HEALTH MATTERS: Help us nurses celebrate our special day

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I hope readers will indulge me and take some time out to think about the profession of nursing, as this week includes International Nurses’ Day.

It is celebrated on May 12 each year in honour of the anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale. It aims to recognise and honour the nursing profession and to encourage nurses to further their education and knowledge, continue to strive for improvement and encourage others to become nurses.

I am sure many of you will either know a nurse or have received care from nurses now or in the past. Nurses work in hospitals, the community or visit you in your own home. Their teams work 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Nurses work with all ages to deliver short packages of care following a particular illness or injury, and support patients over longer periods to manage long term conditions often ‘stepping in’ and ‘out’ of providing care as conditions change over the years.

Although the type of care delivered is varied, core values of compassion, competence, care, communication, courage and commitment are common to all.

So here is the indulgent part; what does nursing mean to me? It’s one of the most important parts of me; it’s what I am and what I do. It gives me clear purpose and fulfilment, it gives challenge and job satisfaction, it’s the reason why many times my family has had Christmas dinner on December 29 and why I have missed some family outings.

However, as it’s the same reason I am always forgiven.

I have provided many different types of care, but I get up and come to work for the same reason today that I did many years ago.

Mine is a privileged role, to help and support people to get well, recover and rehabilitate, overcome major life challenges or manage longer-term conditions, support to make life changes or help managed final days.

Even though it’s Nurses’ Day, I would be very wrong not to celebrate my peers, colleagues, other professionals and all those nurses work in partnership with every day.

Over the next few months I hope to showcase how different services from Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust are available and working locally, including those from Johnson Community Hospital, other venues in South Holland and in the wider community.

As a final thought, on May 12, if you come into contact with a nurse, although we will not be looking for praise, if you say ‘happy Nurses’ Day’ it will mean a lot.