Nurses offer critical care, human connection to cancer patients during pandemic


Each year, the International Nurses Day is observed on May 12, 2021 on the birthday of Florence Nightingale to acknowledge the importance of nurses in the healthcare system. The theme this year is Nurses: A Voice to Lead – A vision for future healthcare.

On this occasion, Dr Muhammed Aasim Yusuf, Chief Medical Officer and acting Chief Executive Officer of SKMCH& RC appreciated the role of nurses during the pandemic and encouraged young people to consider nursing as a profession.

He said, “We are proud of our nurses for displaying unrelenting commitment and courage while battling cancer as well as the coronavirus.

Our nurses have played an integral role in ensuring continuity of quality cancer care while maintaining dignity of patients.

There is a general shortage of nurses in our country and as the Shaukat Khanum Healthcare System looks to expand its services, there is an increasing demand of nurses trained in oncology.

At SKMCH&RC, we offer an excellent environment where nurses are considered an integral part of the team providing care.

At Shaukat Khanum, nurses can serve to the best of their abilities and are offered training opportunities for continuing professional growth.

I hope that increasing numbers of young women and men in our country will step forward and join the nursing profession.”

In a message for the public, Ms. Rehana Elahi, Director for Nursing at Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centres (SKMCH&RC), located in Lahore and in Peshawar said, “A future of healthcare which is humane will be led by nurses who are often the best advocates for patients at the bedside.

During the ongoing pandemic, restrictions on the numbers of visitors and family members accompanying patients in our hospitals, as well as isolation protocols in place have meant that nurses have found themselves in a unique position.

Today, more than ever, they are at the forefront of providing a human connection and compassionate care to our patients.”

According to Ms Rehana, “The vision for the future of nursing in general, and at a tertiary care cancer centre such as SKMCH& RC in particular, demands a highly knowledgeable and specialised nursing work force presence round the clock.

To meet this demand, SKMCH& RC offers a number of formal nursing education programmes including specialised diploma programmes in Oncology, Critical Care and Perioperative Nursing, and a bachelor’s degree in Oncology Nursing.

Over the past year, the nurse educators and clinical nurse managers at SKMCH&RC have worked tirelessly to offer special training programmes to prepare nurses to work in dedicated Covid-19 facilities in a safe manner.”

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