Good day to you, our dear readers. We took a little break from conducting interviews on Care City (we had to go back to the drawing board to restrategize, and now we are back).
This month’s interview is the one that breaks the brief silence. We will be interviewing a very special registered nurse. As usual, I had followed her for a while, enjoyed her content, interacted with her and I decided to see if I could interview her, and voila! She agreed to an interview.
You know, she’s calm, humble & very smart. Her reception was way very professional. Despite the delays from our end and her busy schedule, she still took out some time from her hourglass to attend this interview. So, I must say, that this interview is a special one (the same goes with all other interviews that we have had on Care City).
Now, meet Getrude Orodo, the World Class Nurse…
A Brief Autobiography
My name is Getrude Orodo. I am a Registered Nurse in the United Kingdom and in Kenya. I consider myself to be a world-class nurse, hence the brand World-Class Nurse.
My goal is to empower nurses to believe in themselves and become world-class professionals. I operate on the premise that when nurses believe in themselves and find their work more satisfying then patient outcomes will improve and so will the image of the profession.
My passion lies with newly registered nurses; just to make the transition from work to school less stressful.
I also help nurses to move and settle from one country to another. Apart from this, I am a writer and I have written several articles based on my nursing career and experiences.
1. Can we meet you; tell us something personal about who you are.
My name is Getrude (without the first “r”) Orodo. I am 27 years of age. I hold a Degree in Nursing. I currently live and work in England. I describe myself as an introverted extrovert.
Simply put, I easily interact with people and thrive on group activities but at the same time, I like spending time alone, at home.
2. Why Nursing? There should be a strong reason why you decided to take the path of Nursing, tell us about it if you do not mind.
Many people found nursing or had the “call”. In my case, nursing found me. I was not particularly keen on this profession, in fact, the 14-year-old me would be so shocked if they met me now. After high school, I evaluated different prospects and settled on healthcare. Also, around the same time, my dad got ill, giving me exposure to the hospital environment and the validation I needed for my decision. The funny thing is, now I do not see myself in any other profession.
3. What’s your favorite food? And why do you like it?
To me, Food is God’s love to humankind. And we all know; love conquers everything.
Having said that, I eat and enjoy any dish cooked properly.
I am currently trying cuisines from different parts of the world. So far, Nigerian and Japanese dishes are topping my list.
4. Do you love reading? What book(s) have you read recently? Or what book(s) are you reading?
I am in the process of cultivating a reading habit. Growing up, I was not into reading. Now I appreciate the value of knowledge and its contribution to growing all around.
5. What’s your opinion about Nurses going into politics?
A few months back we lost a Kenyan doctor to COVID 19. His death exposed some of the rot in the healthcare system. As you can imagine, it caused a huge uproar online. I too joined the bandwagon and made a video and posted it online.
One of my friends on Facebook called Arthur replied with this:
“We can’t change the system by calling them out. In Kenya, our biggest problem is that the elite or middle class, people who have an idea of how things should function shun away from politics like it’s a bad disease. We need to get ourselves in there and be the change that we seek…” This comment changed my perspective on politics. The reality is politicians make most of the decisions that affect our daily living hence more nurses should join politics.
6. An ideal “Nurse Mentor,” tell us about it.
Being a nursing student, I longed for someone to look up to. Most people I interacted with were so negative about the profession. Needless to say, I was miserable through my entire nursing training. It took me a minute to experience joy in nursing and fall in love with it. I have been fortunate to network with passionate nurses who are shifting the paradigm. This joy is what I want to share with other nurses, especially the rookies through mentorship.
I will not speak for other places in Africa. In Kenya, mentorship is lacking. My goal has been to mentor as many nurses as I can. At the same time, I wanted to add fuel to this conversation and recruit other nurses to it. I want nurses to understand that we can mentor each other. Although there is so much more to it, sometimes it takes one conversation to guide a fellow nurse.
So far, I have developed two mentorship programs under World Class Nurse. Currently, I have five mentees under my programs. I am also happy to report that The National Nurses Association of Kenya, through its president Mr. Alfred Obengo has responded to my initiatives and given me a contract to mentor its members in the Students and Novice Nurses Chapter.
In the end. I want a system where there is a place for mentorship in both nursing training and practice, not only in Kenya but in the whole of Africa.
7. Are you enjoying Nursing? If you get an opportunity to change careers, would you? And which path would you take? Medicine?
If I am being honest, I have contemplated changing careers on several occasions. Nursing is not always a walk in the park. There are several days where you will question your choices. However, I recently thought about this deeply and I can firmly say that I am settled in nursing. Notwithstanding the hard days, I have come to love nursing genuinely.
I now seek to transition into different roles with time. I see myself participating in nursing research and academia and growing as a nursepreneur. Self-actualization for me is to have the capacity and position to contribute to policies, regulations, and laws affecting nursing in Africa.
8. What keeps you going? What inspires you to do more?
What keeps me going is one quote by Vusi Thembekwayo: “Where the pain starts, is where the work starts”. So many times, I have felt overwhelmed by work, creating content, having time for my mentees, and having time for myself. I must say that the temptation to quit is always looming. Each time I have such feelings, I remind myself the pain has started, now I must put in the work.
What inspires me to do more is the feedback I get. So many nurses reach out to me to ask different questions. And many more have told me they are inspired by my work. There is no way I can stop now.
9. Tell us about one of your most memorable moments working as a Nurse.
Immediately after getting my license and registration, I worked in the Labour ward at Kenya’s top public hospital, Kenyatta National Hospital. Despite my rocky beginning, I developed a passion for conducting deliveries. One day I was walking in Nairobi and a stranger called me by my name. She said I had delivered her baby at KNH and she loved my service. I have never experienced more joy.
10. Do you advocate for more men to come into the Nursing profession?
Definitely. I risk sounding stereotypical, but the truth is men bring a certain power to nursing. By nature, men take control, and this is what is needed at times. Sometimes, their physical strength is a must-have. I have had shifts where we needed male nurses to deal with certain “difficult” patients.
Having said that, we currently live in a world where diversity and inclusivity form part of the key tenets for many organizations, and rightfully so, Nursing should not be left behind.
11. What made you start “World Class Nurse?”
This question can go hand in hand with question 6.
12. Are you ever going to come back home?
Yes. My heart still lives for Africa. Like I said above, I want to see an Africa with better policies governing the training, practice, and regulation of nursing. To fully be part of this, I must one day come back home.
13. Tell us something to inspire us, give us a word.
I will conclude with the words of my own Mentor, Irene Ogongo, “It is 5% Strategy but 95% Mindset”. Everything begins and ends in your mind. Like the singer sang, “Free your mind, and the rest will follow”.
Did you touch the passion there? Wow! It was extreme. So much power packed in very few words. Connect with Orodo on Linkedin here, throw her a hearty connection, and become part of her professional community. This interview will be featured in this month’s issue of our newsletter, CARE.