A challenging profession

Nursing is a profession that demands one''s physical as well as emotional involvement. In a nutshell, a nurse''s job is all about keeping track of a patient''s health, ensuring recovery and getting back to the doctor to give feedback on the patient''s progress. To explore more about nursing as a profession, Education Times speaks to Asha Sharma, acting principal, Rajkumari Amrit Kaur College of Nursing.

On changes over the years

The field has become challenging. Nursing has been finally recognised as a career avenue where opportunities are coming up. There is a demand for independent nursing practice in the field of community health and midwifery. Unlike earlier times, nursing today comprises many specialisations. A specialisation depends on the type of care required by a patient and the department in which the nurse works. Specialisations include the areas of psychiatric nursing, paediatric nursing, orthopaedic nursing among others.

On career opportunities and remuneration

As the number of hospitals, nursing homes, private clinics, health centres and sanatoriums is increasing everyday, the demand for professionally-trained nurses is on the rise. Besides, all pharmaceutical companies seek qualified nurses. Notably, aspirants who wish to go abroad have greater opportunities overseas, given the acute shortage of qualified and trained nurses world over.

As far as remuneration in government hospitals is concerned, basic salary ranges from Rs 5,000 to Rs 6,500. Private hospitals and clinics pay comparatively less than what governm ent hospitals do.

On qualifications and personal traits

Before taking admission into an institution, especially a private one, aspirants must check whether it is recognised by the State Nursing Council and India Nursing Council or not.

Apart from acquiring basic nursing qualifications, a nurse should possess the knowledge to assist people when they are ill, besides knowing how to use the medical equipment and the administration of the proper dosages of drugs available today. Some knowledge of dealing with patients in critical circumstances is essential, especially when doctors are not nearby. A nurse should be sympathetic towards the patients'' needs. She should also know how to deal with the patient''s relatives and well wishers.

On the prevailing situation

Unfortunately, there are not very many promotional avenues existing for nurses in India. Nurses are not allotted designations according to the specialised areas they work in.

Research work is almost negligible here, unlike in many foreig n countries. Besides, the ''nurse to patient ratio'' is not up to the mark. Due to the shortage of nurses there is an increase in their work load which often has the patients and their relatives complaining about their behaviour.


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