September 9, 2021 4:42:02 am
The head nurse of gynaecology department at SSG Hospital in Vadodara, Bhanu Gheewala, has been chosen for the prestigious Florence Nightingale Award 2020, which will be conferred by Pre-sident Ramnath Kovind in a virtual ceremony on September 15.
The 56-year-old nurse, who has been working at SSG Hospital since 2000, had volunteered for Covid-19 gynaec duties after helping out with the first delivery of a woman with Covid last year.
The award has left her “humbled”, says Gheewala, adding, “It is always teamwork… from our doctors to the security guard, everyone contributes to the functioning of the hospital. The award is an honour and it belongs to my entire team.”
Gheewala, began her nursing career in 1988 in Rapar in Kutch and thereafter joined the Palanpur General Civil Hospital before joining SSG. She got training in Nurse Practitioner Midwifery (NPM) and Alernative Birthing Position (ABP), and has been leading duties at labour rooms and gyanec ward of the SSG Hospital.
During the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic last year, Gheewala was at the forefront of the nursing staff that set up the first labour ward for Covid patients in SSG, when private hospitals were refusing to admit such women. She also opted for gyanec duties with Covid-19 positive expectant mothers.
Gheewala told The Indian Express, “Many nurses in the labour ward were in fear as birthing involves touching patients. I did my duty with an optimistic frame of mind and by God’s grace, I have not yet contracted Covid-19.”
She says that although many staff nurses tested positive for Covid-19 since last year, everyone recovered and continued with their duties. “Many of our nurses are also young mothers… there has been so much stress. I have always told them that they must care for their families while also doing their duty. It requires a lot of compassion.”
As private hospitals refused admissions to Covid positive women for delivery, even rich families were coming to SSG for deliveries last year, she said. “We had affluent patients from as far as Jodhpur… many of the women whose deliveries I attended to are still in touch. The pandemic gave me lot of women friends,” says Gheewala, who was on duty during the floods of 2019 that inundated the hospital. She was on duty for 72 hours, along with doctors, ensuring that women delivered their babies safely.
“For me, the reward is always a patient going back home happy and remembering me in their prayers… Some also leave behind notes for me that I treasure and cherish forever,” she says.
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