Kenzhebike Koishibaevna Mazhitova is a senior nurse in an outpatient clinic in Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan

Kenzhebike Koishibaevna Mazhitova

"I completed my studies, specializing as a health “feldsher” or medical assistant, at Karagandinsk medical college in 1982. I went on to work as an epidemiologist’s assistant in the Sanitary and Epidemiological Service, as a paediatric nurse in a village medical centre, and then as a family nurse in a municipal family outpatient clinic. In March 2007, I began my job as senior nurse in the Djurek family outpatient clinic in Djezkazgan.

I am always interested in learning and then putting what I have learned into practice. That’s how I won the competition for nurses during the “Bringing up healthy children” campaign organized by the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID’s) ZdravPlus project in 2001. Then I became a member of the working group that drew up “Methodological training on integrated management of childhood illness (IMCI) for community nurses” in 2004. In February 2005, after completing a course, I received a certificate as a trainer in interpersonal relations and basic IMCI strategy for community nurses, and I have held classes on that in our region. I think that, these days, as well as medical knowledge, family nurses should also have some training in psychology and interpersonal relations.

My work is to supervise the preventive care, diagnosis and treatment provided by our nurses, and to provide medical care, including preventive care and rehabilitation, to the population in our area. I hold courses for family nurses, for children’s homes, boarding schools and the law school.

I especially enjoy my work because, first and foremost, I love it. “Nurse” and “compassion” mean the same thing. The first person any patient sees is a nurse, and her amiability, politeness and competence must draw the patient to her. She must show the patient that she feels his or her pain. The patient can tell the nurse things that he or she might not tell the doctor. I believe that the nurse is a full partner of the doctor in their work for the public.

And the essence of the health care system is to provide medical care for people at all stages of life, and to be the link between the different health care organizations.

In Kazakhstan, our citizens have the right to health protection, and they are entitled to free medical care provided by the state. If we are to improve the public medical services and quality of life, and to increase average life expectancy, we must raise the status of health care workers; they must receive proper salaries.

I think that the health care system in our country is satisfactory, but it does have some problems. One of the most important of those is training for medical staff, which should be paid. Medical staff should be recruited on the basis of a competitive examination, in order to raise their prestige. Another important aspect is the provision of modern medical equipment.

Despite the difficulties I encounter in my work, and those throughout the health care system in the country, I am patriotic. I think that we do have lots of problems related to medicine, and I want to, and I can, make my contribution to solving them.

We don’t usually have queues at the Djurek family outpatient clinic, and people don’t have to wait long, because they are given appointment times, and our staff work to ensure that the patients are seen quickly, and given quality care.

Our patients would like to see a more progressive level of development in the health care system in the country, and are sure it will come. Nurses have a big role to play here too, as they must be the patients’ second family and organize health consultations within their areas of competence."