The nursing profession, comprising of nurses and nursing assistants constitutes the largest working group in the health care sector. Apart from being a highly responsible and noble profession, this profession demands a lot of time, dedication, patience, sacrifice, love and care for the sick patients. It generally suits people, who have a desire to serve and help the physically incapacitated, sick, injured, convalescing mothers, new borns, old persons, even mentally retarded patients etc. With the advancement in medical science, there has been a constant improvement in the nursing education standards. And as the number of hospitals, nursing homes, private clinics, sanitoriums etc. are increasing day by day, professionally trained and qualified nurses are very much in demand, creating ample of scope in this profession.
Nature of Work
The main functional areas where nursing can be pursued as career are as follows.
- GENERAL NURSES: The largest group of nurses work in the hospitals, nursing homes, sanitoriums etc. Their basic job is to give bedside care to the recuperating patients apart from assisting the physicians during examination and operation of the patients. The other duties include maintaining records of the patients, administering prescribed medication both orally and hypodermically, maintaining cleanliness in the wards, preparing patients for the operations, keeping and maintaining stocks of drugs and medical equipment etc.
- INDUSTRIAL NURSES: Industrial nurses work under the direction of the industrial physicians and assist in taking preventive safety measures to avoid any untoward incidents. They provide first aid assistance at the time of accidents and mishaps taking place inside the industrial premises.
- SCHOOL NURSES: School nurses organize and super wise school clinics on regular basis. The purpose of these clinics is to ensure that students maintain their physical and mental health. In these clinics children's vision, height, weight, growth etc. are examined with the purpose to detect health related problems if any and prevent them from developing into more serious ones. School nurses also teach children first-aid treatment and how to maintain health and hygiene.
- MIDWIVES: Midwives job starts from early pregnancy and continues till the baby is about a month old. They have to look after the health of both the mother and the baby and advice, support mothers on pre-birth and post-birth stages. They also counsel and teach mothers on how to cope up with their new born babies.
- PSYCHIATRIC NURSES: These nurses work with mentally handicapped and mentally disturbed patients. Nursing these patients requires a lot of time, devotion and patience. Their has to be a combination of qualities to understand, teach and establish mutual trust with the patient. Nurses generally work in coordination with the psychiatrists, doctors and other specialists to help the patient recover.
Nursing is a profession of discipline, patience, responsibility, punctuality, commitment and dedication. The job requires a lot of hard work, stamina, alertness of mind, adaptability to follow difficult time schedules, ability to think in crisis, good team spirit etc. Apart from possessing these qualities, the persons willing to take up this as profession, should be calm, pleasant, compassionate, understanding and should have the instinct to help and serve the needy people without getting sentimentally attached.
- B.SC (NURSING): This is a beginner's course in nursing. In this course the very basic knowledge of this profession is provided like nursing, first aid treatment, midwifery etc. The course also imparts theoretical and practical aspects of nursing.
- GENERAL NURSING AND MIDWIFERY: This course helps in preparing general nurses to hold first-level positions in the hospitals and other such places.
- AUXILIARY NURSE MIDWIFE AND HEALTH WORKERS: In this programme trainning is provided to nurses on how to take care of health related needs of the people living in the rural areas especially children, mothers and old persons.
Colleges, Institutions and Universities
Specialization depends on the type of care required by the patients and the department in which the nurses work. It is beneficial for both the patients and the nurses as the nurses can perform their job more easily and efficiently. Specialization fields may include psychiatric nursing, paediatric nursing, orthopaedic nursing etc.
The demand for skilled, qualified nurses is ever present throughout the world. As the government plans to widen the health services network, the demand for this profession would continue to grow. Nowadays even the corporates are entering this sector, further making this profession an exciting career option. It is estimated that there would be a demand of around 6 lakh nurses in the near future to improve the existing nurse-patient ratio, which is very low and unsatisfactory at present.
The employment opportunities in this profession are available in government and private hospitals, nursing homes, sanitoriums, clinics, creches, schools, offices, factories, orphanages, old age homes etc.
Remuneration in the government hospitals varies between Rs. 1400 to Rs. 2600 as basic salary. On the other hand salaries in private hospitals and clinics are much better. Salaries in this profession also depends on the level of seniority and varies from department to department.