Celebrating Nurses during a Pandemic
As part of the Year of the Nurse and Midwife celebration, the American Nurses Association has expanded National Nurses Week, traditionally celebrated from May 6 to May 12 each year, to a month-long celebration in May. As we celebrate nurses this month, I am marked by a particular sense of pride and humbleness.
Nephrology nurses are always a key component to delivering quality care for our patients who are medically complex and at-risk. Their work is critical to restoring health; and in addition to their close work with nephrologists, many of their interventions come in the form of emotional support for patients and their loved ones. From encouraging patients to participate fully in their care to listening and offering empathy to patients’ loved ones, these acts of kindness can be a vital part of the patient experience.
During nursing school graduations, many nurses recite the Nightingale Pledge, including oaths such as, “I will do all in my power to maintain and elevate the standard of my profession,” and “devote myself to the welfare of those committed to my care.”
Nurses’ ability to live and lead by this pledge and to offer both clinical and empathetic care has never been more tested than during the COVID-19 pandemic—and nurses are rising to the occasion. In a time when many have questions and fears, nurses have been nimble and flexible as they adapt to new guidelines and safety measures and continue to deliver lifesaving care to kidney patients. They have chosen fight over flight and have done so with a tone of love and kindness.
We are living through a historic time, one that will be documented in nursing textbooks, and our nurses’ continuous dedication to their work will be remembered in history. Their stories will speak to human triumph and relentless devotion to their profession and will serve as a reminder of why nursing has been identified as the most trusted profession in the U.S. for the past 18 years.
Please take time during this very special month, and throughout the year, to recognize and thank the nurses with whom you work for their tireless efforts as we continue to face the COVID-19 pandemic.