Nurses Are Healthcare’s Angels
May 2, 2014
If you have ever been a patient in a hospital, you know that the nurse who comes into your room is the hope you have of being pulled from the depths of illness. And, if you have ever taken care of a sick child, spouse, friend, or parent — you know that the tasks involved in caring for them are exhaustive in complexity and endless in need.
Nursing has long struggled for parity with medicine if only because of the historical chronology of scholarship and the profession being, at the start, 100% women. Florence Nightingale aimed to bring professionalism to the many tasks that made up caring for the ill.
She was clear in saying that the nurse was the one who would save a patient after the surgeon prevented them from dying. “The surgeon may save the patient’s life, but it is the nurse who helps them to live.”
Historically, nursing trailed the progression of women’s rights and fight for equality. In many ways, it still does. Not to those who know a nurse or know what nursing is. But, rather, to those who wonder why a son or daughter would not “go on” to become a doctor if they decide to go into nursing.
My own experience with nursing as profession and nurses as committed and skilled clinicians continually humbles me. It makes me realize that I have not the patience, or the constitution to deal with severely ill and those who do are, indeed, angels.
National Nurses Week starts May 9. But every day should be National Nurses Day. Because every single day, every hour of every single day, nurses are saving the lives of patients in hospitals all over the world.
There is no automating the care a nurse provides. Nor is there a way to replace the hope and skill they combine to comfort the suffering patient and those who love them.
To the many nurses we work with, who are living in our communities and caring for our loved ones, I say thank you. Thank you in so many ways. You are doing sacred work.
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