The Malayali nurse: Providing balm to patients across continents

If doctors are the hands of God, then the cloth which wraps around and comforts us are definitely the nurses who spend their days and nights caring for the patients and remain by their side at their b

Published: 12th May 2017 01:37 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th May 2017 05:29 AM   |  A+A-

Nursing students decorate the corridors of the General Hospital, Ernakulam, ahead of the International Nurses Day, which falls on Friday | Albin Mathew

By Express News Service

KOCHI:If doctors are the hands of God, then the cloth which wraps around and comforts us are definitely the nurses who spend their days and nights caring for the patients and remain by their side at their beck and call.Sacrifice, tolerance, patience and presence of mind are just a few of the excellent qualities they possess.
As the nursing community celebrates this year’s International Nurses’ Day with the theme,’Nursing: A voice to lead - Achieving the sustainable development goals’ on Friday, it has special relevance for the nurses from Kerala.

They are ubiquitous by their presence from Delhi to Mumbai, Guwahati to Coimbatore, or from Dubai to Melbourne, Vienna to Florida, and even in war-torn areas such as Tikrit in Iraq and Tripoli in Libya.
About 60 per cent of the nurses in India are Malayalis and almost 100 per cent of the nurses population  at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences(AIIMS) in New Delhi  are Keralites. In GCC countries, ie, the Gulf region, Indians comprise 80 per cent of the nurses’ population ,of which Malayalis make up 70 per cent. This is indeed a matter of great pride to all the Malayali nurses out there.
As per the 2012 records, 38 per cent of nurses under the jurisdiction of the Kerala Nursing Council work in the US, 30 per cent in the UK, 15 per cent in Australia and 12 per cent in the Middle East.
 Simply put, a substantial portion of the `1.5 lakh crore NRI deposits in Kerala’s banks comes from the sweat and blood of the Malayali nurses.

Sister Shiji Joseph, Casualty Ward, Incharge at Lisie Hospital, who was rather reluctant  to join the profession due to the fear of seeing the pain and suffering of the patients, tells Express it is the passion and the thrill of saving a life which drives them.
“Without this passion no nurse will be able to provide the best of support and care,” she says.
The nurses, for whom patient satisfaction is the biggest reward, welcome any patient to tend to their needs and help recover their health and it is no easy task to (wo)man the fort with patients pouring in on a daily basis, each with their own specific needs and requirements.

“Patient satisfaction is the biggest reward for us. It gives us great happiness when the patients leave the hospital happy and recovered,” said Sathi Mohan, nursing superintendent, PVS Hospital, Kaloor.
Nursing is no easy task. The bond a nurse shares with the patients is one which a doctor will not have. They are the ones who stick around till the very end and take care of us.
“All nurses have to be proud of themselves for being a nurse,” says Philomina, nursing supervisor at the PVS Hospital.
Sadly, though, the recognition and the monetary benefits they enjoy are yet to improve.  On the brighter side, the minority in the group, the male nurses seem to be have increased in numbers.Their dedication has also drawn much praise.

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