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A day to celebrate these tireless workers and Covid warriors5 min read

May 12, 2022 4 min read

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A day to celebrate these tireless workers and Covid warriors5 min read

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Every May 12, the world takes a day to remember, celebrate and honour the efforts of these hardworking individuals, who work day and night to keep us healthy.

Yes, you got it right. It’s nurses.

International Nurses Day is observed on May 12 to appreciate the extraordinary contribution of nurses. Nurses play a vital role in the healthcare sector and have been at the forefront of fighting the Covid-19 pandemic since 2020.

Since the pandemic hit the world, the immense contribution of these healthcare workers has proved invaluable to the medical community, and to us. This special day is marked on the birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing.

Florence who?

Florence Nightingale. Photo: Wikipedia

Florence Nightingale was an English nurse, a social reformer and statistician who is regarded as the founder of modern nursing. Born on May 12, 1820, she started working as a nurse in charge of the wounded soldiers during the Crimean War between Britain and Russia.

When she initially arrived at the hospital, she was shocked by how bad the facilities were, so she established stringent standards of care and made sure the wards were clean and well-stocked with food and medical supplies.

Nightingale spent most of her time comforting and caring for the injured. She also gained fame as a trainer of nurses and manager of modern nursing. In 1860, she laid the foundation of the Nightingale School of Nursing in London.

Owliver’s Obscure Observations

Photo: History.com

Florence Nightingale was known as the ‘Lady with the Lamp’. She used to tend to patients round-the-clock, often wandering hospital wards at night and carrying out duties with just a lamp in hand, because as you may have guessed, there was no electricity back then! It is because of this practice that she earned the title.

The International Council of Nurses (ICN) started the celebration of International Nurses Day in the year 1965. The day was originally planned by Dorothy Sutherland, an official with the US Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. After decades of resistance, the day was officially approved. Since then, the ICN has been marking International Nurses Day by distributing resources and organising events so that nurses can get the respect they deserve.

Theme for 2022

The theme for this year’s International Nurses Day is ‘Nurses: A Voice to Lead – Invest in nursing and respect rights to secure global health.’

Owliver’s Obscure Observations

Florence Nightingale frequently wrote letters on behalf of dying or dead soldiers to their families. In a letter sent in 1856, she wrote, “It is with very sincere sorrow that I am obliged to confirm the fears of the father of the Late Howell Evans about his poor son … I have never in my life had so painful and unsatisfactory a letter to write.”

She died on August 13, 1910, at the age of 90. She was also a celebrated English statistician was awarded with the Order of Merit in 1907.  Florence Nightingale was the first woman to receive this honour.

Nurses and Covid: Why we should honour them

Nurses at All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi.
Photo: UNICEF

For decades and decades, nurses have worked tirelessly, often at the cost of their own health and well-being. However, their struggles and physical challenges are rarely acknowledged. So, it is our responsibility to appreciate and thank them for their contributions to the healthcare system.

The global pandemic put a lot of burden on nurses. Nurses worked with doctors 24/7 as Covid-19 continued to take a heavy toll on our lives globally. Nurses went above and beyond their everyday tasks to console patients in distress and provide them with the care and strength they needed to combat the virus.

This global Covid-19 pandemic has shown the world the important role nurses play in keeping people healthy across the lifespan

Annette Kennedy, President, International Council of Nurses

Can you think of creative and unique ways to honour nurses? Maybe write a poem to express how you feel?


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