2020 is the Year of the Nurse
Early this year, when COVID-19 was still just a faint and distant rumbling, the World Health Organization designated 2020 as the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife. This designation has taken on a new meaning for so many nurses as COVID-19 surged to pandemic proportions.
Many nurses have found themselves on the front lines, caring for COVID-19 patients shift after shift, gripped by the fear and uncertainty of the risk the virus poses to themselves and their loved ones.
Some have found themselves in new roles, asked to work in new and unfamiliar areas to help redistribute precious nursing resources. Others have found themselves furloughed, a casualty of the financial sting this virus has inflicted on healthcare systems.
In the NICU, many of us have felt the crushing burden of guilt; guilt for our fellow nurses in direct patient care of COVID-19 patients as we remain largely shielded in closed units; guilt for our job security as our units sit untouched by the decreased census that so many other units are experiencing; guilt as we watched families struggle through COVID-19 visitor restrictions.
Words by the WHO on Nursing
Nurses and midwives play a vital role in providing health services. These are the people who devote their lives to caring for mothers and children; giving lifesaving immunizations and health advice; looking after older people and generally meeting everyday essential health needs. They are often, the first and only point of care in their communities
The WHO called on all citizens to celebrate the work of nurses and midwives, highlight the challenging conditions they often face, and advocate for increased investments in the nursing and midwifery workforce. And at Synapse, we can’t agree more!
Now is the time
Now is the time to advocate for continued focus on ensuring proper training and equipment to do our jobs safely, for safe staffing ratios to allow us to provide the highest level of care possible to our patients and their families, for recognition and support of the mental health needs of nurses, and for increased support of programs and funding for education both in the form of loan forgiveness, scholarships, and continuing education.
The American Nurses Association has created a Coronavirus Response Fund for Nurses to enable the public to support and thank nurses.
To read more about the ANA’s campaign and their Year of the Nurse efforts, click here: https://anayearofthenurse.org/