Florence Nightingale awards for nurses who beat odds

Nurses who beat odds chosen for Florence Nightingale awards. Representation image

She feared for her life at the hospital where she worked. From bodies being left at the doorstep of a deserted hospital to having to tolerate drunk patients, it was all a challenge.

Hemavathy H P, a nurse who has been working in the government sector for several decades, is among the recipients of the Florence Nightingale Awards this year.

When she was posted at the K R Puram PHC, it was only a handful of staff that worked there, she recollected. With little infrastructure, she had to battle all odds. Yet, nothing would deter her from serving the poor.

“As a young girl, I would see an ANM (Auxiliary nurse midwife) in my village wearing the white coat and socks. She had details of all the village residents. I assumed that she must be someone intellectual. Ever since I have thought of no other profession than this,” she said. Working at times when no doctors were available on call and at government hospitals with just one doctor, she has conducted over 2,000 deliveries.

Srikanth B Phulari’s efforts lead to the establishment of a Government nursing college in his village. Serving in the Hyderabad Karnataka region, this awardee was among the many others who fought to have a nursing college established in Kalaburagi.

“We formed an association. We had just a nursing school and wanted more. We started off with an intake of 50 members...,” she said.

Other winners

Baby Chalil Yohannan, a staff nurse at the Seegehalli maternity hospital, never thought her duty was to just carry out delivery procedures or aid the wounded. She has been training Asha workers in family planning, explaining concepts to them and has taken part in national health programmes. Yohannan said she also actively participates in activities such as assessing cleanliness in hospitals as part of the Kayakalpa.

Swamy H N was among the 20 people who saved lives when floods ravaged Uttarakhand.

As part of a 20-member medical team that visited Haridwar and camped there offering to treat those stranded, this staff nurse from Ramanagara saved several lives.

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