Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT)

01 April 2009 Comments

We posted a recruitment notice last week for a VCT nurse.

VCT stands for "voluntary counselling and testing," as in counselling and testing for HIV. We treat women during labour and babies after they are born to prevent vertical (i.e. mother-to-child) transmission. Our VCT nurses do the testing, do the prophylactic treatment, and refer patients for follow-up because we do not do HIV care outside of the delivery period. Patients need full-service HIV clinics for that.

We're recruiting for some daily workers, rather than a full-time VCT nurse. Our full-time positions are filled, but we need a pool of trained staff to fill vacations and sick leave.

My name and telephone number are at the bottom of the notice.

I've been getting a lot of calls, from nurses and auxiliaries, all looking for more information. Many haven't yet passed their state exam and so are not licensed, which means they are not eligible. Some don't speak much French, also a requirement to work with us. Some have no idea what VCT is and are looking for general nursing work.

Yesterday, my phone rang at four-thirty in the morning. OK, strictly speaking, it was 0442h. The woman on the line had a very soft voice. I had a lot of trouble understanding her, but she was calling to enquire about the job. Her soft voice was all the more inaudible because she was standing next to a rooster who was crowing loudly and repeatedly.

Or perhaps it was the rooster who was calling me, and he happened to be standing next to a nurse with a soft voice?

I'm not sure. It was four-thirty in the morning.