National Nurses Week comes at a time when hospitals, still on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, are just starting to transition back to normal in many areas of their operations after focusing their efforts on the coronavirus.
According to Guthrie Chief Nursing Officer Kate Mohr, “It’s an unprecedented time for our nurses, but also a very gratifying time in that many of us know in our community what it is that nurses have contributed to the lives of our patients.”
In addition to providing health care while in proximity of the highly contagious virus, Mohr said Guthrie’s nurses have also been the ones to convey messages and prayers from families who have not been able to be in close contact with their loved ones while being treated, and being more sensitive to family dynamics in these situations than ever before.
“This really highlights the value that our nurses play in the lives of our patients and our community. They are extremely brave,” she said. “They have stepped up like no one ever imagined, given the fact that they have their own personal lives and their challenges.”
For Paige Hughes, an RN in one of Guthrie’s COVID rule out units, she said concerns about bringing the disease home to her family can make the job scary. But in overcoming that fear and focusing on how the patient is feeling, and making them feel better, she added, “It really does bring out a sense of pride, being a nurse during this time.”
“When you decide you want to be a nurse, you decide that because you want to help people, no matter what the circumstances. You just want to be there for people,” Hughes explained. “I know that nobody really saw this coming, but it doesn’t really change anything in that aspect. You still show up ready to be there for people, ready to save people’s lives.”
Although it can be a challenging time, Hughes reminded her fellow nurses to stay positive and they are all in it together.
“It’s easy to be upset and scared and worried, but try to see the bright side of things and focus on the patients, and we’ll be on the other side of this sooner rather than later,” she added.
To the general public, Hughes encouraged people to be kind and pay it forward by helping others.
“I think now, more than ever, we just need to spread kindness and be there for one another the best that we can,” she said.
Nurses week is recognized each year from May 6 to May 12.