“Nursing is not a career… it’s a post-apocalyptic skill”
Nurses have the power to change the world.
The unique role that nurses play in the health delivery system often puts them in what seems to be a NO-WIN position.
Nursing is a POOR COMMUNITY in India which doesn’t even have basic needs fulfilled, doesn’t have basic rights, basic salary, basic education, basic research facilities. And above all, this community is often under looked by the politicians and doyens of this country.
Patients are counting on nurses to strengthen nursing. Quality nursing care is vital to patient survival in hospitals, to kids thriving in school, to seniors living in dignity and comfort.
Nurses are getting lost and faded. If we are ever to succeed in delivering UHC i.e. Universal Health Coverage, they have to be involved in health policy.Nurses are closest to the patient and the community and have the information about models of health care that work.
Unhealthy professional environment, derogatory remarks about their profession, persistently questioning their self-esteem and proving that nurses are aliens and don’t belong to the health system of this planet and their presence is insignificant ruins the psyche of nurses.
DIGNITY matters more than anything in this world for any human being belonging to any kind of profession, be it rich or poor, child or adult, male or female, young or old and that’s what we live for and want to earn in this life. But we as nurses, unfortunately for whole of our lives fight to earn this dignity, this respect, from our very own people, from the people sitting in administrative position in the hospital as well as the health system of the country, from doctors, patients, their attendants, and the general public.
I am sure that 80 % of the rural population in India would not even know “who is a nurse and what the hell she does?”. According to them , she might be a helper in the hospital, a care taker of the patient, someone who gets bare minimum wage to survive, someone who can barely meet her own needs and that of her family, someone who can’t have a fancy lifestyle, can’t afford expensive things, doesn’t research, doesn’t go for further studies, doesn’t move out of house, city or country for enhancing her knowledge or skills and who is called as a “Bechari” in a common man language which means someone who is “helpless”.
And the rest of 20 % of rich and affluential people who know the literal meaning of a nurse would undermine her presence by saying that “she is just a nurse” and she is someone inferior to normal people with bare minimum knowledge of her profession and can be treated as a servant in caring for a patient especially in a private hospital where they will pay lacs for the treatment of their patient and doctor would be paid in lacs for treating the patient , but the nurse would be paid peanuts for actually not doing anything.
Nurses are the mothers of this health system. This is high time for everyone to know and realise that this health system would collapse if we don’t realise their worth and don’t provide their long overdue dignity which they deserve the most. All this will in turn play a significant role in maintaining their physical and psychological balance. One has to be psychological sound to build an empire. And here we are building a nation where nurses worth is unknown. These little changes will be the building blocks for a health infrastructure we dream of.
I as a nurse, urge all nurses to deliver the message of nursing’s value to the decision makers who control funding. And of course, we must build a world in which more nurses become those decision-makers.
We should be the platform to improve how the world views nursing. We should be the ones to protest poor depiction of nurses in media. We should challenge policy makers who devalue nurses. We should invest in an effort to educate the public about nursing. It is an investment in our profession and our health.
We need to fight for the welfare of nurses especially working with low wages and zero acknowledgment in different parts of the country.
Nurses, when unified together in a common purpose, vision and mission, have the power to create an unstoppable wave of change.
At the end “I dream of a country with a health system in which the nurses play a leading role as an “indispensable” member of FIT INDIA, HEALTHY INDIA and I believe that our unparalleled enthusiasm for bringing that change in the system would be the turning point this millennium.
Respect every profession, because every profession is a battle against the world- a mercilessly cruel and judgmental world that we have to face every damn day of our lives- a battle to survive.