Recently, we celebrated School Nurse Day. Naturally, as this day came about I paused to reflect on the ways nurses have played and continue to play an important role in my life. Nursing, in my family, was considered a noble profession. When I and my siblings turned 13 years of age, we were expected to volunteer either as a candy striper at St Vincent’s Hospital or as an aide at the Barber Center.
Hospitals were not my favorite, so I immediately chose the Barber Center. My sister JoAnne, selected St. Vincent’s Hospital. She was beginning her journey following in the footsteps of my Aunt Marion, who was the Director of Nursing at the time. Aunt Marion and JoAnne were “born nurses.” Aunt Marion was the neighborhood nurse. Whether it was a child’s scrape or as a mother’s midwife, she was the first responder to the East side families in need. No matter what the hour of the day, Aunt Marion was there to help. Likewise was JoAnne. Many times when Ryan was sick, I’d give JoAnne a call to make sure I was doing the “right thing.”
Nursing is one of the oldest professions in history, although for many years it was not held in high esteem as it is today. The word nursing itself is derived from the Latin nutrire “to nourish.” Nurses are essential in helping to identify and solve many public health problems in the course of providing individual care to their patients and families.
Our diverse student population includes many with complex medical needs. Our nursing staff enable children, who otherwise would be forced to remain at home, to attend school. They play a key role in assuring that a continuum of educational services is available for all. For last week’s National Nurses Week, we focused on the theme of “Nurses: Inspire, Innovate, Influence.”
When you see a nurse, be sure to thank them for all they do – they are irreplaceable!