International Nurses Day Series: Meet Menuka Rai

Nurses are the heart of healthcare. They recognise the connection between social conditions and individual health. They know that to provide the best quality care, they need to look at the bigger picture. And they provide empathy and compassion when people are at their most vulnerable.On this International Nurses Day, we introduce you to some of the nurses we have the privilege of working with across the world. Read their stories and find out the many ways they are touching the lives and hearts of people in need.

Meet Menuka Rai

Menuka is a nurse in Nepal who has been working with Adara for 9 years as our Nepal Health Programme Manager. She was one of the heroes of Adara’s earthquake response work, coordinating complex medical camps and providing care to thousands of people who were injured in the earthquake. Find out what led Menuka to become a nurse.

I wanted to be a nurse because I like serving people, helping them out and making differences in their lives. I also enjoy knowing about various diseases. It’s fun to study, and to hand in hand help families with the knowledge I gained. I have been working at Adara in Nepal since November 2008.

In Nepal, a nurse’s profession has always been very challenging. We have long, physically straining working hours, with hazardous materials and limited pay. Due to extremely uneven land features and improper construction of roads in hilly regions like Humla, Nuwakot, it is always challenging and risky to visit those areas. There is also an unavailability of safety hospital equipment, meaning we can be exposed to highly contagious people with HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis.

Working as the Health Programme Manager with Adara is always a learning stage for me. When I go out of the Kathmandu valley, especially to remote areas (Humla and Nuwakot), reaching out to help people in these communities makes me proud. I feel privileged to know people from different walks of life and to help them. Seeing a smile on their face after receiving different kinds of help like financial, medical, or personal support is really a moment of divine satisfaction.

Without a doubt, a nurse is a voice to lead in achieving the sustainable development goals. Nurses are people who cut off their personal space and time to take care of patients. They serve victims and patients 24 hours, giving up their sleep.

Nurses not only help with medications, but they can also provide emotional support. They can persuade people to follow healthy habits. They can associate with people of all ages. Nursing has also become one of the most honoured and trusted profession in the world. The reasons are simple. Nursing is a profession steeped in rich values based on the work of Florence Nightingale, which has not degraded over the time due to the character of the individuals that commit to the calling.

Nursing, in my opinion is a higher spiritual calling than merely a profession. Being a nurse has taught me to become more compassionate and more empathetic. Nursing is a selfless job. Nurses play an integral role in the healthcare industry, providing care to patients and filling leadership roles at hospitals, health systems and other organizations.

So to me, being a nurse is a pleasure and I am proud for being a nurse.

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