LAFOLLETTE, TN (WLAF) – In honor of National Nurses Week, WLAF wants to recognize and thank all of our nurses near and far. In the U. S., Nurse’s week begins on May 6 and ends on May 12, which is famous nurse Florence Nightingale’s birthday.
Nurse’s Week is about recognizing nurses across the nation. The country and the world are seeing just how dedicated these heroes are during the global pandemic.
Nurses fill different roles depending upon where they work. Some are employed in hospitals, physicians’ offices, home health, and nursing home facilities. Others perform duties in outpatient clinics and schools and with hospice patients. Regardless of where they are employed, their impact is undeniable. They are a “source of comfort” in a dark moment and provide lifesaving care to those who need it. Nurses are on the frontlines of saving lives, especially with the extra dangers during the viral outbreak.
WLAF caught up with a few local nurses to ask them what it means to them to be a nurse. Here are their answers:
Christina North from LaFollette: “I have been a nurse for 4 years. I do home health care with Quality Private Duty Care and Amedisys Home Health. I go to homes of the sick and elderly who can’t leave their home. I clean wounds, make meals, I teach about medications and proper nutrition, I monitor vital signs and I care for my patients. Sometimes I’m the only person to see that patient for weeks at a time. Isolation in the elderly has been an ongoing problem before now, but with the current viral pandemic it has become worse. I didn’t always want to be a nurse, but now I could never imagine doing anything more important than loving and caring for my patients. COVID-19 has changed the way we practice, and how cautious we must be with patients, but it didn’t change our goal, to show compassion and heal.”
Abigail Cox, Campbell County:“To be a nurse is challenging and rewarding. Each time you make a client smile or make their life better, you feel accomplished. To be a nurse during a pandemic is more challenging. My mother and sister are also nurse so distancing from them has been difficult because we are a tight-knit family. Our priorities are to protect our clients’ families and each other.”
Wendy Thompson from Jacksboro: “Nurses may see patient’s in a hospital, maybe a nursing home, or perhaps the privilege of private home visits. The task set before each one of us goes beyond obtaining vital signs, performing assessments, and administering medications. It is a true calling whose root lies in kindness and compassion, something that cannot be taught/ learned/or obtained in a classroom, but rather is gifted to you. You become a source of comfort in a vulnerable moment, you may not always heal the physical body but rather shine hope and brightness into someone’s sweet soul, you become like family as you seek to treat them as you would one of your own. Your goal each day is to touch a life~be the hands and feet of a God who equips you to do so, wanting to bless others only to find at the end of the day it was you who was blessed. The hours may be few or many, and can be both rewarding and exhausting simultaneously. But…when faced with the challenge of a pandemic, which nobody can fully prepare for, you’re pushed into overdrive where social distancing is not always an option. Your patient is likely alone and isolated from family and yours is the hand they now hold. In the midst of their possible fear and loneliness, with a smile and maybe some shared tears, you are the voice that calms them. Your shift no longer ends when you walk out the door. Your priority becomes staying healthy from a virus you cannot see to protect not only yourself and those in your own family, but those highly vulnerable patients you will return to. The challenge lies within our society where often the mindset of others is “It won’t happen to me”, where necessary precautions may or may not be taken. We nurses may or may not be in our “uniform” when having to make necessary stops outside of work, it isn’t always obvious to others what our profession is, but I pray that eyes are opened around us.”
Candy Loveday, Jacksboro: “Since I was a little girl, I have always wanted to be a nurse. I cannot see myself working in any other profession. My passion is to love and take care of people. Throughout this pandemic I have seen nurses rise up and pull together to care for the patients they love. Call- ins have actually decreased, and nurses have still picked up overtime. We have worn masks, washed our hands until they are cracking open, and will continue to do it until we know our patients are safe. That is who nurses are. We calm our own fears and doubts and go to work each day not knowing what it will bring. To all of my fellow nurses out there, thank you for all you do. ~ Be the nurse you would want as a patient. ~ Happy Nurses Week!” (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED 05/08/2020-6AM)