National Nurses Day: Honoring the contributions and strength of nurses

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It is National Nurses Day, and this year has truly proven the strength these frontline workers show on a daily basis.

Each week nurses work long hours putting all their energy while on the clock into each patient they come across, and every day they go in they aren’t really sure what to expect.

“You can start the day with two relatively stable patients. And by the end of the day, both of them could be completely changed hemodynamically and completely different picture than what it looked like 12 hours ago,” shared Meghan Charley, a Sanford ICU nurse.

Every nurse has their reason for getting into the medical field, whether it be to help others or their own personal experience.

“My grandparents were in a very terrible motorcycle accident which resulted in my grandfather being hospitalized for months, in a hospital hundreds of miles from home. And I remember when we would be able to go and visit him I was just blown away by the nursing staff,” shared Tabitha Deraas, a registered nurse at CHI. St Alexius.

“It is so important to know that nurses are making a difference. And I think that that’s one of the reasons I was drawn to nursing, is that I know that I’m making a difference in a few people’s lives every day,” shared Charley.

The challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic brought on over the last year was a rollercoaster that changed the field forever.

“There’s been a lot of terrifying moments. There’s been a lot of heartache. There’s been a lot of tears. There’s been a lot of stress. There’s been a lot of happy moments. We’ve learned a lot,” said Tessa Johnson, the ND Nurses Association president.

While work is a priority, they still find a way to balance their professional and personal life. Some say learning to leave work at work is a technique you acquire over time.

“You’ve got to step away. You’ve got to say O’K, when I clock out today work doesn’t follow me home. When I come back to the hospital I’m gonna be refreshed. I’m gonna be ready to go.’ But in the meantime I really gotta step back,” explained Deraas.

National Nurses Day kicks of National Nurses Week.

It runs through May 12, which so happens to be the birthday of Florence Nightingale — the founder of modern nursing.

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