Heartwarming Stories of Nurses Who Went Beyond Their Call of Duty
Article and Image Content shared from Readers Digest.
When it comes to kindness, compassion, and caring for others, nurses have us all beat. They work long shifts doing many of the tiny, important tasks that keep us healthy, everything from school nurses who fix booboos with Band-Aids and send kids back to the playground, to nurses in hospitals who perform complicated, life-saving maneuvers on the sickest patients every day. During the coronavirus crisis, nurses are the first line of defense in clinics against the ravages of COVID-19. Many even exceed the already arduous call of duty. These are some of their stories
School nurse provides masks for the community
The pandemic closed schools but didn’t keep elementary school nurse Amber Mehrkens from helping others. She continued to check the temperatures of the childcare students at the school and those of the teachers preparing for distance learning. When she wasn’t in her office, she was home caring for her four children in Mazeppa, Minnesota. During pockets of spare time, Mehrkens began sewing. She created a few hundred masks with the fabric she had on hand, then placed them on her porch for her neighbors to take at no charge. She quickly depleted her supply of fabric and other supplies. After she and a few friends spent several hundred dollars at a craft store, they asked for donations to cover their costs. With help from her children and a few friends, Mehrkens has sewn over 4,000 masks and provided them to the local fire department and area businesses.
What do Nurses Think About Meaningful Recognition?
Article is shared from the the Oregon Center for Nursing.
Often overlooked by the public, media and policymakers, nurses’ roles and contributions to healthcare have been highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic. As the pandemic shifts into yet another phase, how can we continue to recognize the contributions of Oregon’s nurses?
Recently, as part of the Oregon Center for Nursing’s (OCN) 20th anniversary “Recognize Nursing” campaign, a new nurse, a nurse educator, and nurse leader shared what nurse recognition looks like and their thoughts on recognizing nursing in the future.
How nurses have been recognized
When the virus started overwhelming U.S. hospitals, the public began thanking nurses for their sacrifice, often calling them heroes.
Jennifer Gentry, regional chief nursing officer for Providence Health & Services, noted that public recognition for nurses came in the form of yard signs, posters, food donations, writing campaigns from students, and media statements.
That early recognition was helpful, said Gentry, MSN, RN, NEA-BC. “Nurses are sacrificing their bodies and hearts daily, and the knowledge that their community understood this and wanted to support them meant a lot.”
For others, that recognition was stressful. “Being called a hero paints you into a corner,” said Patty Barfield, an assistant professor at the Oregon Health & Science University School of Nursing on the Eastern Oregon University campus. “You cannot have a bad day. You cannot fail. But nurses are human. At the height of the pandemic, one nurse told me, ‘Don’t call me a hero. Give me some help: boots on the ground.’”
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