WEYBURN - Over the past two years, it has become clear that health care workers have made immeasurable sacrifices throughout the pandemic. This year, National Nursing Week will be celebrated from May 9 to 15 across the country, and communities can come together in many simple ways to show nurses and health care workers how much their sacrifices are appreciated.
The theme for National Nursing Week this year is #WeAnswerTheCall. The theme was developed by the Canadian Nurses Association to showcase the many roles that nurses play in a patient’s health-care journey. The pandemic brought to light the courage and commitment that nurses display every day and showed the important role that nurses play in the community.
I am fortunate that I have not required health care frequently in the past couple of years. It has been a number of years since I required minor day surgery. The main thing that I remember was how supportive and understanding the nursing staff were of my health care, during my time in the day surgery ward.
I had a very knowledgeable nurse at my side prior to the surgery, who not only alerted me to some common side effects, but had specific guidelines for me to keep in mind that were relative to the surgery that I was to have. Her information and understanding was very appreciated by me at that time.
The other thing that I remember was the nurses utmost care and concern for my welfare when I arrived out of surgery – as I have poor circulation and my hands were very cold at the time, they moved my bed right across from the main nurses station, until they were assured of my recovery.
In the past two years, during the restrictions of COVID-19, I have had family members who needed hospital care. Despite the struggles and challenges faced by the health care workers during that time, those family members still felt that they were supported and had quality care.
It can be a stressful time for any patient, and their family, to require accessible and timely health-care services. It is important to recognize the critical link between patient outcomes and adequate nurse staffing. It is important that the provincial and federal government create effective strategies to improve our health care system, and work on not only retaining the current health care workforce that we have now, but consider recruitment strategies that will help improve the work field for everyone in it.
There are a number of simple ways to thank a local health care worker too, from neighbours offering to cook or deliver meals to their families, volunteering at local hospitals and blood banks, or even by recognizing the many roles that nurses have in our community.