Ded­i­cated to a

EM­PLOY­MENT GUAR­AN­TEED Ow­ing to the poor nurse-pa­tient ra­tio in the coun­try, a de­gree in nurs­ing with the right skills guar­an­tees one a job in the health­care sec­tor

Hindustan Times (Delhi) - HT Education - - Front Page - Aan­chal Bedi

Hair neatly tied, kohl-lined eyes and some lip gloss to com­plete the look... If you thought Anu Rojo with a mil­lion dollar smile on her face was an as­pir­ing model or beauty queen, you couldn’t be far­ther from the truth. She is a se­nior clin­i­cal in­struc­tor at For­tis Me­mo­rial Re­search In­sti­tute. “I started my ca­reer as a staff nurse in the neuro ICU with lit­tle en­thu­si­asm for my job be­cause I could not clear the premed­i­cal en­trance exam. How­ever, I am happy that I chose this noble pro­fes­sion and ded­i­cated my life to the ser­vice of in­firm and ail­ing peo­ple,” says Rojo.

“A nurse’s pro­fes­sional life is a race against time, ir­re­spec­tive of the po­si­tion she holds. As a staff nurse, I used to start my day by check­ing the in­ven­tory of the unit. Af­ter this I had to phys­i­cally as­sess pa­tients and ad­min­is­ter med­i­ca­tion. While do­ing so I had to be very at­ten­tive and look for vi­tal signs. Af­ter this the manda­tory ward rounds hap­pened. At present, as a clin­i­cal in­struc­tor, I su­per­vise the en­tire care regime of a pa­tient and groom new nurses. Mak­ing teach­ing mod­ules for var­i­ous med­i­cal spe­cial­i­ties, mon­i­tor­ing qual­ity in­di­ca­tors of nurs­ing care and do­ing root cause anal­y­sis of care lapses are also part of my role,” says Rojo.

The art of com­mu­ni­ca­tion, Rojo stresses, is some­thing that is of ut­most im­por­tance. “Soft skills are es­sen­tial in the health­care sec­tor in In­dia. And it goes be­yond greet, smile and thank you. Many se­nior nurses lack com­mu­ni­ca­tion and public speak­ing skills. Ac­quir­ing th­ese can im­prove the sta­tus of nurses in the coun­try,” she says.

Re­ferred to as the back­bone of health­care ser­vices, nurses are no longer ac­corded sec­ond class treat­ment. “It is im­pos­si­ble to imag­ine health­care de­liv­ery with­out a nurse. Peo­ple say that nurses are not con­sid­ered at par with doc­tors, but this not true. Both the pro­fes­sions com­ple­ment each other with re­spect to pa­tient care, ” says Rojo.

Nurses are in de­mand ev­ery­where, from hos­pi­tals and clin­ics to var­i­ous col­leges. Af­ter do­ing a BSc in nurs­ing, one can work in the clin­i­cal side or as a teacher at the var­i­ous schools and col­leges of nurs­ing.

A nurse hold­ing an MSc de­gree can take up ad­min­is­tra­tive posts such as that of a prin­ci­pal in a nurs­ing col­lege or work as a reg­is­trar in ei­ther the state coun­cils or the In­dian Nurs­ing Coun­cil. An MPhil or PhD qual­i­fi­ca­tion would en­able a nurse to work as a re­searcher or re­search co­or­di­na­tor.

“A de­gree in nurs­ing does guar­an­tee a job, con­sid­er­ing that the nurse-pa­tient ra­tio in our coun­try is still very poor, but one needs to ac­quire hand­son skills which can be ac­quired by work­ing in a good hos­pi­tal for atleast three to five years. This is how one can be­come an ef­fi­cient nurse and progress in life. Also, a huge gap ex­ists be­tween the­ory and prac­tice when it comes to the cur­ricu­lum of nurs­ing col­leges. A lot needs to im­prove. Due to this, nurses have to go through rig­or­ous on-the-job train­ing and put in more ef­fort to un­learn tra­di­tional prac­tices, says Rojo.

Paltry re­mu­ner­a­tion is one chal­lenge the pro­fes­sion is fac­ing to­day. “It is the lure of money that takes nurses to for­eign coun­tries. Salaries need to in­crease two to three fold for a nurse to lead a de­cent life­style,” says Rojo.

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