This Nurses Week, join us in celebrating and honoring all of the incredible nurses in our lives.
From May 6 to May 12, 2021, we at Pearl Recovery Retreat will be joining medical facilities, schools, and individuals around the world in honoring nurses during Nurses Week. We are honoring all types of nurses, from LPNs to RNs to private duty nurse practitioners. While we honor the dedication of our nurses (and all nurses) on a daily basis, we are especially pleased to have an entire week set aside to spotlight these special people.
What Is Nurses Week?
Some of the days during Nurses Week are set aside for particular types of nurses. For example, May 6 is National School Nurse Day. This is the day when we honor the men and women who are helping our children to stay healthy while in school by taking temperatures, administering prescribed medications, applying ice packs to bumped heads, standing by with emergency meds when necessary, and calling parents to pick up their precious little ones when they need to go home early.
May 8 is National Student Nurses Day. These brave and dedicated students are our future: They are learning what they need to know in order to improve the health and wellbeing of the general public. This year in particular, they are taking on this challenge in the midst of a worldwide pandemic, so they are well aware that they may be putting their own personal safety on the line with their career choice.
May 12 is International Nurses Day. On this day, we honor the nurses all over the globe who are striving to keep their local communities healthy. This also includes the nurses who are traveling from one country to another in order to provide much-needed care. Again, we realize that this is all continuing to take place through a pandemic, when our healthcare professionals are putting themselves at personal risk, and we thank them!
This is the second Nurses Week that we are grappling with a worldwide health emergency. In response, the American Nurses Association (ANA) has extended the Year of the Nurse and Midwife into 2021. Despite many nurses getting sick, seeing their colleagues get sick, and, in some tragic cases, succumbing to COVID-19, they continue to persevere. They show up for work at the beginning of their scheduled shifts, don their PPE, care for patients no matter what their backgrounds or illnesses, and then go home to their families, friends, pets, and others who love them.
Supporting Your Nurses
If you know a nurse, you might be wondering how you can support and encourage them not only during Nurses Week but all year long. Many of these tips will apply to the current times as well as the future, when we (hopefully) have the pandemic well under control.
1. Send food and treats
The possibilities here are endless. Remember that nurses often work very long shifts and don’t generally have the time for a leisurely meal in between caring for their patients. In addition, these hardworking heroes might not have much time for preparing food at home. Deliver packaged goods to your local hospital or medical office or use services like Grubhub or UberEats to bring restaurant fare. (Don’t bring homemade goodies; as much as the staff loves this, many people are not comfortable eating home-cooked foods during this unique time.) If you have a loved one who is a nurse, bring them a home-cooked dinner or give them a gift certificate to get takeout from their favorite restaurant once in a while.
2. Follow safety recommendations
We know that nobody really enjoys wearing a mask. We also know that it has been a long, trying year and that everyone is ready to get back to “normal,” whether that means hosting a huge dinner party, going to a concert, or simply enjoying a packed shopping center on a Saturday afternoon. Keep in mind that while you might not be at high personal risk for COVID-19 complications, others that you encounter while out and about might not be as fortunate. Also, consider that nurses are the ones providing the bulk of the care for people who are extremely sick, on ventilators, and otherwise in the ICU. Try to reduce the transmission of illness as much as possible by avoiding crowds, covering your face, and washing your hands. Also, consider getting vaccinated if you have not already done so and if it is safe and appropriate for you. Talk to your doctor or medical provider about this.
3. Be there for the nurses in your life to talk to
Nurses are seeing their formerly healthy patients get ill, and some of those patients will die. Nurses are also the ones in the hospital units who often form relationships with patients and facilitate communication with the family members; to see those patients pass away is heart-wrenching, particularly when there are spouses, children, grandchildren, and other loved ones left behind. Provide moral support to the nurses you know by letting them talk, encouraging them to get out of the house on their days off, and offering to watch their children or pets while they attend to their mental health.
4. Find out what their needs are
In some areas, nurses might still be struggling with a lack of PPE. In many areas, there is not enough blood being donated. Ask the nurses you know what is needed in your local community, then do what you can to meet those needs. Can you contact community leaders about getting more PPE into the hands of those who need it? Talk to the Red Cross or your local blood donation center about organizing a blood drive. You might be able to arrange for them to hold one at your church or other house of worship, a community center, or at your office building. Be creative!
Pearl Recovery Retreat & Wellness Celebrates Nurses Week
At Pearl Recovery Retreat, our private duty nurses are the eyes, ears, hands, and feet of our facility. They work with each patient and ensure that their needs are met. They also facilitate communication with doctors and other specialists as necessary to keep our patients safe, healthy, and happy as they recover from their surgical procedures. We honor them this Nurses Week and ask that you do, too!