Bhanu Gheewala is the head nurse of the gynaecology department in SSG Hospital in Gujarat's Vadodara. She has been selected for the Florence Nightingale Award by President Ramnath Kovind. Gheewala volunteered for the COVID-19 gynaec duties after helping out with the first delivery of a woman with COVID last year.
She began her nursing career in 1988 and worked in two hospitals before joining the SSG hospital. Last year, Gheewala led the nursing staff that set up the first labour ward for COVID-positive patients at the hospital when other facilities refused to admit them. She chose to serve the COVID-infected expectant mothers.
'Humbled' By The Award
The Indian Express quoted 56-year-old Bhanu Gheewala as saying, "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 further mentioned that many nurses in the staff were also young mothers, and there has been a lot of stress. She has always told her staff to manage both families and work and that it requires a lot of compassion. The recipient said that rewards for her are when her patients go home happy and remember her in their prayers. "Some also leave behind notes that I cherish forever", she added.
She said that the award has left her "humbled", and that it is a result of the teamwork of everyone who contributed towards the functioning of the hospital. "The award is an honour, and it belongs to my entire team," she added.
Gheewala has gone beyond her call of duty to help patients earlier as well. In 2019, when the hospital was waterlogged due to floods, she carried on with her duty in the gynaecology department and the pediatric ward.
Indian Nursing Council Confers The Award
Medical Superintendent Ranjan Aiyer at the SSG hospital said that Bhanuben's selection for the award is matter of pride for the entire staff. The award is conferred by the Indian Nursing Council, a statutory body under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The Florence Nightingale Award recognises exceptional courage and devotion to victims of armed conflict or natural disaster. It also recognises exemplary service or a pioneering spirit in the areas of public health or nursing education.