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Tamil Nadu’s nurse receives prestigious Nightingale Award of England

Daniel Vijayaraj who hails from Tamil Nadu's Keeladi village recently received the prestigious Nightingale Award of England for his services as a nurse (Pic. Courtesy Twitter/@SouthTees)

Bringing laurels to the country and his profession, Daniel Vijayaraj became the first nurse from India to bag the prestigious Nightingale Award constituted by the National Health Service (NHS) Foundation Trust in England.

Hailing from Keeladi village which is close to Keezhadi town in Tamil Nadu’s Sivagangai district, Vijayaraj's work has been appreciated by the Chief Minister MK Stalin. He was felicitated recently at a function in Madurai which was organised by St Mary’s Higher Secondary School and the American College. At the event he said: "Receiving the Nightingale Award was humbling. This only increases my responsibility. The honour is not mine, but all male nurses working across the world."

The 50-year-old nurse joined England’s South Tees Hospital Middlesbrough in 2001 and now following 21 years of experience, he has achieved specialisation in dialysis and cardioversion and today guides nursing students.

As a Class IV student when Vijayaraj's mother underwent a surgery to remove her uterus, he stayed with her at the hospital ward and what he saw changed the course of his life. Talking to New Indian Express, he recalled: "I was born in a middle class family in a village. When my mother went through that surgery, the nurses at the Christian Mission Hospital took care of her as if she was their own daughter. They taught me how to clean wounds, and instructed me on giving medicines to my mother. The humane vibes they instilled in me have brought me this far.”

Talking about the duties of nurses in England he said: "The role is more dignified. Even if a doctor discharges a patient, we have the authority to keep the patient at the hospital for more days. The doctors in England are not allowed to rebuke patients.”

He added that in England one nurse has to take care of eight patients, in India 25 patients are assigned to a single nurse.