Wishing a Happy International Nurses Day to all in the profession

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Need to provide better opportunities and career progression for nurses in India

New Delhi, 12th May 2018: The Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) wishes all those in the nursing profession a very happy International Nurses Day. May 12th is celebrated as International Nurses Day every year on the birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale – one of the world’s most famous nurses. The theme for this year is Nurses: A Voice to Lead – Health is a Human Right.

Several aspects of medical care require trained individuals such as nurses. But, despite being a noble profession, nursing seems to be dying in India. This is perhaps due to a perceived lack of career advancement in the profession. As a result, the country currently faces a shortage of nearly 4 million nurses.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr K K Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, “The theme this year is apt as Florence Nightingale was a leader in the profession and is regarded as the founder of modern nursing. Through her committed and compassionate approach she exemplified patient care for nurses. Not just on one day, but it is important to celebrate and recognize the hard work and contribution nurses make to health sectors all around the world. Nurses are often the first healthcare professional to come into contact with patients. They play a significant role in increasing life expectancy and reducing child and maternal mortality in both urban as well as rural India. The complexity of medical and healthcare practices today demands that nurses are fully involved in the planning, implementation, research and evaluation that goes into the successful delivery of patient care.”

As per the MCI code of ethics, physicians should recognize and promote the practice of nursing as a profession and work in tandem with nurses whenever there is a need.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Vice President of CMAAO, said, “The National Health Policy, 2017 envisages innovation in nursing and other similar professions. With Indian nurses taking on greater local, national and international roles, there is also a need to ensure that they are able to get adequate professional development opportunities. Human resource policies in our country also need to be modified accordingly with increased involvement of nurses in policy development.”

HCFI Facts about nursing

• The 1st nursing school was established in India in 250 B.C.
•Nursing has been consistently named as one of the most trusting professions.
• There are over 100 nursing specialties to choose from such as Advanced Practice nursing, Clinical nursing, Community health nursing, Surgical nursing, Family Nurse Practitioner, Geriatric nursing and Maternal-Child nursing.
• General nursing practices are universal all over the world.
• Nurses walk 4 miles (6.5 km) a day on an average.
• Nursing students make up more than half of all health profession students.

Understanding Right Speech & Right Action

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All thoughts, speech or actions in life should be directed towards two basic goals; one, to provide happiness to others and secondly, attain self-happiness in consequence.

Our ancient texts and scriptures – Upanishads, Yoga Sutras of Patanjali – have discoursed on “the right speech” and so did Buddha. According to Gautam Buddha, the right speech has three components:

It should be based on truthfulness.
It should be necessary, and
It should be kind.
All the three components have to be in the same sequence with truthfulness being on the top.

For example, a patient asks a doctor, “Am I going to die in the next few weeks or will I survive longer”? The truth may be that he is critically ill and may not survive but it is not necessary to speak the truth and also it is not kind. Therefore, that truth should not be spoken.

Lord Krishna in Mahabharata explained when not to speak the truth and when to speak a lie. The truth which is going to harm the society may not be spoken and a lie which can save the life of a person without harming others may be spoken.

A truth which is necessary and kind may be spoken.
A truth which is not necessary but kind may not be spoken.
A truth which is necessary but not kind may not be spoken.
A truth which is neither necessary and nor kind may not be spoken.
Vedic teaching says that one should live according to dharma or “the right action” to achieve good karma. This means doing what is right for the individual, the family and for the universe.

According to the Bhagavata Purana, righteous living or life on a dharmic path has four pillars: truthfulness (satya), austerity (tap), purity (shauch) and compassion (daya). While, adharmic or unrighteous life has three main vices: pride (ahankar), bad company (sangh) and intoxication (madya).

Manusmriti also prescribes ten essential rules to tread the path of dharma: Patience (dhriti), forgiveness (kshama), piety or self-control (dama), honesty (asteya), sanctity (shauch), control of senses (indriya-nigrah), reason (dhi), knowledge or learning (vidya), truthfulness (satya) and absence of anger (krodha). Manu further writes, “Non-violence, truth, non-coveting, purity of body and mind, control of senses are the essence of dharma”.

The very first word of the Gita is “Dharma” – “Dharmakshetre Kurukshetra Samavetayuyutsavaha”, which means the battle of dharma and adharma. The Gita concludes with the word “Mama”. The essence of Bhagavada Gita is contained in these two words ‘Mama’ and ‘Dharma’. Combined together, these two words become “mamadharma”, meaning ‘your true Dharma’. This is what the Gita teaches us, “What is your Dharma?”

To live your life as per your dharma signifies the right action in every moment of the life. To inculcate the spirit of Dharma, practice random acts of kindness. Do not follow the dictates of body and do not indiscriminately follow the mind, for the mind is like a mad monkey. Follow the conscience.

Follow Buddha’s principles of right speech: Before you speak, ask yourself: Is it the truth? Is it necessary? Is it kind? If the answer to any is ‘no’, do not speak.

Follow Buddha’s principles of right action: Before doing any action ask yourself: Is it the truth? Is it necessary? Will it bring happiness to me? Will it bring happiness to others? If the answer to any is ‘no’, do not do that action.

Dr KK Aggarwal

Padma Shri Awardee

Vice President CMAAO

Group Editor-in-Chief IJCP Publications

President Heart Care Foundation of India

Immediate Past National President IMA