Nurses make a difference

Published 12:29 pm Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Did you know that Nurses have been ranked as the most trusted profession by Gallup Poll for the last twenty years running? That’s a long and well-earned run.

 

Speaking of long runs, I’ll celebrate 30 years as a registered nurse this year. As a kid, I always wanted to take care of other people. I was the one on the playground putting band-aids on my friends, helping the one who was sick, and holding the hand of the child at naptime that was scared. In high school, I became a nursing assistant to “test the waters,” making sure this was what I wanted to do with my life. I wanted to know “what does a nurse do” before I agreed to become one. Once I was in, that hooked me. Having a job that allowed me to take care of others seemed to be a dream come true, and though the journey has never been easy, I’ve never regretted becoming a nurse

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National Nurses Week runs from May 6 through May 12. For this year’s national celebration, the American Nurses Association has chosen the fitting theme, “Nurses Make a Difference.” 

 

National Nurse Day was first proposed to President Eisenhower in 1953, but the grassroots effort never achieved a congressional declared recognition. Finally, in the 70s, the International Council of Nurses proclaimed May 12, the birthday of Florence Nightingale, to be International Nurse Day. President Nixon then issued a proclamation that would create National Nurse Week.

 

Nurses are often the first point of contact for most patients. They assist with life-threatening conditions, bring babies into this world, and care for the elderly in their final moments. Yet, through it all, nurses work in some of the most rewarding and heartbreaking moments in people’s lives. 

 

As bedside caregivers’ nurses administer medications and use extensive clinical training and professional judgment to perform tasks with high technical precision, and during anxious and stressful moments, the nurse often comforts the patient and family. They prepare you for surgery and find placement for your loved ones in skilled nursing facilities. They’re technically savvy, utilizing electronic medical records and orders to document everything that has occurred with the patient’s health. In addition, nurses work on process improvement to enhance care delivery. And it is frequently the nurse who is the central point of communication for doctors, therapists, administrators, and more.

 

Advanced practice nurses administer anesthesia, are family practice providers, and are the midwife that delivers babies. And it is a highly trained oncology nurse that safely infuses lifesaving chemotherapy to cancer patients. There are so many ways that nurses make a difference.

 

I’m proud to be part of a fantastic profession that makes a difference in many lives. As we enter Nurses Week, take a moment to write notes of thanks to nurses that made a difference in your life. Let them know that you appreciate what they do and who they are. if you would like to send a note to nurses at St Luke’s for National Nurses Week, you can email those notes to me directly, mail them to St Luke’s, or drop them off at the front desk of the hospital and our clinics. 

 

The best celebration for a nurse is to hear that they have impacted a patient’s life. And we would love for you to be a part of the celebration. 

 

If you have a healthcare topic of interest or a question, send me a note at Michelle.Fortune@slhnc.org.