Nursing, a profession that recalls the name of Florence Nightingale is indeed one of the noblest professions in the world. It is the art of caring for sick people with the science of health care. It is a vital component of any form of medical care.
The largest group of workers in the health sector are those in the nursing occupations as nurses and nursing assistants. In a hospital from the general ward to the operating theater, nursing forms an integral part. This is one of the few domains of work that is almost totally dominated by women.
Nursing duties are manifold and cover a wide range of functions and responsibilities, that depends with the level of qualification and the working environment. At the initial level, nurses are required for the bedside care of patients, while at senior level they are required to manage special group of people like psychiatric, pediatric, intensive care patients etc which require specialised skills. They are also involved in dispensing medication, keeping records of the patients progress, setting up and operating medical equipment, administration and several other routine chores.
This field is both mentally and physically demanding and nurses are often exposed to health risks from infectious diseases. As such this profession demands long hours of work and duties which incorporate both skill and understanding of patients needs. Those who come forward to take up this as a career has to be patient, courageous, have a service mentality and at the same time be ready to work for extra hours even night shifts.
A large number of institutes in India offer diploma, graduate and postgraduate courses in nursing as well as midwifery courses.
Eligibility: 10+2 with Biology, Physics and Chemistry Duration: 3 to 4 years
B.Sc nursing course provide basic knowledge about nursing, first-aid and midwifery. They are trained in all the theoretical as well as practical aspects of nursing.
Eligibility: B.Sc Nursing Duration: 2 years
Eligibility: 10+2 with Biology, Physics and Chemistry Duration: 3 1/2 years
GNM programme is to prepare general nurses who function as members of the health team, to hold first-level positions in both the hospitals and other such places
Eligibility: 10th Duration: 18 months
ANM course provide training as to how to take care of health related needs of the people living in rural areas especially children, mothers and old persons.
Personal attributes: The nursing profession calls for tremendous patience, responsibility and dedication. The job requires alertness of mind, team spirit, tact, compassion etc. One should also be physically fit, in peak health for the job involves a lot of hard work. They should have the instinct to help and serve the patient without getting sentimentally attached. Apart from all these one must have a pleasant smiling face whatever be the situation.
They can find employment in
Hospital Nursing: Hospital nurses form the largest group of nurses. Hospital nurses are usually assigned to any special area of work such as surgery, maternity, intensive care, pediatrics, obstetric, rehabilitative etc.
Public Health Nursing/ Community Health Nursing: Public health nurses / Health worker work in government and private clinics and health departments in urban and rural areas to provide basic medical services to the local population. They instruct individuals, families and other groups in health education, disease prevention, nutrition and child care. They arrange for immunizations, blood pressure testing and other health screening.
Military Nursing: Provide health care services in armed forces.
Educators: This field combines nursing with the teaching of students of nursing and administration of educational programmes.
Industrial Nursing/ Occupational Health Nursing: They work under the direction of the industrial physicians and assist in taking preventive safety measures. They provide emergency care at the time of accidents taking place inside the industrial premises.
Psychiatric Nursing: This nursing involves working with patients suffering from emotional and psychological distress. Nursing these patients requires devotion and patience. They generally work in coordination with the psychiatrists, doctors and other specialists.
Pediatric Nursing: is concerned with the care of sick babies and children.
Orthopaedic Nursing: requires a knowledge of physiotherapy and rehabilitation.
Remuneration of nurses depends on the level of seniority reached. Nurses employed by government hospitals receive a monthly salary of Rs 6,500 to Rs 10,000. Those working for private hospitals or the military receive a slightly higher remuneration. Private nurses have a fixed daily fee. Midwives receive above 4,000 per month approximately, plus a fixed amount per birth registered. Health workers receives between Rs. 1,000 to Rs. 2,000 per month.