2020, Year of the Nurse

“Only a life lived for others is worth living.”— Elbert Einstein
Life is a majestic package of danger, safety, joy, destiny and fulfillment. Human beings on the other hand are a bundle of flesh and bones who wonder about the meaning of life while embracing it with positivity. We should realize the significance of life and make the most of it by doing good.
When you realize that a life lived only for the fulfillment of personal gains is worthless then you truly understand that every life has a purpose. That being said, many of us are blessed and entrusted with a noble profession — serving humanity by looking after the sick and wounded, a profession with startling clarity and understanding that it is not just a job but also a cause. Every moment spent while performing this duty is a moment of prayer in service of the Almighty.

Florence Nightingale rightfully coined as the “Lady with the lamp” has remained a source of light for many. She is known for her ethical valuations, who brushed aside the feelings of brittleness and set standards of kindness. 2020 was designated as the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife by the World Health Assembly to honor the 200th birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale by the World Health Organization (WHO) in recognition of the contributions they make and the risks associated with nursing shortages. Nurses and midwives are key to achieving WHO’s goal of universal health coverage because they play a critical role in health promotion, disease prevention and the delivery of care in all settings. International Council of Nurses (ICN) President Annette Kennedy said: “Whenever I talk to nurses, I realize that each of them has a story to tell. They are with patients from birth to death, they share in their saddest and most joyful times, they help them to get through the most traumatic of situations and they help them to recover their lives. And sometimes, they sit with patients while they are dying, providing comfort and solace in the last moments of life.
“In 2020, we need nurses to share their stories, to tell their families, their friends and the communities that they live in what it is like to be a nurse, the pressures they are under, the challenges face and the triumphs they witness.
“Increasing the public’s understanding of who nurses are, what they do and the amazing contribution they make to the societies they live in, will help us to ensure that the legacy of 2020 will go on for years in the shape of more and better supported nurses providing essential care in the communities they serve.”
For a person with humanitarian aspirations being a nurse offers one of many obvious choices. A profession that makes one grip more intimately with the humane aspect of life disregarding the tiresome tramping over the rough pavements that so often becomes part of life. Empathy is a unique ingredient of a nurse’s professional life and plays a vital role in a patient’s wellbeing. Medical knowledge is extremely important but not many understand that the emotional knowledge that nurses acquire while on the job is equally important. This indeed becomes the most important factor while caring for a patient.
From physical examinations to administering, from giving the right medication to setting up examinations, from organizing operation theatres to changing the dressings, everything falls within the ambit of wide array of responsibilities this profession has to offer with everlasting contentment, leaving an echo that will reverberate in times to come. The profession of a nurse gives thrill and joy at the sight of a human life recovering from any illness or disease, it is a profession that looks forward to the sight of life free from disconcertment and conflicts.
Like every profession, for nurses creating work-life balance is something many crave. However, the physical and emotional demands of working in a hospital, coupled with long exhausting shifts make it difficult  for nurses to separate the two. It is difficult to draw a line between hospital and home. The challenges of this profession are manifold and this is why it becomes difficult to forget about everything that takes place at a hospital. It is natural that a nurse brings back work stress but unfortunately, many friends and family that do not work in healthcare fail to understand this dilemma. 
Despite dealing with mortalities frequently, it never gets easier. However, for nurses and other healthcare professionals learning to let go and move on is crucial. We do realize and understand that every patient is different, so is the situation but one can never become immune to death. Every time a patient is lost, it is upsetting and excruciatingly painful. A nurse does not have time to be caught up in emotions as the next situation is always brewing. She or he has to figure out a quick way to process whatever is happening so that it does not affect other patients. Just like the Lady with the lamp, every nurse is a ray of light, who looks beyond all the exhaustion and challenges putting service before his or herself with just a single aim — to serve mankind and make this world a better place regardless of colour, class or creed. HH


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