In my school days, I used to be the one scoring maximum goals in football matches. In the process, I fractured my hands three times starting with the left, the right and, again the left. Three fractures in three years. What a record!

After the first fracture, I was referred to a government hospital, where I met the lady in white for the first time. I was screaming in pain till this nurse came by and told me: “Don't worry my child, I am here now, everything will be all right.” Her reassuring words made such a great impact on me that I stopped crying.

Nurses are the frontline of medicine. They make a difference to society. They work round the clock tirelessly to serve patients. Whether it is monitoring a critically ill patient in the ICU or giving a sponge bath, cleaning up a wound, they give their heart and soul. They are armed with the emotional stability to deal with different situations, whether it is a happy moment like bringing new lives into the world or the grim situation of the death of a patient. They tackle tough situations with nerves of steel and the presence of mind.

My grandfather shared with me the story of a famous film producer, who was admitted to hospital for cardiac arrest. The doctors tried their best to save him but couldn't and pronounced him dead. However, the chief nurse, who was attending on him, refused to give up. She sat on a tall stool and with her heel started pounding the clinically dead man's chest. Within a few minutes, the shape of the graph on the monitor changed from a flat straight line and he was back to life.

Nurses meet people from all walks of life. But every patient is important to them. Their bond is special and unique. At times, the nurses do get attached to the patient if the stay is long and sometimes the patients reveal those buried secrets which they would not talk about even to their relatives or closest friends. They know that patients remain in their life for a short time but patients will remember them for the rest of their life.

Can you imagine a world without nurses? There are seven billion people in this world but only 17.6 million nurses. Many countries are facing the common problem of shortage of nurses. How are we going to bridge the gap? Who will care for people, especially the chronically ill? These questions remain to be answered.

Instead of sending us white-winged angels, God gave us nurses. So if you come across a nurse, do take some time to say a few kind words and appreciate her, because she truly deserves it.

(The writer's email is tskarthik13@yahoo.com)

Keywords: nurses

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