Dr. Manju Dhandapani specializes in neuroscience nursing and possesses extensive experience in critical care nursing, clinical research and education. She has made significant and lasting contributions to both neuroscience nursing research and practice in India, and has been instrumental in conducting in-service education, initiating a nurse-led neurosurgery clinic, and developing a number of specialized roles for neuro nurses, such as neurosurgery nurse counsellor and stroke nurse. Dr. Dhandapani was also integral to the establishment of a stroke survivor and caregiver support group at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education & Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, the first of its kind in India. She has been the recipient of awards such as the Society of Indian Neuroscience Nurses “Best Neuro Nurse Award”, PGIMER’s “Best Publication Award”, and has regularly received the title of “Best Paper” during academic conferences. She also received grants from the University Grants Commission, Central Florida College US and the Neurotrauma Society of India, and has published nearly 60 articles in national and international indexed and peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Dhandapani is a Review Board Member of both the Nursing Journal of India and Indian Journal of Critical Care Medicine, in addition to being a Board of Study member for the nurse practitioner course.
She is a member of the Trained Nurses’ Association of India Chandigarh branch’s Executive Committee and has initiated various activities for the further development of nursing in India. During the COVID-19 crisis, Dr. Dhandapani led her institution in the training and supervision of the use of PPE by medical professionals.
Her work led to the improvement of donning-doffing practices with an innovative audiovisual approach, as well as further training on COVID-19 and intensive care procedures for all healthcare providers operating involved in COVID-19 care. Over the course of the pandemic, Dr. Dhandapani developed nursing care guidelines for critically ill COVID-19 patients, conducted further research in areas such as healthcare providers’ mental wellbeing, prepared a training module on COVID-19, and participated in a number of webinars to communicate her findings and facilitate dialogue on health and wellness.