Society today is quick to call someone a hero because they have special achievements and abilities. Their achievements may have been in a war and their abilities may have been to play a sport and we read about them in a book or saw them on television. There is another category of hero where the person has achieved great things or committed acts of bravery or self-sacrifice, yet it is not celebrated or recognized as an unsung hero. Since January 2020 when the first cases of COVID-19 were diagnosed in this country our unsung heroes have been nurses. This profession has fought valiantly in the response and recovery efforts to end this deadly pandemic. The 3.4 million registered nurses in the United States play a significant role in health promotion and disease prevention and are advocates for patients and their families. In addition to health clinics and hospitals, nurses work in schools, in the workplace, in all branches of military service, and in places of worship. Nursing constitutes the largest number of American health care professionals.
Although wars have been with us since the beginning of time, it was not until around the Civil War that nurses began to play a pivotal role in medical care. They started more with chores such as feeding and cleaning the wounded and changing their beds and bedpans. But over time that began to change, and as more hospitals were built, it became essential and necessary to have trained professional nurses.
As much respect as I have for doctors, I believe that nurses are the backbone of our health care system. The time nurses spend with patients far exceeds the time doctors spend with patients. Its nurses who perform the physical exams and health histories, administer medications, tend to the wounds and interpret patient information and make critical decisions about needed actions. Because of the selfless service nurses provide, nursing for the past twenty years has been rated as the most trusted profession.
In honor of this profession, our country celebrates National Nurses Week each year on May 6th and ends on May 12th, Florence Nightingale's birthday. I am proud to share with you two additional recognition programs that will highlight and recognize the compassion, care and love those nurses provide. Martin Luther King Community Healthcare (MLKCH) is conducting a campaign that lets the community send a card free of charge to a nurse. You can go online to https://www.mlkch.org/our-foundation/nurses-week-2022 and show your appreciation today. The YWCA of Greater Los Angeles will hold their Phenomenal Woman Awards Celebration honoring Unsung Sheroes on June 14th at the SoFi Stadium where they will honor not only our wonderful nurses, but also first responders, essential workers, and nonprofit organizations that stood in the gap during the pandemic to help others navigate through rough times.
Historically nurses have predominantly been women, but today more men are choosing the nursing profession. During this National Nurses Week, I salute all the nurses who take care of us and sacrifice sometimes their own well-being for the well-being of others.
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Visit www.WendyGladney.com and www.forgivingforliving.org to learn more. Wendy is a life strategist, coach, consultant, author, and speaker.