K. J. Somaiya College & School of Nursing, Lamp Lighting & Graduation Ceremony Address


A warm welcome to Dr. Sonavane, other distinguished guests on the dais, distinguished guests off the dais, Faculties, Graduating students, and the Incoming students,  
Congratulations to all the graduating students who have successfully completed their nursing programme at K J Somaiya college of Nursing and who are now going to join a professional field. All of you have got the same training and now you are prepared to go to the outside world and perform there. My best wishes to all of you for excelling in your field. Of course, how much you can excel will depend upon how much you perform, how much effort you put there, what dedication you have and what kind of higher level achievement you will keep on getting that will decide your profile of life. This college has given you the platform. Even though you have got the platform, you must keep on building so that you can achieve the higher heights later on in life. 
Let me also welcome the new students who have entered the college of nursing, and I am sure they will have a great time here in the years to come. My best wishes to them also for making a good programme which is ahead for them. On this dais when I was entering, I saw there are many boys who are joining into the Nursing Programme. It is very heartening to see boys entering in nursing programme. Normally when it comes to nursing it is always assumed that it is going to be a female who is going to be a nurse. When we investigate the statistics only 10% are male nurses and 90% are female nurses all over the world. 
You must have seen my introduction, I am not from the medical field and I am not really authorized to speak on the medical field, but I am here to talk to you about something that is happening today and that is, the technological dominance in our life. Now all of you know that our life is getting more and more dominated by technology. If you look at how much time you spend outside the technology and on technology, you may see that far more time you spend on technology than outside the technology. Even the people who are sitting there I am sure half of them must be watching WhatsApp or sending messages to somebody. Many of them are not listening what is happening here and talking to somebody else. So, technology is something which impacts the society in a tremendous way and that is what has happened over the years. Health domain of the society is significantly affected by the development of technology. To take a simple example, we are now talking about artificial intelligence involved in medical sciences. People are talking about surgeries getting done by Robots. They are getting remotely done by the doctors. If the doctor is not physically present there the Robots are there, the doctors can guide from somewhere and the Robots can perform the operation. There is also something called tele-medicine. With the help of artificial intelligence, you can get a prescription. You can tell the symptoms over the phone and be assured that there is no human being sitting on the other side of the Phone. There is a machine sitting and listening to your symptoms over the phone and the machine will tell you what medicine should be taken. There is no doctor there. That’s what is happening. It’s not a fiction. It’s happening in real life. So when the technology is dominant and is impacting you all so much, then the biggest challenge in today’s society is, how to preserve humanity? This is a big challenge for everyone and in that context, nursing is probably a profession which comes to the core of protecting humanity. I am saying this because when you go to a hospital the first person of contact which you see in not a doctor, you see a nurse. The last person whom you see while you leave the hospital is not a doctor it’s a nurse and in between also you see that a nurse spends more time with you than the doctor. So, when you are looking at the interaction of this profession with a human as a whole in terms of numbers, there are three times the number of nurses in medical professions than the doctors. There is lot more impact which this profession is going to make as far as the humanity is concerned compared to the medical sciences. 
Having said that, if you are going to work towards the humanity and the nursing is one of the solid pillars of work towards the humanity, what are the things which you all have to look for especially the new comers, when you become a nurse?  What people will expect from you? What traits you should be having? These are the questions which you will be having in your mind.  There are somethings which a good nurse should always have. 
First one is the ‘communication skill’. You are going to talk to a person who is absolutely with no medical knowledge, and you are going to talk to people who are coming from different educational strata. Somebody may understand and somebody may not understand you if they come from a village. You have to communicate with this person in a language which he / she understands. Communication not only means what you talk to the person. It is also your expression. Non-verbal communication which you do with a patient is far more important. Verbal and Non-Verbal Communication is one of the important aspects in Nursing. 
Second thing which you require is ‘Patience’. The person who comes to you is already distressed. He is not very happy to come to you. Now you should have the patience to listen to him. He will take his own time to tell. You cannot be in a hurry. So, you have to keep patience. A patient may keep repeating the things again and again which he wants to tell you, so keeping patience is the another most important aspect in this profession. 
Third one is ‘empathy and compassion’. A machine can do operation, but can it have compassion? Machines cannot have compassion. So, when you need compassion, you require a human being. The patient should get a confidence that you are concerned about his/her health, and you are going to help him/her recover at the earliest. 
Fourth you require ‘critical thinking and problem solving’. You will see that in your profession no day is repeated ever. Today you may have some emergency, but tomorrow you may not have the same situation. Sometimes you must take the decision on the spot wherein you don’t have time to go through the internet, you don’t have time to refer the books, or you may not be able to consult a doctor. You have to take the decision right then and there because it’s a question of life and death of a person. So, there you have to do a quick analysis and take decision. You also have to pay huge amount of attention to the details. There may be large number of instructions that are given to you by the Doctor but when you administer the instruction you would require the minutest details on how the instruction is to be administered. A small mistake can can create a disability, can cost a life. 
Finally, you will require ‘integrity’ and ‘willingness to learn’ because the medical profession for that matter is changing overtime. So, whatever you have learned here may be adequate for the whole professional life. Don’t be under the impression that getting a degree is the end of your learning. This in fact is the beginning of your learning and as new things keep on coming in the field you must keep updating yourself and as you keep on updating yourself you must learn more things. Self-learning process is something which must be an integral part of the professional career. If you don’t update yourself, you will become obsolete in a very short span of time. If you don’t want to become obsolete you have to keep learning new things which come in health sciences. Importance of hard work and commitment can never be overemphasized.
Nurses not only provide the physical care but mental support to the patient and his/her relatives as well. Their services are not merely confined to the hospitals. They provide personal care to the patients at individual homes and old age homes. 
While the nurses are dedicated to their services towards the humanity, one cannot forget that even they are humans and are vulnerable like any other humans. During patients’ treatment they may develop emotional attachment. They have to go through the trauma of the patient’s suffering. This human angle of nurses was very nicely presented in the film ‘Khamoshi’. The Nurses also may get exposed to infections while treating a patient. It is highly admirable that knowing very well these professional hazards, they serve the humanity with utmost pleasure. We admire their dedication and salute them for their self-less service.  
I wish very best to the graduating students for their future professional and personal life. I also welcome the new entrants and wish them a success in their academic program. 
Thank you.


Dr Raghunath K. Shevgaonkar is a scientist and academician who provided dynamic leadership in Engineering Education in India for more than four decades. An alumnus of, MITS Gwalior, IIT Kanpur, Indian Institute of Astrophysics/Raman Research Institute Bangalore, and IIT Bombay, his research spans over a wide range of areas like, Radio Astronomy, Fibre Optic Communication, Electromagnetic’s, and Antennas.

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