International Nurses Day -12th May
Nurses: Great Blessings on Humanity – By Dr. Ashwani K. Malhotra
When I was about 5 years old I was hurt while playing. There was a big gash on my head and blood was trickling down my face. Mother cried and I bawled all the way to the hospital, where a man, who I learned was a doctor in a white coat stitched my wound. A nurse, a matronly woman in a soft spoken soothing voice kept on reassuring both mother and me, while she assisted the doctor. Later on after she had dressed my wound and gave me the tetanus shot , she patted me with a smile, saying, “ now that’s a good boy.” These women and men, work day and night in the hospital wards , operation theatres and during epidemics and natural calamities, serving the sick and infirm selflessly, making the discomfort, pains and fears go away with their mere smile, touch and comforting voice.
To acknowledge and laud the roles of nurses the International Nurses Day is celebrated in Nursing colleges, Hospitals and nursing homes across the world, every year, on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale, also known as “ The lady with the lamp,’ This year’s theme is , “A voice to lead- A vision for future healthcare. “
Florence nightingale was born on 12th May 1820 in Florence, Italy in a well to do family. In those days women of her social stature were not encouraged to work as a nurse, as it was considered a lowly profession, Florence, who had it in her mind to work as a nurse, learned nursing and began to work as a nurse. It was during the Crimean war that broke out in 1853 that she gained the nickname of ‘the lady with the lamp ‘ as she would walk among the wounded soldiers with a lamp in her hand.
Florence Nightingale can be rightly called the founder of modern nursing. She also founded the Nightingale School of Nursing in 1860. After a long illness she died at the age of 90 on 13th August, 1910. Today, the nurses remember the ideals laid down by Florence Nightingale and follow the path of selfless care, compassion and healing laid down by her.
As the patients lie on the hospital bed recovering from an illness or a surgery, these women and nowadays male nurses too, make the discomfort, pains and fears go away with their mere smile, touch and comforting and calming words and a caring attitude.
How can I forget the services of those nurses who assisted me during the ward rounds or while delivering babies and the millions of those who come from far away their homes to work at a lowly paid job and hardly acknowledged for their services, often working for long hours. Alas, when I watch a patient or a relative ridicule, abuse and at times mishandle them my heart goes out to them for they are the ones who bring solace to the patients, as they go from patient to patient with compassion in their hearts, a smile on their faces, a caring attitude and calming words.
It has been rightly said, “ Nurses are the centre of health care.”
No wonder, then that nurses are vying for greener pastures on the soils of Canada, America, Australia and England. As a result we are facing an estimated shortage of 2 lacs nurses.
The Covid-19 pandemic has taken a toll on the health of the nurses. The least we can do is to recognize their contribution to the healthcare sector and give them the honor and respect they truly deserve.
Dr Ashwani K. Malhotra MBBS, PGDMCH, PGDMLS, is a retired Senior Medical Officer,Punjab Government,and can be reached @M-9417188867 E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
He is also an alumnus of SCD Govt. College, Ludhiana.