• August 3, 2020

STONE: Heroes Often Wear Scrubs - Odessa American: Levi Stone

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STONE: Heroes Often Wear Scrubs

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Posted: Sunday, May 10, 2020 4:30 am

It’s certainly been a year of hardship, uncertainty, and sacrifice. However, it’s also put a much needed spotlight on the unsung heroes that make up our country…and the world’s frontline warriors. From law enforcement officers to grocery clerks and postal workers to EMS personnel, those deemed “essential” have played an important role in seeing this pandemic through. But, one group of frontliners have stood out this past week, and it’s truly helped shape 2020 as “The Year of the Nurse.”

Over 3 million strong in the United States alone, nurses represent a variety of diverse cultures and backgrounds. From the deserts of West Texas, to the snow capped mountains of Canada, and across the Pacific to the Philippines and abroad, nurses represent a global network of professionals with a common bond focused all on one thing in particular…you, the patient. Regardless of where we were born or the culture we were raised in, our patients and their well-being takes precedence. Whether it’s a 30 week, premature baby that’s smaller than the size of a can of soda, a 47 year old man recovering from heart surgery, or an 88 year old grandmother of 12 living out her final moments of life…it’s more often nurses who are consistently at the patient’s side in times of need.

Each year, Nurses Week is celebrated from May 6 th to May 12 th to honor all nurses, who represent a variety of specialties and expertise that help positively impact, shape, and influence the ever changing world of healthcare. Balancing mind, body, and spirit through unparalleled advocacy, and maintaining a high degree of compassion, nurses are and continue to be the most trusted professionals patients rely on. Predominant in a variety of settings including hospitals, military, public health, clinics, industrial, and education, nurses are found in nearly every occupational sector with a common bond focused exclusively on patients and their respective quality of life.

These often unsung heroes carry an awesome responsibility of putting much needed humanity and compassion into healthcare. All too often, healthcare can seem so impersonal, almost sterile due to the clinical aspects of the business. However, what nurses bring is an interpersonal rapport with patients and their families through empathy and kindness, knowing that a human life is more than breathing, heartbeats, and fully functioning organs. Aside from identifying and acting upon signs of declining health, nurses also focus on the holistic side of patient needs. Nurses sense when you’re scared, recognize when you didn’t understand a thing you’re doctor just told you, or speak up for you when you can’t speak for yourself…addressing each with your best interest in mind. Not too many heroes can attest having your back, physically, emotionally, and spiritually all in one.

Nurses certainly have their share of superpowers which include but are certainly not limited to: an ability to not use the restroom for longer than 12 hour stretches, eating breakfast/lunch/dinner in one 5 minute setting, having a cast iron stomach, can decipher illegible handwriting, can work 13 hours straight and still get the kids fed and in bed, and can multi-task better than anyone on the planet. Intelligent problem-solvers, nurses truly define what a hero is and is supposed to be. They miss holidays with their families so that yours might live to see another Thanksgiving or Christmas. They do work that others see unimaginable or too hard to do. And they do it all because they are called to serve others, with an unparalleled passion, to make this world a better place. Take time this week to look a nurse in the eye, shake their hand, and thank them for all that they do. They may simply say they’re just doing their job, but that humility further substantiates the hero’s praise they certainly deserve. Nurses…you are heroes deserving of year-round recognition for a service that is both appreciated and respected.

Odessa, TX

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