According to K.Hemalatha, Director, Airport Authority of India , the nursing profession in India is fraught with challenges. She was speaking at the "Lamp Lighting Ceremony" at PPG College of Health Sciences , Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu recently.
Hemalatha says that the profession has never really got the recognition it deserved. The country is experiencing a shortage of nursing professionals. The existing workforce has either migrated to other countries in search of better monetary prospects or works in private institutions, she says.
Public health services bear the brunt of this as they are often ignored owing to the low pay scale and unsatisfactory working conditions . In order to retain the existing nurses, they should be provided a conducive working environment, respectable remuneration and the hospitals should keep pace with the technological changes taking place in the country, Hemalatha opined.
This is not all. Nursing should not just be seen as a service, but as a profession. The working conditions of nurses should be improved by being given ample rest, avenues for recreation, reduction in workload and a safe working environment, Hemalatha stressed.
One way of bringing back the nursing professionals to India was the creation of highly paid teaching jobs whereby the new nursing recruits are given training skills, she added.
For those nurses who aspired to work abroad, they should be culturally open, she said . They should develop transcultural skills needed for adapting to a new country, Hemalatha suggested.
It was important for nurses to be aware of the concept of the right to information. Patients and their families had the right to information. Nurses should understand this and put professional ethics into practice, Hemalatha stressed. They should update their knowledge and acquaint themselves with technological applications. India provided the maximum number of nurses to the world ; not just to Europe, but also to Asia, Hemalatha noted.
According to G.Josephine Registrar, Tamil Nadu Nurses Midwives Council, Chennai, the global demand for nurses was increasing. Recognizing this, the Indian Nursing Council has introduced changes in the syllabus making it more relevant by integrating information technology and administration elements in it, she noted. A hundred B.Sc Nursing graduates lit lamps, symbolically marking their formal induction into the profession.