NY Times: Making It Better

The Sunday New York Times (October 18, 2009) includes a feature article, “Making It Better,” about the complex world and work of school nurses, focusing on Nasim Akhtar (born and educated in Pakistan). The article concludes:

Nurse Akhtar says she is unfazed [by the complex demands on her in a public school]. Sitting in her living room, sifting through photos from her days in nursing school in Pakistan, she recalled a night of bombings, in the late 1980s, when the hospital in Lahore was flooded with bits and pieces of human beings: faces without jaws, torsos with no arms, legs without owners. Everyone sprang to action, she said. There was no time to panic.

“If someone cannot devote themselves in nursing,” she said, “they should not be in nursing.”

She headed for the closet to retrieve a navy blue uniform, a relic from her first days as a school nurse that she keeps with pride. It was pristine: creased in all the right places, gold buttons still gleaming.

“We have a special power,” she said. “We can handle all of this.”

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