09 May 2018

Celebrating our nurses!

This week, International Nurses Day (IND) will be celebrated around the world on the anniversary of Florence Nightingale's birth, the 12th of May, which is the perfect time to mark the contributions that nurses make.

With the growing strains on the healthcare sector, the role of a nurse is becoming more important than ever, and having strong and resilient health systems in place to effectively respond to challenges and to deliver high quality health care to all is apparent.

Each year the International Council of Nurses (ICN) draw together essential information on the theme chosen that year. The 2018 IND theme is 'Nurses: A Voice to Lead, Health is a Human Right', the ICN have provided a toolkit which presents compelling evidence showing how investment in nursing leads to economic development; and how improving conditions in which people live leads to cohesive societies and productive economies, which you can find here.

Being a professional nurse means courage, resilience and trust. It means treating patients and colleagues with dignity, compassion and respect. It also means being accountable and being up to date with best practice and training which is why we are encouraging all of our nurses to take a look at the toolkit.

"For us who nurse, our nursing is a thing which, unless we are making progress every year, every month, every week, take my word for it, we are going back" Florence Nightingale

Florence Nightingale [1820-1910]

On International Nurses Day we also celebrate the founder of modern nursing. Florence went against everything and everyone to fulfil her dream to become a nurse. During the 1800s hospitals were dirty and operations were completed without anaesthetic, most people who went to hospital ended up dying. In 1951 Florence studied to nursing and decided then that it was her calling.

Florence was asked to lead a team of nurses to support British soldiers in the Crimean War.  But when she arrived the hospital was overcrowded, dirty and patients ate gone off food - nothing was clean.

“It may seem a strange principle to enunciate as the very first requirement in a hospital that it should do the sick no harm.” 

Working 20 hours a day, Florence bought fresh food, cleaned kitchens, cleared drains and helped to stop the spread of disease. She became known as the ‘Lady with the Lamp’, as she used to walk around at night to make sure the soldiers were comfortable.

“She is a "ministering angel" without any exaggeration in these hospitals, and as her slender form glides quietly along each corridor, every poor fellow's face softens with gratitude at the sight of her. When all the medical officers have retired for the night and silence and darkness have settled down upon those miles of prostrate sick, she may be observed alone, with a little lamp in her hand, making her solitary rounds.”

Welcomed home a hero, Florence’s work throughout the Crimean War transformed modern nursing, improving the quality of care given in war and impacting healthcare practices around the world. This is reflected throughout Newcross, from our nurse-led Complex Care team to our Clinical Governance Nurse Advisors. Expertise and quality at our core.

On the 14th of May we shall be celebrating the life of another nurse, Mary Seacole, who work tirelessly throughout the Crimean War and who can sometimes be overlooked.