GUEST COMMENTARY: Honor nurses this week and beyond

2013-05-09T00:00:00Z GUEST COMMENTARY: Honor nurses this week and beyondBy Jonathan Nalli nwitimes.com
May 09, 2013 12:00 am  • 

At some point in our lives, nearly every one of us will come into contact with the health care system — whether we’re rushing to the emergency room, getting a routine physical or seeking advice for a persistent cold. And no matter the setting, virtually all of these encounters will have one important thing in common: Nurses.

Nurses represent the largest workforce in the U.S. health care system, with ranks of about 3.1 million, and their contributions to the health care field are many.

At Porter Regional Hospital, our nurses are a large segment of our team as well. From our emergency department to our NICU, to our surgical suites and electrophysiology lab, nurses are the “face” of our hospital and the front line of our care teams. They coordinate patient treatment, take and record vital signs, administer medication and assist with surgeries, deliveries and emergent care. They work alongside fellow nurses, physicians and other clinicians to carefully track patient progress.

In addition to their clinical expertise, nurses are known for the compassion and support they provide to patients and their families. In an environment where individuals can be frightened or confused by what is happening around them, nurses help explain diagnoses, procedures, tests and medications. They respond to patient concerns, answer questions and help educate patients on their care and treatment.

But beyond the skills and knowledge they offer, it’s often the kind words, warm hands or listening ears they provide that make nurses the most trusted professionals in health care.

At Porter, we are thankful for the compassion and clinical excellence that our nurses exhibit every day, whether at the bedside or in leadership positions.

During National Nurses Week, we are taking time to recognize and celebrate the nurses in our hospital and community. And we urge you — if you see a nurse this week, or any week of the year — to take a moment to reflect on the importance of the job they do, and thank them for helping deliver quality patient care.

Jonathan Nalli is CEO of Porter Health Care System. The opinions are the writer's.

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