International Nurse Day is on 12th May 2021.
After spending a decade and a half in the healthcare industry, I can fully vouch for the people-power that can transform a business.
In a people-intensive enterprise like a hospital, there’s no replacement for patient care – a magical smile that brightens your day, a healing touch that makes your pain vanish, soothing words that put a worried patient relative at ease, and of course the knowledge and skill of a medical personnel to finally have you back on your feet.
All of what I have mentioned above instantly brings an image to mind – that of a nurse. No doubt, an expert clinician is responsible for planning a patient’s treatment and ensuring everything goes as per schedule from admission to discharge.
Still, anyone whose been to a hospital would know that a nurse spends maximum time with a patient. If she’s not performing direct patient care, Indian nurses, specifically, are responsible for indenting medicines/consumables, coordinating with other service areas like F&B, housekeeping, maintenance & so on, in addition to taking clinical rounds with doctors.
In an intensive care unit, the nurse typically manages one critical patient and, in a ward, 4 to 5 patients. When a patient collapses, the nearest nurse is dutybound to call the crash team for revival, bringing to the fore her crisis-management skills.
Being a front-end service provider, she (allow me to use the female gender, not intended to take away the contribution of males in the profession) becomes the “voice” of the patient and, at times, an “assertive” voice to relay a patient relative’s demands. She may be that silent worker or that energetic newcomer or even a mature senior nurse – in all her forms, you will find her always standing alongside the patient and not the organisation.
It’s no easy task to maintain a consistent level of service in a hospital full of patients, where work hours are never-ending, organising resources cross-functionally is tiring, stress levels are high, and yet, kudos to the nursing teams’ world over, their smiles remain intact, they tend to their patients relentlessly and generally never lose their cool.
Consider these tough pandemic times, trust them to be by their patients’ bed, putting aside their own fears, performing their duties with a brave front while risking their own lives. Most of them are staying away from their families with a support system only in the form of their peers.
If you were to ask a nurse what is most fulfilling her job, chances are 4 out of 5 of them would say “the patient’s kind words”. This satisfaction is continuously visible and resonated through patient feedback ratings for nursing service levels in a hospital, which are usually the highest, other than for the clinician’s competencies.
What’s been wonderful, personally for me, is the fact that along with this inner power, they possess a creative side presented every time they are given an opportunity. Whether it’s top-class dancing, composing a poem, putting up a street play, or creating something unique (handmade craft from waste material), they leave no stone unturned. All of this, with an ability to let their hair down, is an element of their amazing persona!
I strongly believe there’s no profession more fulfilling than that of a nurse. They are god’s gifted ones – that innate strength, angelic poise, and compassionate attitude, all-in-one package – even god would be proud of this creation.
Consider this piece my humble tribute to you, my beloved nurses, and I am taking a bow for you – may god be with you at each step; you are his precious treasure. It’s been my privilege to have worked alongside you as a colleague and a matter of pride to have you as my life-long friends.
That word that becomes a reason for a patient to smile, that word which brings solace, that word which personifies what you do every day, every moment – continue to be a “nurse” and continue to “nurse”.
Wishing you a very happy International Nurses’ Day!