6 Nigerian Women Share Their Experience Working In Healthcare

September 17, 2020

It’s no secret that the healthcare system in Nigeria is already in the pits. From underpaid professionals to lack of basic facilities. Today, 6 Nigerian women shared with me the challenges they encounter working in healthcare. 

Sarah, Pharmacist

The sexual harassment in my workspace is on another level. My boss was always asking for a kiss. He’d find every opportunity to touch me. Whenever I turn him down, his attitude would change. This man insisted that he loves me but he was like this with all the female workers. I tried to manage the situation but I couldn’t cope. Ended up quitting that job. 

Aisha, Doctor

I receive sexual advances from patients, their relatives and even my colleagues. Sometimes, I am ignored during rounds by patients because they do not see me as a doctor. I also hate that people automatically expect me to pick the less difficult part of medicine. If I say I want to major in trauma surgery or something more demanding, everyone goes “oh, but won’t that be too difficult for you as a woman?” “How would your husband cope?” and all sorts of ridiculous excuses. 

Also, the Dr Mrs xx thing is really irritating. Just call me Dr xx, period.

Wande, Doctor

The healthcare space is a reflection of Nigeria as a country. Women are being undermined at every level. From employers who try to police your womb, who insist you mustn’t get pregnant in the first few years on the job to colleagues who claim you’re overreacting when you call them out for crossing personal boundaries or being verbally or sexually abusive. I have patients who refused to respect my treatment because they need a male doctor or those who call me aunty nurse even when I correct them. 

Ose, Nurse

A patient’s relative said I didn’t deserve to talk to him because I was an unmarried woman. The assumption is that I cannot handle certain situations because of my marital status. As a professional nurse, I have encountered people who think being a woman means you know less about your job than your male counterparts. Some outrightly express shock when I do my job like “wow, you really can do this.” Sir/ma’am, I was trained to do this. People just expect less from me and I keep beating their imagination. 

Chioma, Doctor

I have patients who ask if I am a “real doctor” and then proceed to treat my advice with disdain because I don’t have a penis. Older nursers are harsher to me and the other female doctors. A patient at the emergency once told me that needed help getting his drugs and I told him to ask the attendant. He became angry and started shouting that why would I refuse to go on his errand.

One time, a senior colleague who was fond of making very inappropriate sexual jokes asked me to get him a bottle of coke. When I gave it to him, he mentioned that Yoruba women kneel down to give men things and I should have done that. I told him I wasn’t Yoruba and it didn’t apply to my culture. This man made a show of calling me disrespectful.

Rita, Doctor

I almost got beaten up by a patient’s relative who barged into the consulting room because he claimed I was spending too much time with another patient (whom I was counseling because he just got a diagnosis of prostate cancer). 

The angry man said, “the doctor keeping us waiting is even a woman” with so much disgust.  A medical student had to run out to get the security guard and a SERVICOM officer who took him out of the room despite his struggles and loud shout about how he would beat me blue-black.

Recommended: 6 Nigerian Woman Share Their Mental Health Journey

Eris Ekanem

Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.

You'll like this

October 6, 2020

They said something about how I fit the description of an accomplice for some yahoo boys around the area because of my nose ring and face. They didn’t even do the routine Nigerian police “may we meet you,” they just asked me to open my car door and get out. I mean, I had to because they had guns.

June 17, 2020

Having a best friend is one of the best relationships a girl can get. There’s no drama, no cheating, just the best vibes, and the most amazing support system. But it usually takes a process highlighted with fun BFF milestones. 1. Your first hangout. Usually the equivalent of a date, but this time more casual […]

September 7, 2020

It was another self-care Saturday, and with that comes the necessary evil that is shaving. So, we made a list of some relatable shaving struggles 1) Finding the right angle To find the right angle to begin your shaving adventures, you start doing math in the shower. Asking yourself questions like, “if I raise my […]

Watch

Now on Zikoko

July 31, 2021

Sex Life is an anonymous Zikoko weekly series that explores the pleasures, frustrations and excitement of sex in the lives of Nigerians. TW: Sexual Abuse. The subject of today’s Sex Life is a 28-year-old heterosexual woman who talks about hating condoms and how all that changed after an STD and two pregnancies.   What was your […]

July 31, 2021

Truth or Dare can be a fun game to play whether you’re hanging in with friends or you’re playing drinking games. However, it can get old really quick if you don’t have the right questions or dare. So we put together a couple of truth or dare questions to ask a guy at the next […]

July 30, 2021

We know salary week is your favourite time of the month. But will that money get you through the month until the next paycheck comes in? Let’s see. 1. You get paid on the 25th of the month Why is this a problem? You will lose your guard. You too, stop and think about it: money […]

July 30, 2021

Like every other thing that comes from Nigeria, your international passport just wants to travel out, enjoy life and flex on the gram but you no get money. *insert clown emoji* So here is everything your international passport wants to say to you. It’s another frustrating day in Buhari’s country. Rain water has entered your […]

Recommended Quizzes

October 30, 2019

2010 was a game-changing one for Nollywood, with our movies making serious cash and getting international acclaim. So, which of these hits released between 2010 and 2019 — from the pace-setting The Wedding Party to the divisive Trip To Jamaica — best suits your personality? Well, that’s what this quiz is here to answer:

November 22, 2019

It can be very stressful when you’re trying to find the love of your life, but you only keep meeting people that are exactly like your yeye ex. To help you be more aware of that problem, we’ve created a quiz that lets you know the kind of people you are attracting. Take it to […]

November 27, 2019

Do you have a face that could make angels jealous, or should you really be walking around with a nylon bag over your head so you don’t scare children? Well, this quiz is here to answer that by telling you exactly how good-looking you are. Take and find out: 11 Quizzes For People Who Aren’t […]

April 9, 2020

At some point in life, we all learnt that someone can be very intelligent and still lack common sense. That’s the difference between being book smart and being street smart. If you’re not sure where on the spectrum you fall, well, that’s what this quiz is here to tell you. Take it:

November 15, 2019

There are two types of people in Nigeria right now: those who are proud Marlians, and those who are still in denial about stanning the divisive star. So, for those who proudly wear the Marlian tag, we made a quiz to test how well you really know Naira Marley. If you get more than 6 […]

November 12, 2019

Are you a single pringle, stuck in a complicated situationship or happily married to the love of your life? This quiz is here to guess your current relationship status, and as you know, Zikoko quizzes are incredibly accurate (don’t quote us). So, give a shot:

More from Her

sad girl covering her eyes
July 29, 2021

As told to Mariam  In a group chat conversation about Nigerian parents, Tega said her parents were toxic. When I asked how, here’s what she told me:  Trigger warning: Physical abuse  I’m the first of three girls. My father was distant when I was younger. He was rarely around except when there was a problem […]

July 28, 2021

The subject of today’s What She Said is a 24-year-old woman who has a very rocky relationship with her stepmum. She talks about how she misses her mum, the ill-treatment she got at the hands of her stepmum, and the medical condition that messes up her self confidence. What’s your earliest childhood memory? It’s driving […]

two women with curly hair
July 27, 2021

If you found out your younger sex was having sex, how would you react? We spoke to three Nigerian women about how they found out that their younger sisters were sexually active and how they reacted. Here’s what they had to say:  IB, 24 One day, we were gisting and she said,  “You know I’m […]

diagram of the female reproductive system
July 25, 2021

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is still largely unspoken about across Nigeria. Many people may have heard about it but a lot of them don’t know what’s true or false about the condition. Here are five myths and facts about Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. Every woman with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome grows hair in unlikely places.  Though a […]

black woman in the gym
July 25, 2021

I spoke to four Nigerian women about what visiting the gym as a woman is like. Here’s what they had to say: Bibi, 22 I always have a pleasant experience at the gym but there was this day, my friends and I were on the mat and the instructor was helping us stretch our bodies. It […]

July 23, 2021

Romantic relationships bring different changes to our lives. Some welcome, some not. In this article, five Nigerian women talk about how their partners changed their lives.  Bisola, 23 I grew up in a conservative space but I always knew I wanted to explore certain things and with the help of my current partner, I am […]

black girl using her phone
July 22, 2021

There is a growing number of dating apps available to Nigerians living in Nigeria. In this article, three Nigerian women talk about using dating apps.  Dami, 27 I downloaded Bumble a few months ago. This is my first time using a dating app. I chose Bumble because my friend told me that the app is […]

July 22, 2021

TW: Sexual Abuse Everyone has a story about their first time. In this article, eight Nigerian women talk about the first time they had penetrative sex. Nancy, 22 I didn’t bleed during my first time, probably because my boyfriend in secondary school used to finger me when we made out.  The first time a penis […]

what she said design with a woman in a hospital gown sitting down
July 21, 2021

The subject of today’s What She Said is a 23-year-old woman who had an ovarian drilling surgery. She talks about PCOS and how it affected her mental and physical health, how unhelpful the doctor who diagnosed her was, and needing an ovarian drilling.  Tell me something about your childhood. Okay, let’s talk about my first […]

Nigerian women celebrating Ileya.
July 20, 2021

Ileya, also called Eid-el Kabir or ram Sallah is a great time to connect with family and friends over juicy pieces of fried ram. As with other things, women have a specific experience of Ileya that is often missing from the conversation. In this article, eight Nigerian women talk about celebrating Ileya.  Farida, 26  I’ve […]

Watch

Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

December 14, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
November 2, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
October 26, 2020
A collection of videos documenting some of the events of the EndSARS protests.
June 22, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
June 22, 2020
Hacked is an interesting new series by Zikoko made up of fictional but hilarious chat conversations.
June 4, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
June 2, 2020
Quickie is a video series where everyone featured gets only one minute to rant, review or do absolutely anything.
May 14, 2020
Isolation Diary is a Zikoko series that showcases what isolation is like for one young Nigerian working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
March 12, 2020
Life is already hard. Deciding where to eat and get the best lifestyle experiences, isn't something you should stress about. Let VRSUS do that for you.

Z! Stacks

Here's a rabbit hole of stories to lose yourself in:

Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.
X