‘Nurses SMILE More at the Patients & Not Mobile Phones’-Chief Guest at Father Mullers Lamp Lighting Ceremony

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‘Nurses Always SMILE More at the Patients/People & Not at Mobile Phones’- Chief Guest Dr (Prof) Fathima D’Silva, Dean at Nitte Usha Institute of Nursing Sciences at Father Muller College of Nursing, Father Muller School of Nursing, and Father Muller College of Nursing-Thumbay Lamp Lighting and Oath-Taking Ceremony held on Saturday, 26 November 2022 at Father Muller Convention Centre Mini Hall, Mangaluru

“No man, not even a doctor, ever gives any other definition of what a nurse should be than this – ‘devoted and obedient. I attribute my success to this – I never gave or took any excuse. I think one’s feelings waste themselves in words; they ought all to be distilled into actions which bring results. The very first requirement in a hospital is that it should do the sick no harm. To understand God’s thoughts one must study statistics… the measure of his purpose. There is no part of my life, upon which I can look back without pain.”- Florence Nightingale

Mangaluru: When someone decides to enter the nursing profession, it means they choose to help people who are in need. However, the roles and responsibilities of nurses today are growing within the healthcare system making it important for nurses to serve people with utmost compassion and nobility. As it is said, “Sun glows for a day, Candle for an hour, Matchstick for a minute, but a good day can glow forever, so start your day with a smile”-. Today, Saturday, 26 November 2022, 80 nursing students of Father Muller College of Nursing, 60 students of Father Muller School of Nursing and 32 students of Father Muller College of Nursing-Thumbay joined in the oath-taking ceremony and lamp lighting ceremony held at Father Muller Convention Centre Mini Hall. By taking an oath students were formally inducted into the noble profession of Nursing where they would carry on their duties with compassion, empathy, love and devotion.

“We come to comfort and to heal, to love and serve in woe and weal; Come, Doctor, live your noble Hippocrates bequest, Come, Nurse, by Nightingale inspired, forget your broken rest, Come all who soothe in ways unsung Humanity’s unrest, Let’s all as one, with love pursue the toil by millions blest. We come to comfort and to heal, to love and serve in woe and weal”- these are part of the lyrics from Fr Muller’s Institution Anthem- and these words also fit right for all these 172 budding/nursing students, who have decided to join the Nursing Career, a Noble Profession at the Father Muller School and College of Nursing, Mangaluru. It was a special day in the life of the 65th batch of GNM, 36th batch of B.Sc Nursing students of Father Muller college and school of nursing and 1st batch of B.Sc Nursing students of Father Muller Nursing college, Thumbay as they entered into the practical phase of their nursing profession.

The programme began with the lighting of the lamp and showering flower petals on the portraits of Florence Nightingale and Founder of FMCI Fr Augustus Muller, (whose inspiration has led FMCI forward to serve the suffering humanity with the motto of Heal and Comfort) by the Chief Guest Dr (Prof) Fatima D’silva, joined by Fr Richard Coelho (Director, Father Muller Charitable Institutions); Fr Ajith Menezes (Administrator, FMMC); Fr Sylvester Vincent Lobo (Administrator, Father Muller Hospital, Thumbay) Sr Jacintha D’souza (Principal, Father Muller College of Nursing), Sr Dhanya Devaisa (Chief Nursing Officer and Principal of the Father Muller Nursing College Thumbay) and Ms Slyvia Nisha Lobo, (Nursing Superintendent, Father Muller Hospital, Thumbay)

The oath-taking ceremony of these young nursing students proved to be a nurturing experience for the staff, students and faculty of nursing. The students pledged that they will always follow the essentials of nursing. The students looked motivated to always serve the sick and be by their side as nurses. To implore God’s blessing as He is the supreme power in all our undertakings, the programme began with a prayer song invoking God’s blessings. The welcome address and introduction of the chief guest were by Prof Pathima Violet Fernandes, Head Nursing Foundation Course. The importance of the lamp lighting and its significance for the Student Nurses was read by Sr Dhania Devasia, Chief Nursing Officer and Principal of the Father Muller Nursing College Thumbay who also asked the nurses to focus on caring.

Sr Devasia said, “Today is a significant day in your career as you progress in the noble profession of nursing. A lamp-lighting ceremony is an important event, which has symbolic significance in your training. The lamp-lighting ceremony is a tribute to Florence Nightingale, who is the founder of Nursing. In the days of Florence Nightingale, the lamp was used at night while caring for the injured soldiers during the Crimean war and the oil that burns the light, had a soothing balm and a cooling effect. The lamp signifies brightness in a world, where darkness threatens to take over, a lamp, no matter how small in size, can illuminate a room, and it can brighten a life. The Lamp is the symbol of care, devotion and service the nurses offer to the sick and the injured in the practice of nursing. The lamp further represents the famous “Rounds at Night” of Florence Nightingale and is a symbol of dedication”.

Then followed the most awaited moment of the day, the lamp-lighting ceremony. It is said that Nurses dispense comfort, compassion and care without even a prescription. Yes, in the same way in the days of Florence Nightingale, the flame of the candle was used to light her way as she made her rounds from the sick, and to the injured. Her visit brought feelings of comfort and friendliness. The bright flame has come to symbolize knowledge, enlightenment, experience and hope. Florence Nightingale is pictured as a “lady with a lamp”, ministering angel to the distressed soldiers of the war. These 172 budding nurses solemnly lit the lamps and professed their desire to become life-giving persons to the sick. The students then expressed their joy and readiness by singing a hymn -“Light The Candle …..”.

In her inaugural address, Chief Guest Dr (Prof) Fatima D’Silva prodded the Student Nurses to pursue higher knowledge and compassion and said that the knowledge gained and compassion with a smile will take you many miles, giving a sense of assurance and belonging to those who seek care in times of need. She gave her testimony of saving her mother through the knowledge she gained and the practical exposure she got during her student days. ” The days of ignorance have to be passed and the days of quest should be your future”, she added.

She further said, “Every person in the hospital likes to be treated with respect and receive the best possible care. Many times you won’t be able to do everything that you desire but to do something and do it with lots of love. Successful mantras to be the BEST bedside nurse are A Smile-Try to smile more at your patients/people and not at Mobile phones; A kind word/comforting touch; Timely help; A good listener and observer; and Do your best and avoid being judgemental. All of us hope and dream of achieving great things in life which is not bad, but as Nurses, we have a special calling to nurture life and make meaningful contributions to the world. May the good Lord hold and lead you in this journey with great emotional strength and a powerful mind to be those happy, contended nurses who transform the health care system around the globe for the betterment of mankind”.

Fr Richard Aloysius Coelho, Director, FMCI who presided over the program, invited the students to be committed to their profession. He essayed the feelings of patients who compared nurses to angels of mercy at their weakest moments. The nurse brings healing and care through his or her actions, but brings joy by going the extra mile in service. Jesus said “if they ask you for your cloak, though should give”, meaning to sacrifice a bit for the patients will bring you even closer to God. The Gospel reading of the day reverberates that ‘darkness has ended and the lit has come, yes the Advent season is upon us and thus we should be the brightness to our patients. Compassionate care is what you are called for, and the work done with empathy, service and love will shine bright. Thus the lamp in your hearts and minds lit today should shine until the last breath you breathe. He concluded by asking the Nurses to be like the Good Samaritan.

Fr Coelho emphasized that the virtue of being good preceded all. For God wants good from all and good to be given to all. Mother Teresa said “I work for God, not for money” this was like when the world buzzed with the word ‘corona warriors’, where doctors and nurses alike, worked to uplift the suffering humanity and restore health. He concluded, “the suffering of your patients should be your teacher – learn the language of healing, the culture of love and hands of care” ” Every new beginning is a small step but its impact can be experienced in giant leaps. Today you are all set to make a new beginning and through the lighting of candles embark upon a journey of care and service. It is a symbolic act of the light that shines within your heart” added Fr Coelho.

The vote of thanks was proposed by Mrs Leena Tauro (Class co-ordinator of Ist year B.Sc), and the programme was meticulously and professionally compered by Ms Sonia D’souza (Faculty, FMCON). In conclusion, in my perspective- Nurses are the hospitality of the hospital. Nurses lead very demanding lives. Working with doctors, healing patients and educating the communities are just a few of the responsibilities nurses perform daily. You could say that nurses are the backbone of our healthcare system, providing us with the attention and medical care that we need to live healthy long-lasting lives. Sometimes being a nurse can be exhausting at times, but the knowledge and power to help heal others are what keep them going in challenging times. And while nurses are strong, spirited, positive and focused even they need a little pick me up every once in a while – like complimenting them for their well-done job or appreciating their dedication and commitment to patients and health care. And truly, the Nurses are the “Angels of Mercy”!

Yours Truly of Team Mangalorean interacted with four nursing students joined by their parents:

Abhishek Fernandes, the son of Sunil Fernandes (AC Operator) and Ms Flavia Fernandes (Nurse) having completed his PUC (Science) at St Aloysius PU College, Mangaluru decided to join the nursing career since he felt it was a good career. ” I wanted to serve the sick and the suffering. I had a passion to pursue Nursing education, and I am lucky to get a seat at Father Muller College of Nursing, which is one of the BEST nursing colleges here and in India. Since my mother is also a Nurse serving at Unity Hospital, I wanted to follow in her footsteps. I know with experienced tutors and caring management I am confident I will do my best in my nursing education at Father Mullers.”

Jason Pinto, son of John Pinto (Auto Cad Designer) and Ms Suchita Pinto (Teacher), after completing his education at Rosary Senior Secondary School, Delhi decided to take up Nursing since he wanted to serve the suffering humanity, and also help poor people. ” Having heard good and great things about Father Muller Nursing College, I wanted to pursue my education here, and I am lucky to get admission. I have full faith in my teachers, priests and nuns at Father Mullers for my success in my Nursing career”.

L-R: Abhishek Fernandes, Ms Flavia Fernandes (Mother) and Jason Pinto (Cousin of Abhishek)

Miss Jaimol Varghese, daughter of Varghese AV (Tailor) and Ms Jolly Varghese (Homemaker) after her education at a Higher Secondary School in Engapuzha, Kerala showed keen interest in taking up Nursing with a desire to serve the patients and the community in need. “My decision to join Father Muller was due to great respect and love towards this institution, where many who have passed out from here are doing great and serving the people worldwide. I am overwhelmed being a student here, and I am sure that I will come out with flying colours in my academics”.

L-R : Ms Jolly Varghese (Mom), Miss Jaimol and Varghese K V (Dad)

Miss Laveena Quadros, daughter of Michael Quadros (Auto Body Repairer) and Ms Anitha Quadros, having done her early schooling at Sacred Heart School, Bahrain and then at Christ King College, Karkala decided on Nursing Education since she felt it has a good future and also wanted to serve the humanity and those in need. ” I want to serve and help people physically and mentally, and I always had a passion for Nursing, and I am glad that I made it possible. I wanted to follow in the footsteps of my mom’s sister, who is a Nurse, and I am happy that I will be a dedicated and caring nurse, one day. Joining Father Mullers is your dream come true, and I accomplished my dream”.

Miss Laveena Quadros with her Dad Michael Quadros and Mom Ms Anitha Quadros

Miss Rishal D’Souza, daughter of Robert D’souza (Teacher) and Ms Lona D’souza (Teacher) after completing her studies at Alva’s College, Moodabidri wanted to pursue education in Nursing since her passion was to be a caring Nurse and serve the suffering humanity and the poor. “I always wanted to be a Nurse, and I am happy that I stepped into Nursing education, and as a student here at Father Mullers I am fully confident that I will complete my education under the guidance of able teachers and caring management so that I will reach greater heights in this field”.

Miss Rishal D’souza is seen with Dad Robert D’Souza and Mom Ms Lona D’Souza

Team Mangalorean wishes the 172 nursing students the best of everything and instils confidence that they will turn out to be the best in their nursing careers always.

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