Starting today, people all over the nation have 4+ million reasons to be grateful. May 6-12 is National Nurses Week. According to the American Nurses Association, there are more than 4 million registered nurses working in our nation’s healthcare facilities. We should be thankful for all that nurses do and have done for us, particularly during the past 14 months.
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected our personal lives in ways we’ve never imagined before. Everyday services, gatherings, and social interactions we took for granted came to a halt. Loved ones had to separate to protect each other and learn new ways to stay in touch. Uncertainty and the threat of infection filled our days. However, nurses continued to do what they do best and take care of us all.
Legacy of care
Each year, Nurses Week coincides with Florence Nightingale’s birthday on May 12. Considered the mother of professional nursing, Nightingale’s pioneering work occurred during a time when infectious disease outbreaks, such as cholera and smallpox, were common. To care for her patients, she worked hard to improve hygiene practices in hospitals, used data to create healthcare solutions, and focused on addressing the physical and mental well-being of her patients. In the wake of a pandemic more than 200 years later, nurses continue to follow the path laid by Nightingale’s efforts.
Nurses Week is a time to reflect on the everyday courage and compassion of nurses. Through sheer numbers and wide-ranging roles, nurses have always had a unique perspective on prevention, wellness and delivery of healthcare services. Nurses are everywhere we live, work, play, learn, and worship and in every health care setting providing care to millions of people. Nurses are closest to patients, from birth to the end of life. Through heartbreaking losses and times of joy, they are at our sides.
Nursing home heroes
Nurses who work in the long-term care setting are especially important. As millions of American Baby Boomers become seniors, the need for long-term healthcare options for either themselves or their parents increases. Long-term care nurses have the bulk of the responsibility for ensuring that these future residents have professional, dignified and compassionate care. Long-term care nurses help their residents function at their optimum level of independence while ensuring their needs are met. At Westside Terrace Healthcare, we are grateful for the dedicated nursing professionals on our team. They are vital to the everyday functioning of our facility and the well-being of our residents. Their commitment to their profession is greatly appreciated and they deserve to be celebrated during this special time. Please join us in showing our deepest gratitude for the women and men on our team and across the nation who work as nurses. We hope you have a great National Nurses Week!