When we were admitted into the university, some of us were in Nursing Sciences, Medical Laboratory Science, Medicine and Surgery, Physiotherapy, Pharmacy, Radiography, etc.
We were subjected to general studies (GST) and level one sciences. We were taught by Mathematicians, Education lecturers, Physicists, and Philosophers.
Since they knew little or nothing about the slight differences in our course of study, they addressed us by a general name: Medical and Health Sciences.
We made friends amongst ourselves.
“What’s your department? ” I’d ask.
“Wow! I’m in Nursing Sciences. Meet my friend Hyelzira, she’s in Pharmacy.”
That way, we became bound by the cords of friendship, and we read together.
We had one common goal: to pass our exams.
We put our heads together in solving the past questions for that semester.
Gideon my Radiographer friend, was good at Mathematics.
Sunday my Pharmacist guy was a wizard in Chemistry.
I loved Biology, and Mohammed my BMLS friend taught us Physics.
Together, we solved the past questions, taught and complimented each other.
Now towards our third year in school, things started to go south. Mohammed would pass and just wave. Sunday barely would talk to me, and whenever Gideon picked my calls, I’d feel like I owed God a testimony.
Each of us had the key to our respective classes and we locked them against every other student that wasn’t in our department. The center could no longer hold – things fell apart:
“They should have considered it a privilege to be associated with me.”
“Oh, I didn’t tell you?”
Towards our third year in school, we had new lecturers with entirely different mindsets, behaviors, and speech. They were our seniors in the profession.
They’d availed themselves so we could be taught.
Pharmacists taught the Pharmacy students.
Lab scientists taught the MLS students.
Nurses taught the student Nurses.
The Physiotherapist taught the physiotherapy students
Everything went fine until we were introduced to a strange course; a course not found in the curriculum. But we learned it. It was injected into us, and it went straight into our veins and our minds absorbed them.
They were injections of words.
We were told to uphold our disciplines with great esteem and never to accept any humiliation from anybody.
They told us that we were superior to other departments. Student Medical laboratory scientists were told that without the laboratory, the hospital is handicapped. The Nursing students were told that they were indispensable. The physiotherapy students were told that they were general overseers. The Pharmacists assumed the appellation “Bedrock of Medical Practice.”
These may not be entirely false, but the next words injected into us triggered hatred, ego rise, and envy.
We were told of how other departments in the same medical field hated us; of the need to stand up and uphold the fight because other departments are jealous of ours and want to humiliate us. We were told that medical doctors were arrogant and hence we’d give them no room for such display. We were told that nurses were insulting, hence, all relationships with them should be kept at a highly official level and with great consciousness of our ego;. We were told that the medical laboratory scientists were poke-nosing into our territory, so we must annihilate them as possible as we can.
We were taught to esteem our ego and defend our profession against our ‘foes’ in the same field.
No wonder we now feel insecure amongst ourselves – the injection worked.
Sadly, as I bleed in my heart writing this, I recall our first years when our minds were like virgins. We were together and we all had one mind and one goal – to pass exams.
Now we are faced with a bigger goal – to care for patients.
But, we aren’t together.
How can we pass?
They’ve ruined our team.
Comr(Nr.) Emmanuel Ishaya Samuel (STN)
University of Maiduguri