International Nurses Day is celebrated annually on 12th May throughout the world to commemorate Florence Nightingale contribution to nursing and to also celebrate the contribution of nurses towards the health and wellbeing of society. Many activities are organized throughout the year by the International Council of Nurses and the theme for this year – Nurses: A Voice to Lead – Nursing the World to Health determines how nurses play a key role in tackling health issues.
The ICN encourages all nurses in healthcare to get involved with the celebrations and raise their voices to show colleagues, patients, the public and politicians just how important nursing is for the health of individuals, families and communities.
There is no typical day for a nurse. It starts with taking charge from the previous shift. It is common to do blood work, check vitals, assist doctors during their rounds, investigations, medication administration, prep patients for procedures, attend to the discharge process, and wind up pending tasks. Also, before the day is over, a nurse needs to make sure that the transition to the next shift is seamless, without any gap in patient care.
Nursing is a noble profession but living far away from family is tough. In our country, nurses receive very low remuneration compared to other professionals. Salaries comprise of 15, 000 to 20,000 per month. But on the other hand, depending on competency and qualifications nurses can expect to earn one lakh rupees per month. Having said that, our driving force is the satisfaction we get from our work or the gratitude shown by patients when they are recovering.
We make a special contribution when it comes to caring for patients. We get to know a patient and the patient’s family based on which we ascertain the needs of the patient and make suitable arrangements in order to meet these. We also witness a patient’s weakness, strength and vulnerabilities all at the same time.
As we encounter many challenges and stress in our workplace, we turn to positive self-talk every day to combat the negative chatter in our head. Being mentally and physically fit is very important. The first mantra to be fit is to be hydrated. So we hydrate ourselves frequently during our routine and during our work shifts.
Good nutrition is also essential to keep up energy levels. For this we follow a regular diet and strive to eat a well-balanced diet that includes fruits and foods that are high in fibre, protein and vitamins. To unwind after a hard day’s work we play a few indoor games during the evening hours or during our leisure time.
As Covid-19 sweeps the world, impacting communities and spreading a sense of insecurity and fear, nurses care and instill hope in the minds of patients. We dispense compassion, display unparalleled dedication and resilience. Every shift holds the promise of being decisive, nerve-racking, draining, and invigorating or everything combined. Though it is challenging, we feel satisfied and gratified when we can safeguard lives. We are frontline warriors.