With the fight against coronavirus gaining momentum, a number of selfless individuals around the world have been on the frontline aiding in the war. Among these individuals is a Kenyan nurse Deborah W. Mwazi based in Memphis, Tennessee.
Mwazi works as a registered nurse at Methodist South Hospital in the Medical-Surgical Unit and part of her role currently is looking after isolated COVID-19 patient as well as regular ones.
With caregivers being among those highly exposed and at risk of contracting the virus, Mwanzi boldly reveals that her happiness is drawn from the fact that her service goes a long way into helping others.
“Our job as nurses is to administer treatment and medication. We want to alleviate distress and make patients as comfortable as possible. I am happiest when I know I am helping.” She stated
With a crazy schedule of working on a 12-hour shift, the Kenyan nurse based in Memphis maintains that her role as a healthcare worker is satisfying because it has always been her calling.
In a village back in Kenya where she grew up with her parents and seven siblings, Mwanzi recalls how nursing had always been her dream career. She however started her career path as a secretary at Kenya Medical Research Institute citing very few nursing opportunities at that time.
“At that time, HIV studies were being conducted to do research for a cure,” said Mwazi. “Even then, I dreamed of being a nurse, but there were very few opportunities.” She said
In 2004 Mwanzi was pushed closer to her dream career after she won the green card lottery and relocated to America with her son where she enrolled at Southwest Tennessee Community College (SWCC) to complete her qualifications for nursing.
Her greatest challenge was paying for childcare services but she later made adjustments.
“See, it’s different in the village,” Mwazi said. “When you go to work or school, there are many people who can watch your children. When I came here, there were childcare expenses. It was very strange, very different.”
After finishing her studies, she took a year off before starting her new job at Methodist Hospital. During her working days at the hospital, she was accepted to a Christian Brothers University nursing program and later graduated with a BSN which led her on to her dream job since then.
Even though she spent a lot of time chasing her dream and working hard to build her career, she frequently visited her home village. Mwanzi lost her mother to liver cancer years back and her visits back home are to link up with her siblings.
In regard to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mwazi advised residents of Memphis and Shelby County to be extra cautious to avoid contracting the virus.
“Be cautious when you go outside. Please wear a mask. This thing is not over. Take every precaution seriously because people are still suffering. People are still dying. Please take heed.”