Without any doubt, nurses are a key part of the overall healthcare system. It is also true that their contributions at times go unrecognised. Most nurses blend their kindness, compassion, skills and care for the patients. Stories of nurses risking their lives while serving the patients, be at homes, hospitals and battlefields, galore. It is for all these reasons that the nursing profession is considered one of the noblest. Given their importance, every year International Nurses Day is celebrated on May 12, marking Florence Nightingale’s birthday. The practice of nursing has been in existence since ancient times. However it was the legendary Florence Nightingale who promoted the formal nursing profession as is being known today. The great “Lady with the Lamp” ushered in the era of educated and compassionate professional nurses. Her efforts were instrumental in starting nursing training in India at St Stevens Hospital in Delhi in 1867.
This day is also celebrated to commemorate the contribution done by nurses to society around the globe. On this day the International Council of Nurses organisation produces an International Nurses kit to educate and assist health workers globally with a different theme every year.
While May 12 is formally celebrated as the Nurses’ Day, in reality, every day has been the Nurses’ Day. If any patient put on a life supporting system survived in any intensive care unit anywhere in the world, it is only because of the nursing they received.
Globally, the profession of nursing is highly respected and a critical force multiplier due to the paucity of doctors. The scope and range of services offered by nurses has only expanded with the emergence of private healthcare operators. Their work has increased and they continue to discharge duties without much complaint, they endured the fear of stigma and isolation and carried on with their work. Unfortunately, a number of doctors and other healthcare workers lost their life in the line of duty. Their role remains crucial in contemporary times and time to come. They will continue to serve at the front lines and that too untiringly.
Everyone must express gratitude towards all the nurses and other frontline health workers for making untiring efforts. They are an inspiration for all and continue to serve the people. Their dedication, courage, and patience remains to be praise worthy. Their contribution needs to be hailed and they are provided all support.