Unless some wise decisions are taken which result in increasing the nurse population, the ageing general public will have a hard time in the future when they need the services of a nurse.
My friend Thomas, when he had an ankle injury recently while playing basketball, had to wait in the hospital emergency room for a long time till he was attended to. The reason for his long wait: there were too few nurses, and they were all too busy. This is the story in all hospitals in the country. There is a dire shortage of nurses throughout the world. and it is affecting the health services everywhere. Fewer young women are opting to take up nursing as their profession.
Considered one of the noblest professions, nursing has traditionally been the territory of women. Ever since the well born Florence Nightingale took up nursing in the late nineteenth century, it has attracted intelligent, educated and dedicated women . Although there are male nurses who are indispensable, their numbers are very small.
The nurse is the indispensable helpmeet of the doctor and the patient. Her work is manifold- She helps the physician in his office, she cleans and bandages minor injuries, and gives emotional support to the patient. She can even help a pregnant woman in her labor. She teaches the patient's family how to take care of the patient. Nurses write detailed report of the patient's symptoms which helps the physician to diagnose the illness and treat the patient. Some nurses work in the operating theater. The operating surgeon relies on the nurse to assist him while he is doing the surgery. The nurse in the Intensive Care unit has a different set of duties than the nurse in the Trauma Center. A trained nurse is indispensable for the care of the seriously ill patient. Many patients become emotionally dependent on their nurse. According to a report of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, "Home health nurses go to peoples' homes to help them. Flight nurses fly in helicopters to get to sick people in emergencies. "(BLA report p1)
Any shortage in the number of trained Registered Nurses will be a catastrophe which should be avoided at all costs. The twenty first century is witnessing such a shortage of nurses worldwide. The reasons for the diminishing number of nurses are many. Steps must be taken immediately to arrest the shortage of nurses by all concerned so that the nurses and the public will not suffer..
The job of the nurse, besides being stressful, is emotionally exhausting. As Hingley says in The Nursing Mirror, "Every day the nurse confronts stark suffering, grief and death as few other people do. Many nursing tasks are mundane and unrewarding. Many are, by normal standards, distasteful and disgusting. Others are often degrading, some are simply frightening"(Hingly ) The daily confrontation with death and disease takes a heavy toll on the nurse's physical and emotional health.
Being constantly exposed to various kinds of infection, the nurse is always in danger of catching one. She has to be extra vigilant in avoiding infection. The tasks a nurse has to do in the course of the day are sometimes disgusting. She has to put up a stoic front and do the task satisfactorily. Many times, the patients