We can all agree that nurses are quite amazing people, but what exactly do nurses do? The better question is what don’t nurses do? They protect people from illness and disability, rescue patients from social isolation and the stigma of their disease, and also help educate family members. They are remarkable individuals who are educated on medications, wounds and dressing changes, injections and various other medical procedures required to take care of those who need assistance with recovery.
But what else makes a nurse great besides being someone who can give a patient relief from the physical symptoms of their injury or illness? A great nurse also possesses the soft skills of interpersonal communication, getting to know their patients and forming personal relationships. They are able to make someone feel safe and comfortable when there is uncertainty. They also face patient health care challenges head on with an end goal of ensuring the individual receives the proper care and education to help them get back to their normal routine in everyday life.
Nurses want to make a difference in the lives of others. They want to care for and nurture those who are unable to care for themselves. This is especially true in long-term care settings.
Long-term care nurses must be flexible and adaptable. Patient acuity has increased across skilled nursing centers and the patient of 20 years ago is not who they are caring for today. Their patients now are more complex and require a higher level of medical and psychosocial care. The demands and the stakes are high for the nurses who care for our patients and residents in these post-acute and long-term care settings.
Deep down nursing is a calling, a vocation not just a career. It’s not for the faint of heart and they don’t do it for the glamorous lifestyle. Nurses consider it an honor to care for others in their most vulnerable state and during their time of need. Has a nurse ever cared for you or a loved one? If so, did you feel a deep sense of gratitude for their expertise and caring heart?
This week is National Nurses Week. It’s a week designed to promote and celebrate the nursing profession. It is designated by the American Nurses Association and begins on May 6 and ends May 12, Florence Nightingale’s birthday. As the week comes to a close please take a moment to thank a nurse, not just this week, but every opportunity you get.