Happy Nurses Week!
As we celebrate another Nurses Week this year, we take deep pride in the fact that for 18 consecutive years, nurses have ranked as the most trusted professionals in America. From what I have had the privilege of witnessing, this is especially true of the nurses here in the Memorial Healthcare System. Ethics and honesty drive the wonderful care that is provided to our patients and families, and the results have simply been superb. This year was extra special as we celebrated the honor of receiving the highest award for quality bestowed by the Florida Hospital Association for the exemplary MHS Nursing Strategic Plan, which has been put into operation so effectively that the nursing sensitive outcomes produced as a result are second to none. Our team rocks. Our patients benefit.
The theme of this year’s Nurses Week: “Nurses: A Voice to Lead – Nursing the World to Health” is more appropriate than ever. It will be a memorable year. Nurses are literally impacting millions of lives across the world as the COVID-19 virus wreaks its havoc. At the center of care for those seriously affected are the nursing professionals who must maintain a prolonged physical and emotional closeness with their patients at a time the world at large must practice social distancing. While most current conversations are filled with references to having no guide, playbook, or roadmap to address the crisis, nurses have quickly adapted their scientific knowledge and their art of compassion in different ways to meet the needs of those entrusted to their care. They are creating the guide and writing history that will beneficially impact nursing care in the future.
And yet, even with all the hardship thrust upon them, these unprecedented times have not stopped our nurses from quickly adjusting or reshaping the basic tenets of their practice known to produce healing and reduce unnecessary suffering. We see evidence of nurses’ adaptability and perseverance everywhere we turn. In the ICUs for example, nurses now carefully thread the high touch, high tech equipment through a patient’s door to reduce the risk of viral spread. Nurses are also deploying and troubleshooting technological innovations to counter and work around the patient visitation restrictions, to continue facilitating much-needed family and social connections. They celebrate their patients’ milestone achievements in full personal protective gear with as much enthusiasm as they did in easier times.
Just as importantly, nurses also extend care to each other by weaving humor into their workflow in order to lift each other’s spirits and keep everyone in flight. They volunteer to step out of their comfort zones to help their sisters and brothers in hospitals across the healthcare system. There is simply no challenge too large for Memorial Nurses to overcome.
This year we will collect special memories, on which we will surely reflect for many years in the future. We are blessed with the best nurses, the best epidemiologists, and the best resources to be able to see the blue sky ahead through the clouds of our current situation. I am forever grateful to have the privilege of being a nurse on your team, the Memorial Team, and for the opportunity to witness your selfless dedication to our patients, our families, and to each other.
Happy Nurses Week 2020!
With Pride, Hope, and Gratitude,