Putting service before self

Hailed as the most selfless and noble profession in the world, nursing is the beacon of light in the gloom of illness

By Nisthula Nagarajan

Published: Thu 13 May 2021, 11:54 AM

Last updated: Thu 13 May 2021, 2:11 PM

Through time, nurses have been at the forefront of fighting epidemics and pandemics - heal- ing men, women and children with high quality and respectful

treatment and care. Often, they are the first, and sometimes, the only health professional that people see. Thus, the quality of their initial assessment, care and treatment are vital.

Historically, nursing as a profession for affluent women was looked down upon. They were expected to only care for those sick in their family or close friends circle. In

a radical move, Florence Nightingale defied societal conventions and put her best foot forward to achieve her dream of becoming a nurse. The 'Lady with the Lamp' has largely been credited for making the noblest vocations what it is today.

When Florence Nightingale and her team of nurses were given their first war posting at the Crimean War, within weeks, death rates of the injured and sickly plum were meted, proving that with meticulous care and treatment, even without medicine, nursing brings hope, happiness and healing to patients.

Nurses put themselves in danger and risk their health every day to ensure the comfort and progress of patients. More often than not, a patient who spends a long time in a hospital will remember the nurse who checks them. A nurse's job is not just about physical healing, it also requires empathy and a desire to provide peace to the ill. Nurses have been a driving force in nurturing the sick back to health and helping them ease any fears.

This year, the International Council of Nurses (ICN) has announced that the theme for International Nurses' Day 2021 is 'Nurses: A Voice to Lead - A vision for future healthcare' and will focus on the changes to and innovations in nursing and how this will ultimately shape the future of healthcare.

Last year, in the UAE, healthcare and related organisations have appreciated the hard work and gruelling hours that nurses put in to keep spirits up and provide optimal patient care. The UAE has its own federation known as the Emirates Nursing Association (ENA), which keeps tabs on the nursing profession.

At this time last year, the world was paying its respects to frontline essential workers for their efforts in reducing the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic, and this has not changed. Covid-19 has reinforced the need for investment in nursing jobs, education, leadership. Nurses have been severely affected by constant interaction with patients, both physically and mentally. It has caused significant stress and burnout that ICN refers to as 'mass traumatisation' of the global nursing workforce and called on governments to support nurses and address these issues. Without nurses, the world cannot win battles against outbreaks.

The UAE government has set up a dedicated portal known as the 'Frontline Heroes Office' aimed at raising awareness of their key role played by the frontline workers during crises and emergencies, recognising their efforts and acknowledging their sacrifices and looking after their needs and addressing their priorities. The office provides scholarships to children of frontline workers under the Hayyakum Programme and higher education for both the workers themselves and their children. By developing solid nursing workforces, countries can achieve the triple impact of improving health, promoting gender equality and supporting economic growth.

American Hospital Dubai (AHD), one of the premier hospitals in the UAE, is celebrating International Nurses' Day this year with splendour. It acknowledges the pivotal role that the nursing department plays in its patient success rates. AHD maintains a nurse leadership model that aims to build a connection between clinical and care competence in nurses so that the principal patient-nurse relationship remains at the heart of its healthcare system.

AHD is multicultural in its DNA, just as the UAE is. It embraces a diverse body of nurses for the comfort of their patients. With nationalities from across the globe, AHD wants its patients to feel at home and be able to effectively communicate any issues they face.

Nursing plays a vital yet challenging role in the health care delivery model. It is a physically and mentally exhausting, but most satisfying job on humanitarian grounds. The UAE and the world appreciate nurses because they are dedicated to the wellbeing of all those who seek their care, truly putting the needs of others be- fore their own.


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