Nurses Week is May 6th through the 12th. So now seems like the appropriate time to offer a special thank you to nurses both nationally and across the globe. Most of us have, at some point, been the grateful recipient of the calm, steady comfort of a nurse. Maybe you had a competent, encouraging nurse during a difficult childbirth. Or a nurse spent extra time reassuring you through a terrifying health crisis.
Nursing is the most trusted profession in the United States and has held that distinction for the past 19 years. Here’s why we’re recognizing to nurses during this special week.
Nurses put their lives at risk for us
Nurses are soldiers on the front lines. Nurses have gone to war every single day of this pandemic to protect the public from an enemy they can’t even see. We’re sure that few nurses entered nursing school thinking they’d someday fight like soldiers. When everyone else was afraid to leave their homes, nurses got up and entered into battle. Some nurses became ill, and some died. Many endured bruised faces from tight-fitting masks. Yet nurses continued to show up to work, every day, like battle-hardened soldiers.
Nurses stay calm during a crisis
Nurses train to stay calm during a medical crisis. Their ability to react quickly to help save a life while providing comfort to the patient is a true superpower. Nurses are not afraid to hold your hand and show empathy. They offer a soothing presence, helping you stay calm during stressful situations or procedures.
Nurses are non-judgmental
Nurses don’t care who you are or what mistakes you’ve made in your life. They don’t care why you ended up in their emergency room or in their unit. Nurses provide the same care and empathy for everyone no matter what your station in life might be. Nurses don’t label their patients. They show up for everyone.
Nurses are advocates
Nurses are the eyes and ears of the medical team. They spend time with their patients and get to know them well. The nurse may notice a patient is in pain and advocate for a different medication. Or the nurse may be aware that the patient wants to stop chemo but is afraid to talk to the provider. The nurse will, with permission from the patient, advocate for the patient’s wishes. As an advocate, the nurse becomes the voice for a patient who may be afraid to speak up.
Nurses provide empathy
Empathy is the awareness of the feelings of others. While sympathy responds with “I’m so sorry,” empathy responds with “I’m imagining what you’re feeling.” Kindness is displaying thoughtfulness, compassion, and gentleness. Nurses are thoughtful and take time to really listen and try to put themselves in your shoes. Nurses can be entrusted with a patient’s innermost thoughts. Even if a nurse cannot solve your problem, just knowing you’ve been heard and understood can be enough.
Thank you to every nurse on the planet. You are our heroes.
Photo credit: Canva