Celebrating Our Nurses - Blog

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Celebrating Our Nurses

May 12, 2023 | Contributed by Preeti Kumar

Amidst the din of the crowd as one enters any hospital, amidst the hustle in the operating room and the constant beeping of the heart monitor, emerge the faces and assuring voices of the silent heroes of our health system – Our Nurses. Their ever-smiling faces reflecting an ocean of calmness and positivity are the threads binding the health system.

And this month at the Childrens heart foundation, we celebrate these silent heroes – our nurses and our pillars of care and support.

Hospitalisation can be a traumatic experience for many children. For parents as well, to send their child in for a treatment for something as scary as a defect in the heart can be emotionally overwhelming. The nurses play a critical role  where they take the child in, calm the little babies who are often extremely young children, educate the parents about the condition and status of the child and collaborate with the doctors and other professionals to ensure the best possible outcome for the child. They are at the forefront ensuring that our little children feel comfortable, secure and come out healed. For the parents who are overwhelmed with the diagnosis and cannot be at the side of their child, the nurses become the only link they have with the child.

As a children heart foundation, no matter which hospital we see our nurses the one thing that we find common among all of them is their innate ability to want to serve – to help and heal the child. They are there during each of the critical moments of the child’s journey in the hospital, they are an integral part of the anguish and worry of the parents, they hold the hand of the child and cradle the little babies. The smiles and laughter of the child is what brings a smile to their faces and the happiest moments are when they discharge these children away to live their dreams. There is nothing more satisfying for them than to see the little hearts mended.

Nurses have been at the forefront of providing care and help to people battling critical illnesses right from when we can remember. During the Crimean War of 1854, when soldiers were dying, it was the effort of a nurse, Florence Nightingale, to sterilise equipment that saved the lives of many soldiers and continues to do till this date. In the 1950s it was nurse Jean Ward who discovered that exposure to sunlight to new-borns can help improve their jaundice, significantly bringing down infant mortality.  During the Ebola epidemic of 2014, it was a nurse Fatu Kekula who defied all regulations and using garbage bags and duct tape for protection threw herself into helping others. During the Covid pandemic, nurses worked tirelessly on the front lines to ensure that people who needed help were cared for. Nurses are the heroes that change lives.

Working for a child heart foundation, we try to visit our children at the hospital as often as we can. This also gives us the opportunity to interact with the nurses in charge of the child. And we have only seen faces that exude positivity, hope and calmness. Many times, the children are less than a year old and if they are being treated for a critical defect, they need to spend some time in the intensive care units after the procedure till they became stable. For these children nurses become the primary care giver, filling their moments at the hospital with the warmth and love that they would have received from their parents.

Nursing is a demanding and challenging profession that requires a high level of skill, dedication, and compassion. Our nurses go through a high level of training and rigor. However, they face many issues in the workplace that can affect their job satisfaction, well-being, and ability to provide quality care to their patients. Long working hours, exhaustion and unsatisfactory pay scales are some of the challenges our nurses continue to deal with. And yet, putting all that aside their show up every single day with the smile son the faces to hold the hands of our little ones and help them heal.

This week at the childrens heart foundation, as we celebrate the international nurses week, we thank and salute our nurses for the work they do, we thank them for the painstaking care that they take of the little hearts.

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