Breaking stereotypes: A male nurse in the city
Shaishab Roy, a 26-year-old, is among hundreds of youths in Dhaka struggling to gain a footing in society. His career choice was a bold and unusual decision, as being a male nurse in Dhaka is not exactly a fancy career choice.
After completing his Higher Secondary Certificate examination, he wanted to get into the job market without wasting years on a four-year degree and then looking at a bleak future of poorly paid private or corporate low-tier jobs. He decided to get a professional degree instead, sort of a specialised vocation that would help him get into the job market almost immediately.
Roy, a pragmatic youth, opted to get a degree in nursing. Moreover, his cousin's nursing career which started at a government hospital with a healthy salary became his inspiration.
"I love my job as an emergency unit nurse. I have to tackle road accident victims to cardiac arrest patients. Emergencies are critical wards where our primary step is to save life, stabilise the patients, and advise/refer to specialised units," he says.
Roy comes from a family of seven members where his father was the sole income earner, doing seasonal jobs in the fish business and farming. Roy saw tragedy up close and suffered financial constraints.
After getting his three-year professional diploma in Nursing Science and Midwifery from MARKS Medical College (MRMC) in Mirpur, he joined work to get his two-year working experience before he could sit for his Bachelor of Science in Post Basic Nursing.
The BSc in Post Basic Nursing course consists of two years and is designed for registered nurses who completed the Diploma in Nursing Science and Midwifery course. There is also the choice of studying BSc in Nursing (four years) and a master's of science in nursing (two years) after completing their HSC.
"I am an RN or registered nurse of Bangladesh Nursing Council, a government body. The BSc degree will give me another certificate that will add to my resume and open doors for a better option like getting government nursing jobs," he states.
"My dream is to ensure a permanent position in a government health institute. I also plan to apply for overseas nursing jobs for the mere experience and financial boost that I will get," Roy adds.
Currently, Roy feels he is financially stable in the sense that he can send money to his parents living in the village and pay instalments of his student loan. "Life in Dhaka is tough even for a bachelor with a job. Right now, I am not solvent enough to start a saving scheme for the future," he explains his financial situation.
His future plan is to advance his career by getting all the necessary degrees and certificates, to avail government nursing jobs and to travel abroad and gather better nursing experiences. But most importantly he wants to be able to start a saving scheme.
Nursing has never been a desired career prospect in our country. It was, in fact, looked down upon and almost neglected, in spite of its reputed global status. However, individuals like Shaishab Roy are about to change the social outlook towards the profession.