Unhappy with the "sister" tag forced on them, male nurses of Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) here and All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi have opened a joint front to persuade authorities to do away with the misnomer.
The nurses' welfare associations of PGIMER and AIIMS, women included, have formed a joint action committee to get the designation changed from 'sister' to 'nursing officer'. The committee was slated to meet at AIIMS on Tuesday.
As per service rules, male nurses across the country are designated as Sister Grade-I and Sister Grade-II, a practice in vogue since times when nursing was largely a female preserve.
Though over the past couple of decades, many males have joined the profession, there has been no change in their designation.
Till 1990, the PGIMER had only about 20 male nurses. "Of late, many men have joined the nursing profession. How can you designate a male nurse as sister?" asked Lakhwinder Singh, president of PGIMER nurses' welfare association.
There are about 1,600 nurses in PGIMER, out of which roughly 450 are males. The male nurses of PGIMER have even made a representation to the hospital administration, seeking a change in their designation.
Recently, the Delhi State Cancer Institute and various army hospitals had stopped using the designation of "sister" for nurses.