Why Is The International Nurses Day 2021 So Special?

by Umair Sahfiq Khanday

Nurses are the most important link between a doctor and a patient. A doctor only prescribes and diagnoses medications, but in the end, it is the nurse on whom the actual responsibility for treatment depends. Without nursing staff, a medical facility may not work even for a day.

Staff nurses and other officials of Chest Diseases Hospital Srinagar have started wearing masks following the apprehensions that some patients might be carrying the Coronavirus infection. KL Image: Bilal Bahadur

International Nurses Day is celebrated on May 12, every year. It is also the anniversary of the birth of nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale.

International Nurses Day is a global celebration that acknowledges and celebrates the commitment and bravery of nurses around the world. This fantastic event is coordinated by the International Council of Nurses (ICN) to ensure that the invaluable contributions of nurses to the health of people globally are recognised.

The ICN has set the theme for International Nurses Day 2021 as ‘nursing the world back to health’, with a focus on the ‘true value of nurses to the people of the world.’ Annette Kennedy, the ICN President, has said that, ‘This global COVID-19 pandemic has shown the world the important role that nurses play in keeping people healthy across the lifespan’ and so the day will be focused on the future of healthcare.

This year’s celebration is made all the more special as 2021 has been marked as the Year of the Nurse and Midwife as it’s the 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth.

International Nurses Day has been celebrated by the ICN since 1965. However, it wasn’t until 1974 when May 12, was chosen to celebrate this day to coincide with the anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale.

Each year, the International Council of Nurses prepares and distributes the International Nurses’ Day kit, containing valuable educational and public information materials that can be used by nurses around the world.

However, countries around the world celebrate this occasion in their own ways. For example, in the UK, there is a service held each year in Westminster Abbey in London where a symbolic lamp is passed between nurses until it reaches the Nurses’ Chapel in the Abbey where it is then placed on the High Altar. This symbolises the passing of knowledge from one nurse to another.

“As a nurse, we have the opportunity to heal the heart, mind, soul and body of our patients, their families and ourselves. They may not remember the name of Umair but they will never forget the way I made them feel.”

Nursing is not for everyone. It takes a very strong, intelligent, and compassionate person to take on the ills of the world with passion and purpose and work to maintain the health and well-being of the planet.”

Historically, as well as today, nurses are at the forefront of fighting epidemics and pandemics – providing high quality and respectful treatment and care. They are often the first and sometimes the only health professional that people see and the quality of their initial assessment, care and treatment is vital.

As we mark this, day, we urge countries to ensure:

The occupational safety and health of nurses and all health workers, including notably, unhindered access to personal protective equipment so they can safely provide care and reduce infections in health care settings.

Doctors play an important role in the healthcare industry by treating patients suffering from illness, disease, and injury. However, one largely overlooked set of medical professionals that play an important role are the nurses. It is no doubt that nursing is a profession with the essential ingredients of autonomy and accountability. Therefore, it is important to understand and appreciate the vital contributions made by the NURSES towards the healthcare industry for generations,” said Ms Latha Nonis, Head of Nursing Department, Fortis Hospital, Bannerghatta Road, Bangalore.

Role of Nurse:

1) Nurses spend most of their time with patients, and therefore, they can be their best advocates. They administer appropriate treatment, safe medication and timely symptom management. Additionally, they also play the role of care coordinator/caregiver and ensure a patient’s safety while minimising inconvenience.

2) Another important role played by a nurse is that of a teacher. Nurses educate patients about their health, conditions, and medication while resolving their queries.

3) Nurses play a vital role in health care. They are the link between patients, doctors, management and other healthcare workers. While patient care and administrative duties have always been their primary focus, nurses have successfully adapted to the changes in the healthcare sector and have been a constant support to the doctors to provide the best healthcare services to all the patients.

On this International Nurses Day 2021: let’s give a big salute to our nurses including me and thank them for their priceless service, dedication and compassion.

Importance of International Nurses Day

Umair Shafiq Khanday

Nurses are the most important link between a doctor and a patient. A doctor only prescribes and diagnoses medications, but in the end, it is the nurse on whom the actual responsibility for treatment depends. Without nursing staff, a medical facility may not work even for a day. Therefore, the observation of International Nurses Day becomes more important in view of these facts.

The conclusion

Nursing is an important profession and nurses play an important role in patient care and implement health services at the grassroots level. The efficiency of government health policies and services depends to a large extent on nursing staff; Therefore, there is a need to regularly raise their morale through events such as International Nurses Day.

(The author is a student of BSc Nursing at Pacific Institute of Medical Sciences, Udaipur. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of Kashmir Life.)

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