It’s National Nurses Week, and here at NorthCrest we’re taking the time to celebrate our amazing team of dedicated nurses! Especially in the face of the current global healthcare crisis, we are so grateful to our healthcare workers for keeping our community safe on the front lines each day.
If there’s one thing we’ve learned as a result of the pandemic, it’s that nurses have an enormous responsibility that far outweighs simply caring for patients. In fact, it’s become clear that the ambiguity of the term ‘nurse’ doesn’t quite capture the range of skills, expertise and seniority that nurses may have. But no matter their day-to-day responsibilities, nurses are critical to both their patients’ health and hospital operations. Today, as we celebrate our local healthcare heroes, we also want to say thank you to nurses everywhere.
Celebrating Our Nurses
Because there is more to nursing than meets the eye, it’s normal to treat the title ‘nurse’ as an umbrella term that includes many different positions and areas. But just like doctors, nurses often specialize in anything from trauma and pediatrics to neuroscience, orthopedics and more, helping support every facet of the healthcare system.
That being said, nurses have completely different responsibilities depending on their specialty—but they all work towards the same goal of providing high-quality care for their patients. In a recent survey of our nurses here at NorthCrest, one respondent noted that “there are many aspects of ‘patient care’. Just because you don’t work at the bedside doesn’t mean you aren’t a ‘real nurse.’”
What It Means To Be a Nurse
Depending on their specialty, nurses’ days look very different from one another. While some are pulling into the hospital at 5 am, others will start their days at 7 pm. Some care for newborn babies, while others assist surgeons in the operating room. Regardless of where they spend the bulk of their time, each nurse is working physically and mentally to ensure positive outcomes for the health of their patients around the clock, with one nurse noting, “We don’t just work three days and then get a nice four-day vacation. It is a full-time job that we often carry with us throughout the week”.
Last week, we asked some of our NorthCrest nurses what they wish others knew about being a nurse. Here’s what a few of them had to say:
“The true heart of nursing is when you are hurt or sad, we usually are too. We just can’t always show it.”
“It’s not what television makes it look like. We are smart, fearless, caring, and compassionate about what we do.”
“It’s the best job in the world.”
“We give everything in us to others. There’s usually not much left for ourselves.”
“I wish people knew how emotionally, mentally, and physically exhausting it is. I want every patient to know that they are loved and that I’m doing my very best.”
Not only is being a nurse physically demanding, but it’s also a role that creates a massive impact on one’s emotional and mental well-being. As a result, many respondents noted that their days don’t typically end when they clock out and return home. Rather, their relationship with patients is carried with them throughout their days.
Carrying the physical and emotional weight of a hospital shift is a heavy burden for nurses, so it’s only natural that many report feelings of being underappreciated and undervalued. Like others in the healthcare field and beyond, nurses too deal with their own grief, sadness, job stress, and more.
How You Can Help
Now more than ever, it’s important for us to do our part in supporting and thanking them for their hard work. Here are some ways you can help nurses right now across the US and in our local community:
- Donate to Power for Heroes through the NorthCrest Foundation and support your local healthcare heroes. Your generous donation will help NorthCrest purchase equipment like masks and shields, along with supporting many other charitable efforts.
- Donate to the American Nurses Foundation Coronavirus Response Fund for Nurses. Your contribution will help provide financial support for nurses, counseling, medical supplies and more.
- Fill out Nurse.org’s Words of Encouragement Form to send your thanks to millions of nurses around the world for their work.
- Donate to Potbelly’s Sandwiches Meal Donation Program to provide meals for healthcare and medical workers, along with firefighters and police.
- Donate to United Way and Nashville Mayor Cooper Coronavirus Response Fund to help provide relief for workers in the local area.
- Visit Soundwaves Art Foundation and recommend an uplifting song for nurses and healthcare workers for their Soundwaves for Nurses Project that turns soundwaves of songs into art and donates their earnings to support healthcare worker charities.
- Donate face masks, hand sanitizer, and other needed medical equipment to your local hospitals
- Practice social distancing
If your friends or family members are healthcare workers, here are a few things you can do to support them on a more personal level:
- Cook homemade meals or arrange for take-out meals and groceries to be delivered to their work or home
- Offer to help with childcare and household chores during their shifts
Resources For Nurses
During this stressful time being on the front lines of COVID-19, it’s important to prioritize both mental and physical health. Here are a few online therapy and well-being apps that can help nurses:
From all of us here at NorthCrest, we are so grateful for our compassionate and talented team of nurses. Happy National Nurse Week!