'Heroes of caring' give their heart every day

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Dealing with everything from messes to emotions part of the calling for nurses

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This is National Nurses Week, and I want to pause to give a shout out, high five and fist bump to those tireless workers who make uncomfortable or unbearable situations more palatable.

Nurses do this through care, through tenacity, through repetition and through uncompromising professionalism.

They help us during our darkest times and they devote themselves to “service and the high ideals of the nursing profession.”

That last line is from the Nightingale Pledge, which many nurses take during their pinning ceremonies.

Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing, became a symbol of comfort and goodness, those qualities still shared by nurses today. During the Crimean War in the 1850s, she visited the injured and the sick. She is credited with founding the first secular nursing school at St. Thomas’ Hospital in London, as well as inspiring amazing progress in the delivery of healthcare.

That inspiration continues today with nurses.

Our own Hill Country Memorial Hospital CEO Jayne Pope has a nursing background. That experience undoubtedly helps guide decisions at our forward-looking hospital, rather than rely on a bunch of consultants who have never held a patient’s hand or sat with an anxious family.

The HCM team and strategy leaders ask for and get input from those “on the front lines.” And that is why they are national award winners and consistently rank in the top 100 hospitals in the nation.

Lastly, my praise for nurses comes from our family’s recent experience of watching my sister die slowly in ICU at St. David’s North Hospital in Austin. The doctors did all they could as her internal organs failed, giving her every opportunity medically available. Through the two-and-a-half weeks our family shuttled back and forth to Austin to see her, the nurses were there for us, making my sister as comfortable as possible in her last days.

 

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