March towards Excellence in Nursing Education and Service

Choithram Hospital and Research Center is situated on the outskirts of Indore city, about 300 meters above sea level on National highway number 3 ( Agra- Bombay road). Surrounded with lush green gardens, stands the magnificent expanse of this multi – specialty health and educational institute. Run by the Choithram Charitable Trust, spread over an area of 22 acres, the hospital started functioning on 16th July, 1979. Initially it stared with around 100 in-patients and within a few years its capacity reached up to 350 beds. Despite all the technological excellence, Choithram is more than just beds, buildings and the equipments. It is a hospital with a life of its own, where a caring attitude and small gestures of kindness play an important role in the care of its patients. This philosophy of ‘the healing touch’ is reflected in the mono of the hospital.

Choithram, from the very beginning had a standard of its own in all its activities. The equipment, work culture, and the vision, all pointed towards the mission of giving the people of Central India in General & that of Indore in particular, ‘the state of art technology’ and ‘committed health care services.’

When the hospital started, nurses from different parts of India were recruited. Although, in the beginning an in-service program was conducted for the nurses, still their style of functioning was more of technical nature rather than of a professional caliber. A need was felt to improve the professional attitude toward patient care.

Development of the professional attitude occurs during the training period, while the young aspirants of nursing start understanding as to ‘what nursing is and what it is not’ (as was told by Ms. Florence Nightingale in her writings). Therefore, it was felt necessary to train our own nurses and equip them with desirable attitude, knowledge & skills in order to deliver quality care with compassionate hearts. Before the school of nursing with 3 ½ years diploma in G.N.M. was initiated in Jan. 1982, a self designed ‘multipurpose hospital workers’ training of one year duration was started in 1980. Mrs. Bensen, who had worked as a tutor earlier in the public sector, was given the responsibility of training these workers. Later this training proved very useful because these workers were posted in departments and wards to assist ward- in charges in maintaining equipment and supplies and assisting in house keeping of the wards so that in charges could devote more time for planning, directing and supervising nursing care.

Mrs. Shanta Nair, the first nursing superintendent of Choithram Hospital, and Dr. N.B. Idnani, the medical director, were instrumental in completing the formalities and getting the inspection done by state nursing council for starting the GNM course. Mrs. Shubh Raizada, the registrar Maha Kaushal Nurses Registration Council, Bhopal (State Nursing Council), conducted the inspection some time in the last weeks of October 1981 and we received the permission to start the GNM course of 3 ½ years duration.

The first batch of 20 students was enrolled after being interviewed by Dr. MCR Rao, Mrs. Usha Ukande and Ms. Jyoti Samuel, the principal. Their classes started on 1st Jan. 1982 in the premises of Choithram Montessori School because the building for the School of Nursing was under construction.

Ms. Jyoti Samuel, the first principal had done her M.Sc(N) from SNDT Mumbai in the specialty of Medical and Surgical Nursing. She worked for 3 years till 1985 when first batch completed their training. The principal was assisted by Mrs.Usha Ukande, Joint Nursing Superintendent, other tutors and doctors from the hospital. From the very first batch Ms. Susamma, stood first in the state final examination. Choithram nursing school made its first impression, which was repeated in the years that followed. Our students had made their mark in the nursing education as well as in nursing practice. They had been in great demand in reputed hospitals of India and abroad. The aim of imparting the best education to our students had become now a matter of ‘keeping up our prestige and promise of giving the world the best nurses’. This promise is intact till today when we have upgraded our Nursing School to post graduate level with B.Sc. and M.Sc. Nursing. There had not been any giant leaps but a steady progress over the years has brought nursing education in Choithram to the present status.