Why did you choose nursing?

After completing my 12th standard, I was deciding which profession to take up, it was confusing to choose a profession. My elder sister was a nurse and I used to observe everything about her – how she goes to work and shares experiences with us. She inspired me to take up nursing – I could see how noble the profession was.

What is your current designation and what do you do in your job?

I’m a Senior Staff Nurse, in the Cath Lab, there are two parts to my job – one is Scrub, and the other is – circulate as well as computer and paperwork. I also substitute for my seniors as an incharge when they aren’t around.=

What do you enjoy the most in your job?

Nursing is a noble profession, the patient comes to us with a lot of hope, it becomes our responsibility to serve them by giving them a good service. If the patient’s outcome is good, that means our services have been good – this is my reward, this makes me feel great and satisfied.

What is the most difficult part of your job? What do you find the most challenging?

Challenges differ day to day for us. The main challenge I face is the communication gap – I don’t know if it would be a challenge for anyone else, but for me, it is a real challenge. Communication gap leads to room for errors, for example – if the doctor prescribes certain procedures for a patient, to the nurse, and the nurse happens to be preoccupied with something else at that moment, then there are high chances that the patient might suffer due to incorrect treatment. This happens due to a staff shortage. In case the team is not cohesive enough, then there could be huge gaps. But if we support one another, we can ensure an effective treatment.

On a personal front, what challenges do you face?

Sometimes there are bouts of overwork due to staff shortage. We have to be all by ourselves and manage with how many ever people we have, the work is never less, but there is definitely a shortage of manpower – especially when someone from the team takes a leave. The overwork takes a toll on us – we struggle to get things done, as it is a matter of life and death and cannot be taken casually or be kept for another day.

How do you manage this shortage crisis, when you are managing the team?

In such a situation, I ensured an equal distribution of work with the current staff so that no one is overburdened and the work also doesn’t suffer. This eases out the scope of overburdening and minimises error.

Tell us about your sense of achievement in this everyday battle.

Feedback, feedback from the patient and their families give us positive pressure and more enthusiasm to continue working. This is a booster for me, a sense of achievement and satisfaction. Empathy and not sympathy is what I show – at one time, a patient had to come to the hospital multiple times for treatment, he mentioned that he wanted his treatment to be done by me – that was very heartwarming to see how our patients recognise our efforts.

Do you think the training period is shortened in hospitals due to staff shortage?

It depends on each hospital, staff shortage leads to a shorter induction period and the nurses are pushed into cases, which leads them to struggle due to inexperience. Of course, struggle leads them to learn quickly and efficiently, but it also leaves room for a lot of errors.

We get regular freshers as our staff flies out abroad for opportunities. But nowadays, freshers aren’t keen on learning more, for most of them, nursing is just a means to an end, that is disheartening to see, we try to overcome this by ensuring that they are trained well and the ice is broken for effective communication.