Nurses Week 2012

It’s Nurses Week which is capped every year by Florence Nightingale’s Birthday, May 12.  Florence Nightingale (May 12, 1820 – August 13, 1910) is considered the founder of modern nursing and her influence on the profession has been profound and I won’t do her an injustice by trying to cover high lights in this blog.  Just know this, The Nightingale Pledge is taken by nurses entering the profession to this day.

Here’s the pledge in its original form:

I solemnly pledge myself before God and presence of this assembly;
To pass my life in purity and to practice my profession faithfully.
I will abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous
and will not take or knowingly administer any harmful drug.
I will do all in my power to maintain and elevate the standard
of my profession and will hold in confidence all personal matters
committed to my keeping and family affairs coming to my
knowledge in the practice of my calling.
With loyalty will I endeavor to aid the physician in his work,
and devote myself to the welfare of those committed to my care

I have the distinct honor of working with nurses every day of the year and I can attest that nurses are some of the greatest people I know.  My mother was a nurse and my wife is a nurse so my connection to nurses extends beyond the interaction I have “on the job”.

Health care is a complex operation and for it to work correctly different pieces and parts must gel.  There are times that specific health care professions are in short supply or out of favor and the system has found a work around so that the patient will continue to receive great care.  The one piece of our health care system that has no work around is nursing.  Nursing is the cog that keeps the rest of the wheel turning.

When my mother passed away the Nightingale Tribute was a part of her funeral service.  I had never heard of the Nightingale Tribute before that day but it stuck with me and I revisit it each year during Nurses Week.  The Nightingale Tribute was designed and developed by the Kansas State Nurses Association in 2003 to be used to honor deceased nurses.  While the tribute is designed to honor deceased nurses it is also a fitting tribute to the profession of nursing.

The Nightingale Tribute Reading

Nursing is giving of one’s self to enhance the lives of others.  We join together today to honor (insert name) and his/her lifetime commitment to caring.  We acknowledge (insert name) many years as a nurse and know that his/her accomplishments can only be measured in the lives he/she affected through dedication and perseverance.

She/He Was There

When a calming, quiet presence was all that was needed,

She/He was there.

In the excitement and miracle of birth or in the mystery and loss of life,

She/He was there.

When a silent glance could uplift a patient, family member or friend,

She/He was there.

At those times when the unexplainable needed to be explained,

She/He was there.

When the situation demanded a swift foot and sharp mind,

She/He was there.

When a gentle touch, a firm push, or an encouraging word was needed,

She/He was there.

In choosing the best one from a family’s “Thank You” box of chocolates,

She/He was there.

To witness humanity—its beauty, in good times and bad, without judgment,

She/He was there.

To embrace the woes of the world, willingly, and offer hope,

She/He was there.

And now, that it is time to be at the Greater One’s side,

She/He is there.

© Duane Jaeger, RN, MSN

About Craig Thompson

I am a young professional with two great sons, and I work in the healthcare setting. I am employed in hospital administration and serve as Chief Operating Officer at Golden Valley Memorial Healthcare in Clinton, Missouri. These are challenging and exciting times in healthcare and my blog will focus on healthcare, raising boys or being raised by boys, and living in mid America.
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