Nurse’s Story – Bob Mutebi
Providing Service Above Self.
Bob Mutebi is a Registered Nurse who followed his grandmother—who raised him in Africa, Europe, and Asia as a child—into the business of care and compassion. Today, he still talks with his 86-year old mentor every day about the changing dynamics of the profession.
“I was motivated by her work as a midwife with Doctors Without Borders, traveled with her often, and saw her passion for making a positive difference in the lives of her patients and their families,” Bob said.
Bob describes his work as “service above self.” For him, it’s a remarkable experience. “I’m present at life’s momentous events, from birth to death, from crisis to recovery. It’s a full spectrum of human drama, and every day brings a new situation.”
He’s worked at the California Health Care Facility (CHCF) in Stockton for the last six years, where he helps provide long-term care for inmate-patients with chronic and critical health issues as well as acute mental health patients. Virtually all of them are deemed “high risk” for the coronavirus.
COVID-19 has certainly changed the landscape at CHCF. “We have 2,000 patients and 3,000 staff,” he says. “Practicing social distancing is hard to implement, and we’re sending hundreds of inmates to outpatient facilities every day.” As a result, “we have to treat each of them as positive and isolate them for 14 days.”
“It’s hard to explain to our kids at home that welcoming you back with a hug isn’t permissible anymore. We have to dispose of our scrubs in the parking lot to protect them.”
Nursing today is a challenge of the highest magnitude, Bob says. “I’ve see problems that I never thought a first-world country would endure.” Yet, he’s also seen “teamwork so powerful that feeling alone is simply not an option.”
“I’ve watched coworkers demonstrate more compassion and dedication than I’ve ever seen in 10 years of nursing, and they do it with the utmost commitment to bravery and facing the unknown.”
It’s why he loves being a nurse. “No day is ever the same.” Along with his colleagues and all the men and women of the nation’s nursing corps, we salute their dedication and their contribution during Nurses Appreciation Week.