Today and this week are the times of year we honor nurses.
On this National Nurses Day, we asked Caroline, a local nurse, to share her story. Caroline went to a four-year university and received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. She took the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) to become a Registered Nurse. Soon after, Caroline completed a one-year residency program at a local hospital. While in residency, she worked night shifts consisting of 13-14 hours days 3 days a week. Because medicine never takes a day off, her schedule included weekends and holidays. Her specialty became medical/surgical nursing at a local hospital. She regularly did training to stay up to date on the latest developments and current best practices in the field. Now, after practicing as a nurse for four years, Caroline shares her gratitude for the opportunity to play a role in what can be a challenging time in a person’s life. She would like people to know their nurses always do their best to advocate for the patient. She adds “Their well-being is my priority.”
A nurse’s job is challenging academically, emotionally and physically. One nurse recently summed it up: “From my first days in nursing school to now, I have learned that the nursing profession is truly a vocation, not just a profession.” Academically, a nurse carries a heavy course load as well as practical study. After completion of study in his or her chosen field, a nurse must stay proficient in the latest developments. There is no time for stagnation. Emotionally, a nurse must always be level-headed. The patient is always the focus of care, and the nurse often is the primary contact/responsibility for that care. In the hospital setting the nurse must ensure that when he or she leaves, that patient’s condition is well documented and communicated to the next shift of nurses. The physical demands of the job are enormous. The nurse is called upon to oversee the dressing and undressing of patients, the changing of hospital bed linens, the administration of medicine, and the supervision of the hospital rooms.
As we will all be a patient at some point in our lives, every one of us will be in the care of a nurse. In addition to Caroline, patients are American Gene Technologies priority. We share Caroline’s story and honor all nurses on ‘their day’ to remind ourselves that the work they do every day with their hands, hearts, and minds is the most valuable work one person can do for another. Let’s keep the values nurses live by, close to our hearts as we give them our gratitude.