DR PUSHPA CHATURVEDI pays a glowing tribute to our superhero nurses, who are in the frontline in the war against the deadly Covid-19

Amidst the deadly Covid-19 pandemic, International Nurses Day being celebrated around the world today, assumes great significance. Nurses are our superhuman strength; they are our superheroes ― committed, compassionate, and caring. They are silently working round-the-clock to support the suffering patients, besides counselling and comforting others with kind words, helping patients and relatives to be brave, as they, the nursing fraternity themselves battle to keep up their morale and never ever flinch from giving their best.

No wonder the theme for International Nurses Day 2021 is: A Voice to Lead – A Vision for future healthcare. Covered from head to toe in their (Personal Protective Equipment) PPEs, nurses are working ceaselessly and tirelessly with a level of patience hard to describe.

Nurses are in the frontline of the frontline. They are the ones facing the worst (Covid) enemy fire, at closest range. Nurses see everything at close range, and they see it all first, they handle it all first, they confront and comfort it all, first.

Most of them are young and barely 20 to 30 years of age. Usually with about 20 patients in one ward, there are only two nurses on night shifts. You can see them running from bed to bed, medicating, caring, talking to the sick, holding their hands, giving them hope and courage, filling the void of their family members and lifting up their spirits.

They keep cool even when shouted upon by distressed patients. And they keep on doing so much more, while their own family at their homes is being deprived of all this. 

They have babies at home crying for their moms, but in hospitals, be it day or night, they continue giving selfless services to patients. Overworked, exhausted and sweating profusely under their PPEs, with an urge to use the washroom, they control the urge and keep going,  avoiding fluid drinks, nibbling a biscuit or two when they take a short breather, as and when time permits.

No leaves, no free RT-PCR Covid tests at the healthcare centres even when we know they are more susceptible to infection while performing their duties. There is no policy on checking their Covid status. Being more at risk, they can become asymptotic carriers and put their families, colleagues, patients, themselves and the community at a higher risk. 

There is great shortage of nursing staff and other healthcare workers and in this pandemic, they have to shoulder the burden with limited staff and resources.

Caring, compassionate care (Pic courtesy Indiatoday)

We salute them! 

India needs to  very seriously think of investing  in human resources on health for increasing the number of active health workers and also to invest in improving  their skills and raising their very meagre salaries for this yeoman job, as they continue to serve the sick magnanimously in such challenging times.

When nurses are crying out, calling for help, calling for PPEs, calling for additional resources, they really want to be heard. They need help from the administration and from you. They need your love and compassion, as much as you need theirs.

Thank you nurses for sacrificing so much for humanity. May all the care and kindness you give to others come back to warm your heart.

Nursing is not an easy job and those who dedicate their whole lives to this profession must be respected and celebrated!

Happy International Nurses Day 2021 to all the amazing nurses.

Dr Pushpa Chaturvedi, a paediatrician with over 50 years experience, is an educationist and researcher, with over 100 research publications, mainly on social paediatrics in renowned medical journals.  Ex Professor and Head of Department of Paediatrics, MGIMS Sevagram  Wardha, she is a thinker, writer, poet, artist and a spiritual blogger with over 500 blogs to her credit. Dr Chaturvedi is also a keen traveller, music and nature lover.

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(Feature Image Courtesy: Huffingtonpost.in)