Thursday, May 11, 2017

Nurses Day 2017





Technology and fading human touch

As we celebrate Nurses Day, the profession that was known for its noble services to the sick and dying is facing its greatest challenges that threaten the very founding principles the institution. These are two-fold. The first is the effects of technological advancements in the treatment of the sick and the second is the concurrent commercialization of the medical and healthcare services. In fact these two factors have not only made healthcare costs to become beyond the reach of the vast majority of people but regrettably also resulted in the loss of personal and humane touch to care of the sick and dying. 


 Sophisticated modern technology has drastically revolutionized the way the sick are treated today. It has made diagnosis easier and treatment more appropriate leading to faster and more complete recovery from many diseases that were deemed incurable just decades ago. Unfortunately these advances in diagnosis and treatment have become too costly to benefit the ordinary man on the street especially in developing countries.
   
Furthermore the highly “mechanized” and "corporatized" healthcare system has also eroded the human touch in the management of patients where nurses traditionally played a crucial role. This new profit-motivated system has little or no consideration for experience and emotional values and many dedicated nurses with experience and right aptitude are sidelined. In many institutions a nurse is reduced to just an extra pair of hands in the wards and clinics, implementing standard operating procedures without fully understanding them. 

We tend to forget that patients are just humans with emotions and feelings that are unique to each individual. We subject patients to extensive investigations and sophisticated treatment but we forget they also need compassion and moral support during their illness. This can only be provided by nurses who have the heart not technology however sophisticated it may be. Unfortunately such nurses are becoming a rarity in our highly mechanized and commercialized healthcare business. We are all familiar with slogans like ‘Service with a smile’, ‘Service a heart’, ‘We care’ and so on but do we really live up to these slogans?

Nurses today work under great difficulties and are under tremendous pressure from within and without. The demands on them are tremendous, at times almost unreasonable. Amidst these limitations we salute those who still hold on to the age-old tradition of offering a smile and a personal touch which the sick and dying need it most.

The adage, “Doctors diagnose nurses cure” highlights the extremely vital role nurses play in the total care of the sick. While the technical aspects of the profession may change with progress, the basic needs of the sick, love and concern, will forever remain unchanged.

Happy Nurses Day!

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