It is a privilege to be a nurse!

It is a privilege to be a nurse!

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Prayer of appreciation (Photo by Arina Krasnikova on

A welcoming speech by a chief nursing officer at a hospital in Perth concluded about the privilege of being a nurse!

I was there to learn about stoma and wound care. Being a pioneer then back home, I got many referral cases to see. Lack of appropriate wound and stoma products then, could be challenging.

It was 1100H at night, two hours past my working hours. I finished my shift. Another ward was calling. I went to see this frail Indian lady.

There was a heapful of absorbent cotton gamgees on the trolley. And a lined basket for the used ones to be thrown into. “… When she eats papaya, the next minute papaya comes out through her gaping abdominal (dehisced) wound! So much fluids coming out of her wound all the time… soaking through constantly!” Her distressed daughter explained.

I did a pouching system to contain the fluid to a drainage bag. Her daughter, also a nurse, watched.

I went home late that night.

At 2.oopm the next day, that lady, on a wheelchair, was waiting at the entrance of my ward. Her daughter who was with her said, ” my mother’s condition is terminal. She wants to die at home with her family and grandchildren around her. The doctor had discharged her this morning. But she wanted to say goodbye to you first…”

With that, her mother raised both her hands, palms together, to her forehead.

A few days later, her daughter called to inform that she had passed on.


Three decades on, the country has better commercialized products and more trained nurses to deal with complex wounds, compared to those days.

Many professions like healthcare staff and teaching faculties, have opportunities to serve mankind, and to perform it well.

As I always reminded my students, it is indeed, a privilege to be a nurse! To have an opportunity to serve mankind!



My small acts of compassion matter to the world. – Mantras for Challenging Times