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WHEN the International Council of Nurses set the theme for International Nurses Day 2020 as “nursing the world to health”, little did they know that on this Tuesday in May the entire world would be so profoundly touched by this statement.
The COVID-19 pandemic has put the work of nurses across the globe in sharp focus on this day. And while every year this event gives us an opportunity to acknowledge our gratitude for their exceptional service, this year our appreciation is deeply felt even into the corners of our communities.
2020 was planned to be a grand celebration to mark the 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth. Nightingale (born May 12, 1820) was the founder of modern nursing and infection control. It was during the Crimean War that she was put in charge of nursing British and allied soldiers in Turkey. She spent hours in the wards, doing rounds to provide personal care to the wounded and by night she carried her oil lamp from bed to bed, establishing her image as the “Lady with the Lamp.”
Here, as we celebrate the 200th anniversary of Nightingale’s birth, a remarkable woman who served in war and made history in the nursing field, one cannot ignore the irony of the worldwide war we are fighting against COVID-19 and the effects that it will have on our history.
Dorothy House is proud to celebrate International Nurses Day 2020 and we applaud every single nurse at the Hospice – including our Nurse Specialists working out in the community, our nurses on the Inpatient Unit, those working in Day Patient Services and our Hospice at Home carers. The team are dedicated, compassionate, creative and professional. Wayne de Leeuw, Chief Executive at Dorothy House, said, “There has never been a more difficult time in our history for nurses to provide care. Yet, they have eagerly stepped up to the challenge: they have moved into frontline roles, they are helping families to keep loved ones safe, they are working in new ways and using technology to enhance their care. This is an extraordinary day for the world to come together in celebration and with thanks to every nurse for their courage and commitment.”
Our critical work is even more vital at a time like this: there are more patients to look after and we are committed to ensuring each one receives the highest quality care and compassionate support. Throughout the pandemic our teams continue to provide care to our patients and their families, but we have also extended our services to accommodate new patients, ensuring the needs of our most vulnerable are taken care of first.
The International Council of Nurses have commented that celebrations on May 12 would be all the more relevant given the massive contribution of frontline nurses in tackling the virus. “Today and every day, nurses across the world are carrying on their vital work caring for patients, regardless of the very real personal risks they face.”
While nursing has dramatically changed since Florence Nightingale’s day, the challenge has not: we are whole heartedly committed to delivering consistent, high quality care to meet the changing needs of our community.