International Nurses Day: For nurses in the frontline, every day is a ‘constant marathon’

"On any given day, nurses can see people at their weakest and most vulnerable, or at their strongest and most resolute…"

The pandemic has made it glaringly evident that the entire world has come together to fight a war against a virus, and that doctors and nurses are at the forefront of it. As such, it becomes important to show gratitude to them. Today is one such day wherein we can celebrate healthcare workers, mainly our nurses.

International Nurses Day is commemorated every year on May 12, on the occasion of Florence Nightingale’s birthday. She is considered to be the founder of modern nursing.

Dr Minimole Varghese, chief nursing officer, Fortis Hospital, Mulund, and Dr Mohini Chandrashekhar, chief nursing officer, Hiranandani Hospital Vashi, a Fortis associate say that amid the pandemic, “a typical day in the life of a nurse on the Covid war-front is filled with great uncertainty and a constant marathon”.

“Every single shift has the potential to be momentous, exhilarating, exhausting, energising. On any given day, nurses can see people at their weakest and most vulnerable, or at their strongest and most resolute. Besides, a single breach in infection prevention practice can cause life-threatening infections to a patient, especially for critical Covid patients, who are immuno-compromised considering the use of steroids, raised blood glucose levels, and use of medications that suppress immunity,” they explain.

According to the International Council of Nurses — which commemorates the day every year with the production and distribution of the International Nurses’ Day (IND) resources and evidence — the theme for the 2021 resource is ‘Nurses: A Voice to Lead — A vision for future healthcare‘. This year, the council seeks to show “how nursing will look into the future as well as how the profession will transform the next stage of healthcare”.

Dr  Varghese and Dr Chandrashekhar explain that nurses are an integral part of the disaster management team.

“They are the ones who triage (sort) patients on their arrival, which requires the right knowledge and critical thinking, and depending on their assessment, the doctors begin treatment. Nurses are vital in mobilising resources, ensuring appropriate patient monitoring, and providing the right care to needy patients. They are also a major part of decision-making when it comes to risk mitigation.”

In this pandemic, the doctors say infection control nurses are empowered to collect and analyse data from COVID-19 patients. “They are the ones who collate and send data to local authorities for notification of COVID-19 patients. Mass sensitisation drives are also helmed by them by actively taking part in webinars, online sessions in order to create awareness regarding prevention and management of COVID-19 pandemic.”

Here are some other posts of netizens honoring nurses:

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