Nurses manage the day-to-day care of patients, administering them the prescribed medicines and teaching them to take care of themselves. Nurses also have to keep a watchful eye on patients and keep track of any changes in their physical condition, mental attitude, reaction to drugs or other treatment.
“Nursing is a rewarding career that offers a bright and satisfying future to those with a sense of service and who enjoy working with people. There was a time when professional nurses had very little choice of service because most of their work was centered in hospitals as bedside nurses. This has changed over time. Now, there is a wide scope for professional nurses not only when it comes to clinical bedside care, but also for teaching and administrative positions,” says Rita Sapra, principal, School of Nursing, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.
Nurses can also work for the Red Cross Society, Nursing Councils — they provide the highest possible positions to a nurse, rural and urban PHCs (primary health centres) and MCH (maternal and child health services).
They can also work in CHEB (Central Bureau of Health Education), TNAI (Trained Nurses Association of India) as secretaries and secretary general, in colleges, schools (school health services), etc. They can also run nurses’ bureaus and work as self-employed professionals.
However, professionals face many challenges today. “In the field of healthcare, hi-tech equipment is introduced on a regular basis and different modalities of medical care are coming up. A nurse has to know everything about handling these technologies and equipment. Quality care is expected of a nurse, but the nurse-patient ratio in our country is still very poor, leading to increased workload for a nurse, which can become quite stressful at times,” says Sapra.
Nursing, usually a woman’s domain in India, is attracting men as well. “Though none of the Delhi institutes are taking male students, Karnataka and Rajasthan have quite a number of them,” says Sapra.
Nuts and bolts
Selfless dedication and ability to empathise rather than sympathise with the patient is the hallmark of a good nurse
Rs. I take home
Rs. 70,000 - Rs. 1 lakh per month at a senior level
I love my job because...
I provide my services to care for the sick, for prevention of diseases and promotion of health
There is no dearth of opportunities for nurses.They are in demand everywhere — from hospitals and clinics to Red Cross and various colleges. Technical competence can give you an edge