The American Nurses Association (ANA) designated 2017 as the “Year of the Healthy Nurse” to commemorate nurses who care about their patient’s balance of mind, body, and spirit.

National Nurses Week 2017 started on Saturday, May 6 and ends on Friday, May 12.

Image credit: Jackson Nurse Professionals
Image credit: Jackson Nurse Professionals

Food chains are offering discounts and promotions, paying tribute to those that dedicate their lives to the wellness of others. Disney will offer discounts to nurses on their hotels, and Cinnabon will offer free classic rolls to anyone presenting their medical ID badge.

Nursing as an honorable profession

Nursing, being one of the world’s oldest professions, described in BC years in the writings that describe what Hippocrates taught his students. Religious practitioners embraced the practice in the Middle Ages and eventually became a profession based on practical experience in the 20th century. As the first World War came to be, nurses were significantly recognized as those devoted to learning how to care for others.

Despite being a noble and dutiful profession, people still believe that only women should be nurses. While it’s true that most nurses are female, men are choosing the profession at an increasing rate. In 1970, only 2.7 percent of nurses were male. By 2011, the rate increased to 9.6 percent, most of them choosing anesthesiology as their specialty.

Just like doctors, nurses should always be learning about their profession. Diseases and emergency situations galore, and it is enough to say that two situations will never be exactly alike. Although two different patients may suffer from the same symptoms, they are different people at different points in their lives. Taking notes and studying constantly is the key to success to any nurse.

While it’s true that most nurses are female, men are choosing the profession at an increasing rate. Image credit:
While it’s true that most nurses are female, men are choosing the profession at an increasing rate. Image credit:

Each drug administered has its own array of side effects and reactions when used alongside other drugs. Even if the nurse is not supposed to decide which drug to use, it is their duty to know why a particular drug is used instead of the other. Lab tests are similar. Any nurse could perform all of the tests asked as they are not supposed to interpret the results, but knowing why each test is important in each diagnosis is critical for any nurse that actually wants to do the best for their patients.

The formation of a nurse

Nurses that have advanced in their career assure that newcomers should get involved in the nursing community, as it is practically impossible to remain isolated and succeed at the same time. Working with people is the base of the nursing profession, and that includes other nurses, doctors, and people working in health care facilities. Moving to higher-end facilities is a common goal for nurses, and the key is getting to know the staff and making a good impression.

Because knowledge is critical, student nurses are told to ask questions and to recognize when they do not know something. In a clinical environment, it is better to acknowledge indecision than to risk the patient’s health. Nurses are guides in moments of distress. It is vital for them to be a pillar for the families and friends of patients as they visit the institution.

“Become a fierce advocate for your patients and families. They are overwhelmed and often totally confused by what is happening — you are there to guide them, teach them and be their voice so they are heard,” stated Susan Grinslade, from the University at Buffalo School of Nursing.

Working with people is the base of the nursing profession. Image credit: Slate
Working with people is the base of the nursing profession. Image credit: Slate

Not an easy nor healthy profession

According to a 2002 study, there is a shortage of nurses on an international level, mainly because nurses often work in stressful or dangerous environments. The study determined that nurses mostly work in poor environments, besides being exposed to high levels of occupational stress. Stress in nursing is often caused by the demands of the job, new technology, and skills that must be mastered quickly, the emotional load that nurses deal with when talking to patients and their families, intense shifts, and high workload.

In 2012, it was determined that nurses as they are exposed to a high risk of occupational and emotional exhaustion, are more likely to suffer from burnout, depression, and sleep disorders. To prevent this, nursing organizations tend to watch over their professionals, although there is no full-fledged campaign to care for those who are committed to caring.

In the United States, each state has its own laws concerning nursing, subjected to what the state’s board of nursing decides. Here, nurses work in many environments, including private settings with schools, surgery centers, insurance companies, physicians, and attorneys even. Depending on the employer, the nurse tends to enjoy certain benefits, and at least a fifth of all 3.1 million registered nurses in the country belong to a union contract to protect their rights.

Despite all hardships, nursing is one of the noblest professions and is the healthcare profession with the greatest number of professionals. Caring for others is never easy, but it surely is rewarding, which is why nurses have a full week for commemorating their efforts, although many could agree that National Nurses Week should be more than just a week.

Source: Nursing World