The Sunday News
Robin Muchetu, Senior Reporter
A group of female student nurses at the United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH) has been detained for a week as punishment after they held what authorities said was a wild striptease party in one of the hostels while celebrating completing their three-year course.
In July, UBH was identified as the Covid-19 treatment centre in Bulawayo where residents who test positive have been referred for treatment and isolation. The incident happened last week after the final year students received their results, resulting in a hastily arranged party where they held a party while alcohol was allegedly smuggled in to spice up the occasion.
However, the student nurses were caught by hospital authorities who then decided to punish the whole class by withholding their certificates while sending them back to the wards for a further week as punishment. The students were supposed to vacate the institution on 3 September but will only get their certificates tomorrow.
UBH acting chief executive officer Dr Narcisius Dzvanga confirmed the punishment that was meted out on the “wayward” student nurses.
“I got that news but they are going home on Monday (tomorrow). It was a disciplinary issue, nothing personal, just misdemeanours of joy over their own success. They passed and they started misbehaving within the complex and it was decided that releasing people into the world with that attitude was not good. So, it was just a punitive measure taken,” he said.
When asked about the “misdemeanours”, Dr Dzvanga was, however, not keen to elaborate, although the affected nurses said it was after they held the strip party.
“It was just incorrect behaviour that we can’t talk about, they were over celebrating. They are people who were exiting a training programme and they celebrated in an unbecoming manner so we felt we had to punish them a little. Nursing requires professionalism and no matter how much you are celebrating there are some things you cannot do. We wanted to show them that the certificates that they had got have ethics and professionalism that go along with them. So, we decided that they hang around and go and work in the hospital even though they had finished before they are released, just to correct their misdemeanours.”
However, some of the affected students said it was wrong for the institution to punish the whole class when they were just a few that attended the strip party.
“All female students were punished, there was some sort of celebration that was done after getting results, so all of us were punished yet our contracts ended on 3 September 2020. We have been working at the hospital, normal shifts although we did not take part in the celebrations,” said one of the students.
Another student claimed the idea to detain them came from the principal nursing tutor.
“They are delaying releasing us, they had said people must work for seven days but after that we were not released, they are still delaying everything. It is not fair for those that were not involved in the celebrations. They should have consulted with the warden who saw the girls misbehaving to get the names than to paint everyone with the same brush,” she said. – @NyembeziMu.