Nurses have been told they should not only be presentable, but they must also be receptive to customers.
The Minister for Health and Medical Services Rosy Akbar said they were front liners in any health facility.
Ms Akbar made these remarks during the Nursing Intern Induction programme at Studio 6 Apartments in Waimanu Road in Suva yesterday.
244 intern nurses are taking advantage of the four-day internship programme, before they are assigned to a one-year internship at their respective health centres and hospitals.
The new interns were encouraged by Ms Akbar to be motivated and ensure that they carried out their duties as nurses.
The induction and internship programme with the Health Ministry began two years ago to ensure that professional codes, standards of practices, codes of conduct and customer services are learned and followed.
Ms Akbar told interns that customers were concerned about how nurses spoke to patients in very rude manner, using harsh tones and were sometimes very authoritative.
“Some nurses fail to take the time to provide proper information to patients or customers,” she said.
“Yours is a noble profession, yours is a self-sacrificing profession. You are awake when most of us are asleep, you treat the most difficult to the most simple of situations.
“At times, the lives of people are in your hands. To take on a profession as such, you would all have to be courageous, strong, hardworking but most of all, be caring individuals.
“You have the skills and the mindset to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people,” Ms Akbar said.
She said either way they all hadrisen to the occasion and with every success or even failure they should remember why they decided to become a nurse in the first place.
“I hope that after your long clinical days, you are able to go home with a smile because you made someone feel better, or held someone’s hand while they cried.
“Be excited about being a nurse, be even more excited about where you go next,” Ms Akbar said.