Our angels of mercy
TWENTY-FOUR hours a day, 356 days a year, nurses care for society’s sick, regularly putting their patients’ needs ahead of their own.
Yesterday – 100 years after the death of English nurse Florence Nightingale – it was the community’s chance to say thanks.
Barbecues and morning teas were held in hospitals around the Northern Rivers, and indeed the nation, to mark International Nurses Day.
Surrounded by nurses donned in the uniform of yesterday, acting area mental health nurse manager Michael Martin said much had changed since he was trained in a hospital 30 years ago.
“If you go back to the time of Florence Nightingale the intent and caring is still there, but the culture of nursing is completely different,” he said.
Whether it is more male nurses or higher education and training standards, Mr Martin said the demands placed on nurses today were much higher.
“I don’t know what the education standards where like during Florence’s time, but I think if you turned up and were willing to work you got the job,” he said.
Today nurses need a three-year degree course, but the career prospects are much greater.
“Nursing is a lot more diversified and broader. Unlike during Florence’s day, nurses are now involved in hospital care and community care, and as well as being a physical job there is a lot of mental work that goes into it,” Mr Martin said.
North Coast Area Health Service chief executive Chris Crawford took the opportunity yesterday to thank nurses for their dedication to their patients.
“International Nurses Day highlights the outstanding work and expertise carried out by our nurses every day,” he said.
“I want to thank all those who are involved in the celebrations and who have contributed to the high quality of care in our region.”