Unfortunately, many people seem to think that the most important people in the healthcare system are the doctors, but this is simply not true. Ever the underdog, nurses play a key role in all of our medical institutions, being responsible for the welfare, safety and recovery of patients.
Nurses have an enormous amount of knowledge and many diverse skills they spend years perfecting and developing, all the time working in decidedly tough environments where extreme stress is just a part of the job. Nurses help bring new life into the world, care tirelessly for the sick and injured, and sometimes watch the patients they did everything to save pass away despite their best efforts.
On many occasions, it was a vigilant nurse who noticed a mistake in a doctor’s prescription in time to save someone’s life. Acknowledge the hard work, long hours, and emotional duress that are part of the life of every nurse on International Nurses Day.
The History of International Nurses Day
It all began in 1953, when Dorothy Sutherland, an official with the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, contacted President Dwight D. Eisenhower proposing he proclaim a “Nurses’ Day”. However, he did not approve her proposal at that time. The International Council of Nurses has celebrated on May 12th since 1965.
May 12th is an important date to all nurses, as it is the anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, who is widely considered the founder of modern nursing. In January 1974, this day was finally officially made International Nurses Day. Each year since then, ICN prepares and distributes something called the International Nurses’ Day Kit which contains educational and public information materials, for use by nurses everywhere.
How to Celebrate International Nurses Day
Because this day is all about celebrating nurses’ endless contributions to society, take this opportunity to show a nurse who has taken care of you how much you appreciate him or her. As with most gestures of appreciation, whatever you decide to do need not be grand or cost much money. Sad as it is, many people neglect to thank their nurses at all, seeing them only as robots who only know how to follow the doctor’s orders, so every little way to say a simple “thank you” will definitely make that nurse’s day.
If you are feeling especially grateful for the way a certain nurse took care of you (fed you, brought you a blanket, cleaned vomit off of you, monitored your vital signs, made sure you were getting the right pills, changed your wound dressings, helped you get to the bathroom, let you cry on his or her shoulder, or any of the hundreds of other things nurses do), today is the day to show that gratitude. So take a trip down to the hospital with a box of chocolates, a nice bottle of wine, or anything else you think that particular nurse might like.
Some people, after having spent months in the hospital with a serious condition, decide to order pizza or cake for the entire medical team that was looking after them, a gesture that that team is guaranteed to remember you for forever, if you should decide on it. However, as mentioned before, it’s the thought that counts the most. A nurse’s main goal is to help you get through treatment and get better, so just knowing he or she succeeded is a reward in itself.