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National Nurses week begins on May 6, the birthday of
Florence Nightingale, the “founder of modern nursing”, and continues through
May 12. The American Nursing Association
can give you more information on the history of Nurses Week. And here’s a
fact sheet on stats of licensed nurses in the United States and one on nurseaides/orderlies/attendants (in my opinion the unsung heroes of nursing).

Here’s the real message for the week:

No one, yup, no one in the US has not been impacted by the
work of a nurse.

Our job is to protect,
promote, and optimize health, prevent illness and injury, alleviate suffering,
care for the sick, disabled and dying.  We are bedside nurses, researchers, primary and
specialty care providers, educators, clinic workers, care coordinators, discharge
planners, managers, administrators, anesthetists, midwives, and more.  We make sure you have the right
medicines, keep you clean and safe, change your diapers, dress your wounds,
clean up your vomit, put in IV lines, nasal, gastric, urinary, and rectal
tubes. We work with high tech
equipment and perform life saving measures on a daily basis. We hold your hand
when you need comfort, sit with you in the night when you are scared, speak up
for you when you cannot.  Your
lives and the quality of your lives are in our hands.

We work in clinics, hospitals, urgent care, emergency
departments, long-term care and assisted living facilities, private homes, urban
and rural communities, schools, psychiatric facilities, camps, military
facilities, and industries. We are
legal
and insurance consultants. We help bring babies into the world; we make
sure you die well.  We are the
frontline.  We are behind the
scenes.

This week I am reminded of the awe and pride I feel to be a
part of this dedicated group of people called nurses.

by: Patrice Villars

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