Nurses - The Unsung Heroes

Nurses should never minimize the role they play in the lives of their patients. Nurses are the ones who are at the bedside after all the other providers have left. They are the glue that holds the healthcare system together. They are the unsung heroes.

Once again it is National Nurses Day and the start of National Nurses Week, which always begins on May 6 and goes through May 12, the birthday of Florence Nightingale. This is the week set aside to recognize the contributions and commitments nurses make, a time to educate the public about the significant work they do, and a time for showing appreciation to all the nurses.

There are many types of activities planned throughout this week which include banquets, recognition dinners, and lunches. Nurses are honored with gifts, receptions, cards, and flowers by friends and family members, and even co-workers. Some hospitals stagger activities throughout the day and night so that all shifts can participate in the celebration.

While it is nice to be recognized during Nurses Week, some of the most memorable gifts of appreciation come from patients......not just during Nurses Week, but throughout the year. Sometimes these expressions of gratitude come at unexpected but opportune times. They come after long working hours, when nurses are tired and wondering if they are in the right profession........when some are questioning themselves whether they are making any difference.

Nurses work long and hard hours in many different settings, during many different shifts. Their job is not an easy one. Many nursing jobs involve physical demands. While the physical side of the job is tiring, the mental aspect is so much more draining. Many times, it is after a crisis that we realize the impact we have had......either in saving a life or helping someone slip into a peaceful death.

Nurses must possess many qualities. They must have compassion and endurance to meet the needs of the patient, whether it be in the middle of the night or at shift change. Nurses must have patience and courage as they talk with physicians. Above all else, nurses must always advocate for the patient, using their knowledge, skills, and professionalism to insure the quality of care the patient needs and deserves from the healthcare system.

Nurses should never minimize the role they play in the lives of their patients. Nurses are the ones who are at the bedside after all the other providers have left. They are the glue that holds the healthcare system together. They are the unsung heroes.

Steve Lopez, a contributor to the L. A. Times wrote a story about his close encounter with death. He went into cardiac arrest following a knee-replacement surgery. He credits the actions of a quick-acting and alert nurse who saved his life and opened his eyes to the compassion and dedication of his medical team.

He thanked the doctors, but wanted to say something special about the nurses who knew just what to do when he arrested and sprung into action.

“Nurses quietly go about their work in a noble profession, uncelebrated soldiers toiling through the days and nights in service to the sick, the injured and the dying.” Steve Lopez, LA Times


I have a box in my office where I keep notes and cards I have received from patients or family members. They certainly brightened my day when I received them, and they serve as a reminder to me that yes.......what I do does make a difference.

To all you wonderful nurses, I would like to say thank you for your dedication to the profession and your ability to make a difference in a person's life, not only during Nurse Week, but every day of the year! Happy Nurses Week!


What are some of the memorable expressions of gratitude you have received that made your day?

References:
Lopez, Steve. A Note of Gratitude to Nurses, Los Angeles Times, Sept. 1, 2012
 
Nurses should never minimize the role they play in the lives of their patients. Nurses are the ones who are at the bedside after all the other providers have left. They are the glue that holds the healthcare system together. They are the unsung heroes.

SOURCE: http://allnurses.com/nurses-rock/nurses-unsung-heroes-831519.html