Friday, May 4, 2007

Celebrate National Nurses' Week

Capabilities honors nurses and the incredible contribution they make every day to the lives of millions across this country! Thank you for your service and commitment! We have the pleasure of interacting with health care professionals in our business. Our admiration and appreciation of the skills, knowledge and caring grows daily as we have more and more opportunity to hear about the impact nurses have on the lives of our customers.

I have my own memory of a particularly wonderful nurse who made my first visit to the hospital when I was five more bearable. We lived close to the hospital, so one late afternoon my mother and I strolled over there to have my tonsils out. Of course, I was horrified and shocked to learn that I would have to spend the night. In those days it was discouraged from having mom sleep over. With quivering lip and despair, I waved goodbye as I climbed onto the examining table in the admitting area. Within minutes, a nurse arrived. She noticed right away that this was a situation that required TLC. First a lollipop, then crayons and a coloring book. (I must add that she then asked me to roll over so she could take my temperature. I looked at her as if she had spoken Latin and opened my mouth. “No, honey, I need you to roll over.”) In spite of that unpleasant event, I remember her still as a saving grace in that otherwise dreadful experience.

Since 1954, May 6 has been designated as National Nurses' Day. In 1974, International Nurses' Day, May 12, Florence Nightingale’s birthday, was added to the roster of annual events. And in 1990, the American Nursing Association designated May 6 – 12 as National Nurses' Week to celebrate the important contributions nurses make every day of the year.

There are 2.9 million registered nurses in the U.S. And yet, with the aging of the population, including the nursing population, and the lack of nursing educators, a shortage of nearly one million nurses is expected by the end of the decade. On the other hand, the nursing profession is among the fastest growing currently.

Studies show without dispute that facilities with high nurse to patient ratios also boast fewer deaths, faster recovery times, and high ratings of satisfaction on the part of patients and their families.

Do you have a story about a nurse who made all the difference? Please tell us about it by clicking the Comments link below.

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