Much like how mothers selflessly tend to their children, nurses tend to the people, but unfortunately their services are not recognised and they are denied their rights.
This was the consensus among a group of nurses at an event held to celebrate International Nurses Day at the nursing school of Saidu Group of Hospitals on Saturday.
“It is unfortunate that we aren’t given respect for our services and deprived of the privileges enjoyed by nurses in other countries,” lamented Seraj Ahmed Khan, the president of All Swat Nursing Association (ASNA).
“Nursing is a sacred line of work that requires a commitment to serve humanity,” he added.
Referring to the hospitals in Swat, Khan said that despite serving in grade-16 nurses are not allowed to coordinate work in hospital wards, which are headed by low-ranking dispensers (grade-7).
He suggested that the hospitals should hand over responsibilities of wards to nurses to ensure that patients are provided quality health care. He also demanded that the nursing school Saidu Group of Hospitals should be turned into a college.
Two nursing student at the event, Shazia and Shazma, said that nursing is a “noble profession” and they are proud to be involved in it. “After doctors, the second pair of hands which care for a newborn are those of a nurse,” Shazma added.
The speakers then ventured on to highlight the security and social issues being faced by nurses across the country, especially in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
“The stereotype that women should remain indoors is the biggest hurdle in our line of work,” said Shahida Parveen, a participant. “Because we are not given authority, people try to degrade us and show us they are dominant; we never get the respect we deserve,” she added.
However, she said she was satisfied that the profession is now being “accepted” with time, adding that women from well-to-do families are opting to become nurses.
To celebrate International Nurses Day, the participants cut a cake to acknowledge the contribution of nurses to the society and to pay tribute to Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing.
The event was organised by ASNA, in collaboration with Otskua Pakistan.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 13th, 2012.