National Nursing Week – May 10-16, 2021

As we enter the 14th month of this pandemic, and anxiously wait for things to get better, we must take the time, again, to think about and thank the dedicated front-line health care workers in our community and across Canada.

Back in March 2020, there were numerous videos and newscasts of the nightly ritual of neighbourhoods banging pots and pans from their balconies, or posting pink hearts and “thank you” signs in their windows, to show their appreciation to health care workers.

As the vaccines roll out, and we continue to follow social distancing protocols to get us through the third wave, we should think about the nurses who are “burned out” and exhausted from the efforts that they’ve made during this pandemic.

Let’s, once again, think about ways in which to thank all the healthcare nurses for their dedicated work during these difficult times.

National Nursing Week is May 10-16, 2021. It takes place from the Monday to the Sunday of the same week as Florence Nightingale’s birthday, May 12.

The theme this year is #WeAnswerTheCall and was developed by the Canadian Nurses Association to showcase the many roles that nurses play in a patient’s health-care journey.

“The pandemic has exposed the weaknesses in our health systems and the enormous pressures our nurses are working under, as well as shining a light on their incredible commitment and courage.”
“We are witnessing a unique and complex occupational trauma that is affecting the global nursing workforce. Nurses are dealing with relentless, unprecedented demands from their patients, resulting in physical exhaustion. But they are also facing enormous mental health pressures leading to serious psychological distress. Around the world, looking after COVID-19 patients involves dealing with an increased number of deaths, having to stand in for relatives who are not able to be with their loved ones, even as they are dying, being concerned over the lack of personal protective equipment, facing abuse from members of their communities and pandemic deniers, and fearing transmitting the virus to their loved ones at home.”
Howard Catton, International Council of Nurses, Chief Executive Officer

Across Canada, we are seeing nurses struggling with incredible challenges in hospital systems pushed to the brink. But despite all of this, nurses and other healthcare workers continue to step forward in support. Nurses are “doers”, they don’t give up, they don’t back down, they keep going to ensure that everyone receives the care they need.

Consider writing thank-you notes to the nurses in your community as a sign of your appreciation for all they do for patients daily. Such gestures have dwindled over these months, so let’s ramp up this simple act of recognition and “shout-out” our appreciation once more.

To all nurses across Canada, thank you. Thank you for answering the call during the COVID-19 pandemic – and always.

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