Banani was a young girl when she watched her sister-in-law, a nurse, attend to her ward. Banani admired how well-dressed and disciplined she was in her work. “I knew I wanted to be a nurse then,” Banani nodded.
Years later Banani is confident and at home in her white nursing uniform. Her name means “peace,” and peace is what she exudes around patients and peers. “I always feel comfortable around Banani,” says Suvra, a nurse and one of Banani’s former classmates at the School of Nursing.
Banani is well suited for her placement in the hospital’s Intensive Therapy Unit. She can stay focused amid some of the most extreme patient cases. “We see difficult things in this ward,” she explains, “but I could not imagine being placed anywhere else.”
Banani wishes to further her education at the new College of Nursing. She would be the first in her family to receive a bachelor’s degree in nursing, but she is not the first to work in the healthcare industry. Banani’s grandfather was a hospital manager in the Bankuru district of West Bengal, at a time when there was no electricity, no ambulances, and no free healthcare. “He would be proud of me. Very proud,” Banani told us in memory of her grandfather. Prouder still is her mother, who in her younger days would not have had the opportunity to secure a respectable, well-paying job. The School of Nursing has helped to fight gender bias in India by preparing women, like Banani, for careers in healthcare.
“We have 41 patients, Banani. Please hurry,” a nurse beckons from an adjoining hospital room. Banani does not think twice. She bounds to her feet to attend to the patients on her floor. No doubt, she delivers more than just medical attention to the sick and injured—she brings peace as well.