Nursing care is backbone of maternal and child health services. Nurses are actively involved in delivery of various services that often remain unrecognized and unapplauded.The nurses put their head and heart, while performing various duties related to mother and child care. With the developments taking place in nursing education, the nurses have acquired the knowledge and skills that are essential for delivery of majority of health care services, except for the surgical interventions. The everlasting commitment to the profession is unmatchable and extraordinary. Nurses are being nurtured during training to serve the humanity. Serving the sick for alleviating the misery becomes part of their life. Nursing professionals have played a pivotal role in the improvement of maternal and child health care in India.
Maternal and child health care delivery is largely benefited by various roles and responsibilities that nurses take up. They play an important role in the delivery of MCH services at all levels of health care. At community level, nurses play very important roles starting from distribution of contraceptives, antenatal registration, provision of essential medicines including vaccines, conduct of immunization sessions, identification of high risk pregnancies and their timely referral. At lower level facilities,large number of deliveries are conducted confidently by nurses without any complications, episiotomy or perineal trauma. The rate of episiotomy is quite low at lower level facilities than higher level institutions. This is really commendable. Nurses play very important role in promotion of early and exclusive breast feeding .Nurses also play complimentary role as labour companion, when needed. In teaching institutes, nurses often get blood and medicines issued from the blood bank and pharmacy on their own credit for poor patients, who at that point of time are unable to arrange for the money.The nurses are providing assistance to medical officers or the specialists in performing surgeries or other life saving procedures.
The nursing profession has changed drastically over last few decades in India. The quality of nursing training has improved to a great extent. The knowledge of nurses, especially those who take up post graduation in some speciality, is at par with medical specialist. Good quality of research is being undertaken by nursing professionals in the institutions. Nurses take active part in the training programmes being organized for keeping up with the pace with the advancements in the profession.
The patients develop trust, confidence and emotional bonding with the nurses, at time more than the doctors, as nurses are available for more time than the doctors. Nurses provide counselling services to patients and their relatives more often. The selfless nursing care, more than any first degree blood relation is being provided to indoor patients by the nursing staff and trainee nurses. The nurses often forget their duty hours and try and complete their job, so that patients do not suffer for want of nursing care.This selfless service make nursing profession unique and satisfying to most of the nurses.
Contrary to their dedication and the amount of time they spent in performing the duties, nurses do not get due recognition and monitory incentives. They often face disrespect and low treatment in health services. Many a times, nurses face verbal and physical abuse at work place, as they face the relatives more often than anyone else.
It is need of the hour that we identify leaders in nursing profession and nurture them to desired roles, provide them leader ship positions, involve them from planning stage of any project, so that they become role model for the nursing community.
The nurses form an important pillar of all health care services. Services are incomplete without their presence. Medical profession and community at large should always respect nursing personnel for their dedication, sincerity and selfless service.
We all must compliment NQOCN and its leadership, as it has rightly involved, inspired, motivated and recognized nursing personnel for their humane services in an effort to improve the quality of health care in India.