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The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has significantly altered our lives, especially during the past two years and more. It has played a critical role in how we conduct our affairs, especially when it comes to socializing, parenting, and taking care of our health and those around us. Therefore, it is important to recognize the situation’s complexity, and acknowledge how frontline caregivers, especially the nursing community, executed their work-life balance very efficiently. On this International Nurses Day, let’s pledge to take care of the ones who care for all.
The amount of work pressure and mental stress that the medical community, particularly the nurses, had to overcome when combating the deadly Covid-19 virus was immense. This was because the extent and scale of the virus was something that no one, even those from the medical community, had ever experienced in their entire professional life. The continuous battle inside the PPE kit, feeling suffocated, thirsty, hungry, was tiring. Still caring for ailing patients with Covid-19 pneumonia (who were mostly on and off the ventilator) and spending time with patients who needed ECMO (Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) and who were critically ill and needed life support, was something that took extreme courage and skill.
In critical care areas, the proper management of the sequel code Blue (what to do in cases of severe cardiac arrest), communicating with the patient parties via video call was taken care of by nurses. Not only this, managing the crisis of pandemic rush every single day, providing care for dying patients and other management tasks were mentally and physically exhausting for the entire department. Despite all this, the nurses were back to duty every single day with new courage and enthusiasm. On Nurses Day, we appreciate the courage and work ethics of nurses during the pandemic.
Many of the nurses belong to different states of India, and their families were keen to have them back home. However, they all chose to stay back and serve the patients and the nation during this vulnerable and critical period. Ms Divya, a nurse from Kerala, had not even informed her elderly family members that she was working in the Covid-19 wards as she did not want to worry them. On the other hand, Ms Umamaheswari from Tamil Nadu said that her parents were quite understanding and supported her decision as they knew that her responsibility and duty lay toward the well-being of her patients. Ms Levon from Manipur said her parents encouraged her immensely to provide good care to Covid-19 patients. Ms. Anindita Kundu, in charge of the ICU from Durgapur, extended her timings for managing critically ill patients, even through extreme crises.
This year, the International Nurses Federation has chosen a very encouraging theme for International Nurses Day: “A voice to lead: Invest in Nursing and respect rights to secure global health”. This is apt in the present scenario when the whole world has witnessed the immense contribution of nurses, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic. Even during the vaccination drive, the nurses played a critical role and were instrumental in helping the country become vaccinated against this dreaded virus. I wish everyone in the nursing profession continues to use their experience and knowledge for patient care and safety so that they can enhance the dignity of the job.
Dear nurses, more power to you!