Today marks the beginning of National Nurses’ Week, which runs May 6 through May 12, Florence Nightingale’s birthday. This week honors the nurses who make up a substantial and essential part of our health care service system.
As the daughter of a nurse, I remember the late nights when my mom would come home after a 12- or 14-hour shift…
My mother was often exhausted, both physically and mentally, by her job, plus the usual annoyances and stresses, but she still always enjoyed the work and derived satisfaction from it, something I’ve come to see can be rare. Nurses are often the face of health care, working the most closely and spending the most time with patients. In a busy hospital like my mother’s, nurses work long hours, frequently with little time to eat, let alone take a break, and yet the best still are able to be a friendly, helpful and comforting presence to patients and their families in a time of stress and uncertainty.
Being able to provide this valuable service is reward in itself, but I know firsthand how much a sign of appreciation can mean. Occasionally a patient or family member would leave a thank you card or take my mother aside to effusively express their gratitude for her assistance during a trying time. My mom was pleased by this, of course, but what stood out to me the most was her surprise, no matter how many times it happened. She was just doing her job.
Our nurses are brave, hard-working and crucially important individuals. This week, as always, they deserve our support and thanks. If you would like to join their indispensable ranks, the Touro School of Health Sciences offers several tracks in nursing. Find complete program information and admissions policies on the Nursing Department homepage.