Many of us have been to hospitals and seen angels dressed in white running around. Nurses are regarded as angels who indulge in tasks ranging from bathing patients to providing psychological support and do their best to create a compassionate environment for those reeling under sickness. They do not differentiate between patients on the basis of class, caste, race, or complexion. Instead, they go about with their duty and treat all patients alike with patience and a smile on their face. Nurses face brickbats both from the society that thinks that they don’t have much role in direct patient care and also from the employers who make them overwork. Nurses are not recognized for the selfless work that they do for others and are not appreciated by the society. Despite all the negativity, they continue to work without complaining. If there is anything that the pandemic has taught us, it is the vulnerability of nurses when they work in the frontline to take care of others while putting themselves at risk. Not once have the nurses refused to tend to patients during the ongoing war against the virus. I happened to talk to some nurses at a reputed hospital in Pune and apart from working overtime, they have also been taking care of insurance assistance, along with administering complex intensive care. They are involved in multiple tasks and their field is no longer restricted to nursing alone. With the ongoing pandemic resulting in a shortage of staff at hospitals, nurses have taken on different departments to fill the void created by staff crunch. Even though they do not receive commensurate pay for their duties, their selflessness knows no bounds as they take up additional responsibilities to help their patients in a holistic manner. What keeps them going against all odds is the smile of their recovered patients. Nurses are constantly exposed to contracting the virus and at times do not even bother if they have the necessary protection gear. They continue to fight in the frontline not just to feed their families but also to render service to the ones in need. They place their families also at risk by continuing to work in the frontline and willingly sign up for exposure to risks at their workplace. The sacrifices made by nurses in their bid to care for patients makes us realize that humans have an innate trait to be compassionate towards their fellows and it is just a matter of our desire to channelize it for the good of all. Students should be encouraged to take up careers in healthcare sector because it offers multiple options along with job satisfaction. This will also be a boon for the country when there will be service-oriented human resources and hence, serve as asset for the society. Big salute to all the Nurses. We Love you.
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