Thank nurses for giving care with compassion

For many of us, nurses are at our sides the moment we are born, and the second our last breath escapes our lungs.

They’re in the operating room when your parent undergoes surgery, and they’re in the emergency room when your daughter falls off her bike and needs to get stitches for that gash in her chin.

These people, both female and male, play a vital role in the many hospitals and health care facilities around the country, and they deserve to be recognized for their devotion and commitment to the special tasks they perform.

This is National Nurses Week, and we’d like to thank the nurses throughout the Upper Peninsula for all that they do. Certainly, that gratitude extends to those fine nurses below the bridge and beyond Michigan’s borders, too. But the nurses here in Superiorland must be a special group, as the community support for them has been overwhelming.

These folks are our brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, cousins, neighbors and friends. And they go to work every day to care for those of us who need medical support in the most dire of times.

Not only are nurses required to be educated in a wide variety of medically related topics, many — if not all — are also well accustomed to dealing with members of the public, particularly those of us who might be aggravated, impatient or helplessly suffering from a great deal of pain.

A nurse’s job is most definitely a tough one, and one must have a certain level of patience and empathy to perform that type of work.

Each year — according to the American Nurses Association website at www.nursingworld.org — National Nurses Week begins on May 6 and ends May 12, which, if you didn’t already know, is Florence Nightingale’s birthday.

Nightingale is hailed as the founder of modern nursing, so it stands to reason that National Nurses Week should include her birthdate.

The ANA notes that the first National Nurses Week was celebrated in 1954, on the 100th anniversary of Nightingale’s famous mission to the Crimea, when she brought a team of volunteer nurses to care for the British soldiers fighting Russians in the Crimean War.

“We take pride in the fact that the public has rated nursing as the most honest and ethical profession for the past 16 years,” the ANA website states. “Our commitment to protecting, promoting, and improving health care for all is well recognized, and we serve the public in a wide range of roles and work settings. Therefore, it is only fitting that we take one week each year to celebrate our profession and the vital roles nurses play in health care.”

We couldn’t agree more, and we encourage you to show your appreciation by thanking nurses for what they do.

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