Friday, May 6, 2011

Celebrating Nurses –True Heroes in Health Care

As we get ready to celebrate National Nurses Week, it’s important for all of us to take a moment and reflect on the magnitude of the nurse’s role in healthcare. Nurses are the heart and soul of GBMC, and any hospital for that matter.  As an intern in 1979, I still vividly remember the nurses who took me under their wing. It was from the very beginning of my medical training that I recognized that nurses bind the health care team together and keep the team focused on the patient. Particularly during Nurse’s week, we should all celebrate their work. 
Anyone who attended the special May 4 Schwartz Center Rounds received an up close and personal glimpse into the role a nurse plays in the life and care of a patient. Actress Megan Cole, who portrayed a woman dying of cancer in the Pulitzer Prize winning play, “Wit,” spoke to our healthcare professionals about the story of one woman dying of cancer, and the stories of countless people who shared with her their own experiences as a patient. What she heard was this – doctors and caregivers need to listen more and not get so caught up in the science behind the medical care that they fail to recognize what the patient really needs. The hero of the story was the dying woman’s nurse, the one care provider who never lost sight of her humanity. The nurse was the one who connected with the woman, related to her and helped her through the last moments of life.

On a personal level, I can recall the hospice nurse who cared for my dad in his last weeks of life. She was truly wonderful, always there for my dad and my mom first and foremost. She realized she had to connect and understand what my father and mother were going through and was a ray of hope every day when she walked into my parents’ house.
It was only several years ago that the entire nation realized just how significant the nursing profession was when we were faced with a dire nursing shortage. Some of you may remember the national campaign launched by Johnson & Johnson called Campaign for Nursing’s Future. This nation-wide campaign brought to the forefront that nursing is a great profession and there was a tremendous need for great men and women to pursue this calling. I’m happy to say this campaign was a success, and I’m pleased to see all of the young nursing students training with our seasoned professionals and new nurses joining our team. These nurses are our future. 
The fact of the matter is, nursing is hard work, both physically and mentally. A great nurse is someone who understands the scientific underpinning of medical care but never loses sight of the humanity of their role with the patient. At GBMC, our nurses epitomize the beauty of healthcare professions. In fact, they do what I’m asking everyone to do every day in their work – to take a moment to reflect on the beauty of serving others in their time of need.

I’m thankful every day for the commitment, the compassion and the expertise that our nurses bring to patient care. Please join me in celebrating and thanking all of our nurses, not just during Nurse’s Week, but every day.
How has a nurse touched your life, either professionally or personally? Share your comments here and show our nurses just how important they are to GBMC and our patients.
…also, Happy Mother’s Day to all of the Mothers in our GBMC Family!


  1. In october of 2011 I gave birth to my beautiful daughter. After the delivery I had some complications. My L&D Nurse Diane was so sweet and reasuring. She made all my worries disapear! At the end of her shift I was sad to see her leave!

  2. During my granddaughter's birth little over a month ago, while I was encouraging my daughter to breathe thru her contractions, little Lyric's heartrate started dropping. The nurse was so encouraging, calm and pleasant, I barely knew what was happening until extra nursing staff started filtering in and my ears picked up the sound of the heart monitor. I'm thankful that her professional demeanor helped to keep my daughter calm. (This is her first baby.)
    On another note, as a nurse support tech, I would like to personally thumbs up all of the cna's, gna's, nurse support techs whose first rate patient care make a positive difference in a patient's life. We are part of the nursing staff, but our recognition tends to get lost. During this week and beyond, I'm thankful for all of us.


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