Nurses Week: Nurses make a difference (Opinion)

Julie Clayton
Guest column

May is a time to honor nurses in our families and our community for their pledge to the well-being of others, preventing illness, treating health conditions, and managing patient and family needs in the healthcare setting.

Julie Clayton

It’s been a long stretch for our heroes in healthcare. The ability to manage the complexities of a career in healthcare along with the challenges of life throughout these past few years — ongoing pandemic and wildfires — is no easy task, and nurses collectively deserve our praise.

In the past year, our nurses have shown unwavering dedication and adaptability through times of stress and emergency. As the COVID pandemic continues to challenge nurses to adapt to new ways of caring for COVID patients, nurses continue to provide care to meet other complex patient needs unrelated to COVID. They continue to adapt to remain attuned to their patient’s care, ensuring support for every patient, no matter the healthcare need.

Clinic nurses were challenged with helping patients navigate the world of telehealth, which many patients had never experienced, while also caring for brand new challenges presented by COVID-19, acting on the frontline of information dissemination and vaccine confidence.

When evacuations were ordered as a result of the Caldor Fire, Barton Health nurses went above and beyond to care for patients who were relocated to regional facilities, stepping up despite personal challenges to minimize disruption of care through unprecedented times. Displacement for individuals from inpatient care and our skilled nursing facility provoked unsettlement, yet their care continued as our nurses remained at the patients’ bedside, providing confidence from the time they were evacuated to their return.

In widespread emergencies or the daily healthcare setting, nurses in their varying roles make a difference every day. Driven by an intrinsic purpose of caring for others, they are advocates for the sick and injured, displaying a willingness to learn and a stamina to meet unforeseen challenges. Through uncertain times, it is their compassion and skill that creates calm and the ability to provide the care our patients need.

We are grateful for our nurses, many of whom are our neighbors and friends; champions among our community. May the nurses who commit to helping those on their worst day feel appreciated. We cherish your compassion, skill, and knowledge. Thank you Barton Nurses — you make a difference every day.

Julie Clayton, RN, MSN, NEA-BC, is chief nursing officer at Barton Health.

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