May 6 is National Nurses Day
(also National RN Recognition Day).
It starts the week long celebration of National Nurses Week, which runs
through May 12, the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing.
This week of honoring & supporting these compassionate & intelligent professionals was established
in the U.S. by President Richard Nixon in 1974,
although it was suggested to President Eisenhower way back in 1953 by Dorothy Sutherland.
I've been a nurse for over 33 years & have seen major changes in every facet of the profession.
When I graduated, we were required to wear our white cap & pin at all times while on duty.
(That cap went by the wayside as soon as I started working in ICU, with arterial lines,
multiple IV's, heart monitor leads & wires all over the place!)
We had to wear only the approved regulation navy blue sweaters over our all white uniforms.
(Now brightly colored scrubs & any color sweaters are seen everywhere in the hospital)
Opaque white hose & white nursing shoes were mandatory in my day.
(Now Crocs, Clogs...even sneakers are acceptable)
No perfume (might nauseate the patients) or colored nail polish (unprofessional!) was permitted.
Whenever any doctor walked into the nursing station area, we had to get up & give him our seat.
Yeah, like THAT will happen today!
No matter what their attire now, the men & women in the nursing profession today work harder than ever.
Their alert observations & quick actions have saved many a patient, including doctors. (like mine!)
I wish I'd kept a diary of all the things I saw & learned while
working full time in a very busy city hospital.
I could have written a book!
Years ago, my Mom gave me a prayer card with the Nurse's Prayer on it.
I'd like to share it here for all the wonderful nurses who care so deeply & work so tirelessly,
often putting their own health & family's needs behind their patient's .
O my God, teach me to receive the sick in your Name.
Give to my efforts success for the glory of your holy Name.
It is your work: without You, I cannot succeed.
Grant that the sick you have placed in my care
may be abundantly blessed & not one of them be lost
because of any neglect on my part.
Help me to overcome every temporal weakness &
strengthen in me whatever may enable me to bring
joy to the lives of those I serve.
Give me grace, for the sake of your sick ones &
of those lives that will be influenced by them.