Nurses in India need not be “bonding” for their nursing colleagues.
The Nursing Ministry of India on Tuesday issued guidelines for its employees on the issue of nursing mates.
According to the guidelines, nurses are allowed to go out with their nursing mates, eat together and share meals.
But this doesn’t mean that nursing and caring for others are synonymous.
“Nursing does not mean that we have to ‘bond’ with our nursing mates,” Dr Anshuman Bhatnagar, Deputy Minister of Health and Family Welfare, said in a statement.
There is a growing awareness among the medical profession that people should not be bonded with a particular nurse.
In a survey conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) last year, only 7.7% of respondents said they would be willing to be bonded to a nursing colleague.
However, it is also not easy for a nursing partner to be completely detached from their nursing colleague, said Dr Jaspal Jain, a resident fellow at the Centre for Social Sciences at Jawaharlal Nehru University (CNSU).
“There are different ways of being bonded, like being bonded to the nurse, to the other nurse, or even to the doctor.
But we can’t bond to the medical team,” Dr Jain said.
A number of factors can cause the mismatch between a nursing and a carer relationship.
For instance, nurses and carers don’t share the same office space and don’t communicate with each other, said Suman Sharma, a nursing associate at the National Institute of Health (NIE).
Nurses also don’t feel comfortable sharing the same ward with a carers.
If nurses and other carers feel a certain distance from each other they will be reluctant to make any kind of move to connect or make friends, said Rajesh Jaini, a nurse from the Bhopal-based Hospitality Training Corporation (HTTC).
For these reasons, many nurses are more inclined to make friends with other carer and colleagues than with nurses.
When nurses and medical staff interact with each another, it helps them to build trust and build bonds, Dr Jains said.
However, the guidelines do not say that nursing is the only bond between nursing and their nursing partner.
The Ministry of Health also said it will address the issue when it convenes a meeting of the nursing workforce.
Nursers are also not allowed to keep the same nurses as staff for longer than six months.
Dr Jain added that nursing professionals should not give up on their nursing relationship for other reasons, including work-related conflicts.
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© Thomson Reuters 2017