MECCA, July 28 — Zarinah Man, the matron at Tabung Haji’s (TH) Syisyah Medical Centre here, is a “Florence Nightingale” to Malaysian pilgrims in this holiest city for Muslims this Haj season.
The chief nursing supervisor at the Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Hospital in Temerloh, Pahang, was seconded to TH to take charge of nursing services at the centre.
Speaking to Malaysian journalists covering this season’s Haj pilgrimage here Saturday, Zarinah said TH’s nursing staff strength was 66, with 38 at this centre, and the rest at the other TH health facilities, among them the Abraj Janadriyah emergency clinic here and the TH Al Jaffery edical Centre in Madinah.
She said the scope of work was the same but the challenge for them at this facility was having to start things from scratch, unlike back home where everything was in place.
"We (second batch of nurses) arrived here on June 27. Originally this facility was a hotel, so we had to set up everything, from the beds, counters, pharmacy, wards and various other things so that our pilgrims can get the best service,” she said.
TH is providing 640 support staff to cater to the 30,200 Malaysian Haj pilgrims this season.
Zarinah said patience was the most important virtue nurses must possess because nursing was a calling and also part of their religious obligation here.
“I myself applied six times to be able to serve in the Holy Land before I was accepted. It is a given a nurse must be 10-fold patient here in order to be able to give the best service to our pilgrims,” said Zarina, who is on her fourth tour of duty.
She added that she was very happy that the team was a like a family but there were testing times like when there were deaths.
“It is very saddening to see a couple coming for the pilgrimage but only one of them returns home.”
Florence Nightingale, an Englishwoman, was the founder of modern nursing. Nightingale came to prominence during the Crimean War (October 1853- February 1856), in which she organised care for wounded soldiers. — Bernama