Thursday, May 5, 2005
During Nat’l Nurses’ Week, take time to thank a nurse

By Dr. Anthony Policastro
Nanticoke Memorial Hospital,
Medical director

Every year in early May we celebrate National Nurses’ Week. As part of that celebration, we owe it to the group of individuals providing nursing care in every arena to say: “Thank you.” One of the things we do on a regular basis is take people for granted. We do not praise our children every day. However, there are many good things that they do that we can say thank you for. We do not praise our spouses every day, but the same thing is true.
The reason for celebrations like Nurses’ Week is to remind us to take the time to say thank you for a good job. For that reason each of us should take the opportunity to give credit to the nurses whom we come in contact with during this period. That might include the nurses whom you see on a visit to the hospital. These are the individuals who provide hands-on patient care 24 hours a day, seven days a week. These are the individuals who are the eyes and the ears of the physicians who may be in their offices or involved in other activities. While the physicians are in their offices, they are supported by a group of individuals, many of whom are nurses. These are the individuals who make sure the needs of the patients in the office are handled for each visit. Our children attend the local schools. There are school nurses in the school system who see many children without the benefit of a physician nearby. They make many decisions about sick children on a daily basis. Some nurses work for home health agencies. Others work for hospice care. Still others work in a variety of administrative positions throughout the state. There are nurses who go on to get advanced training. These individuals may work as midwives. They may work as nurse anesthetists. They may work as nurse practitioners. As you can tell from this list, nurses interact with us in many different ways. It is likely that we will have one of those interactions soon. Make sure when you do that you take the time to stop and say thank you.” It doesn’t take long to do it, but the time will certainly be well spent.