kept encouraging me when I was feeling overwhelmed.
Esther: That is a very supportive family you have there. What have you achieved in your career course?
Emily: I believe I am still young in the profession but I’d say moments where I see my patients walking home after getting better with smiles on their faces have been my greatest achievements. It is such a feeling of fulfilment even to me personally.
Esther: What are the experiences working with sick people?
Emily: Being close to sick people has taught me to be appreciative of the things we take for granted. Health is such a paramount aspect of life. Being able to breathe okay with no complications, eating by yourself, walking and just be alive is a great blessing. I have also learnt to be empathetic and patient with people.
Esther: We should all be grateful for good health. What excites you about Nursing in general?
Emily: I get excited as I work with patients and watch them gain energy, stand up healthy and be able to do things they were unable to do for themselves. Walking with them throughout their healing journey as they get better is really fulfilling.
Esther: Do you keep yourself updated with current trends?
Emily: Yes I do. You cannot practice medicine and not keep up. Medicine is one the major fields that change frequently: the way of doing things, and doing them in better ways. I keep up updating myself by attending CMEs, medical seminar and also enrolling for short courses.
Esther: That’s amazing. What do you see as challenges in the health sector in Kenya today?
Emily: I would want to believe that the major challenge we are experiencing currently as a country is understaffing. Nurse patient ratio especially is really discouraging. One nurse has so many patients and it becomes difficult to give the quality of care you would love to as the time is limited and the patients are so many. Inadequate information, and in some cases ignorance from the community is another challenge.
Esther: And how do you think these challenges should be addressed?
Emily: I think the stakeholders should focus on employment of more medical practitioners as we have so many of them who are unemployed yet we face this shortage in the hospitals. There should be more programs to educate the public about health, health related issues and the importance of health.
Esther: Sure thing. What is the vision of healthcare in Kenya?
Emily: The Universal Health Care Kenya vision 2030 is to transform Kenya into a middle income country that provides better quality life to all its citizens.
Esther: What is the vision of healthcare in East Africa?
Emily: To increase sustainable health access to countries in East Africa through solutions in human resources for health and provide
Thank you so much for your time Emily.
Written by Esther Mugo.
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