May 2, 2006 > National Nurses Week
National Nurses Week
Quality Nurses Equal Quality Healthcare
Unless you have spent time in the hospital with an injury or illness, you may not realize the vital and varied roles nurses play in patient care. National Nurses Week is held every year during May 6-12 as a time to reflect on the value of nursing professionals in meeting the health care needs in the United States. This year’s theme is "Nurses: Strength, Commitment, Compassion," summing up the essential qualities of a registered nurse.
At Washington Hospital, the skilled hands of nurses are found everywhere. The hospital uses the designation of National Nurses Week to celebrate the hundreds of nursing professionals who contribute to the high quality of care throughout the Washington Hospital Healthcare System.
Nurses staff the emergency room, the operating room, the pediatric unit, the birthing center, the medical/surgical unit, the critical care unit and the cardiac catheterization laboratory. They are responsible for diabetic education, the Washington on Wheels Mobile Health Clinic, and numerous educational programs and health care clinics provided by Washington Hospital. And nurses work as clinical nurse specialists, wound care clinical nurse specialists, nurse educators, nurse practitioners, nurse anesthetists, nurse administrators and nurse supervisors.
Martha Giggleman, Nursing Director, Support Services at Washington Hospital, says she finds the multifaceted nature of nursing to be one of the most enjoyable aspects of her job. "I think it is a career that has a lot of variety," Giggleman shares. "I would encourage someone thinking about nursing as a career to do it."
Although it is a common childhood game to pretend to be a nurse, many of us don’t really know what a nurse does on the day-to-day job. Nursing combines the art of caring with the science of health care. Nurses use their skills in patient care in combination with a firm foundation of scientific knowledge. A nurse focuses on the whole patient, not just a particular health problem, and concentrates on the patient’s response to treatment. The ability to give patient care while drawing from a firm base of scientific knowledge is the indispensable quality of a nurse.
According to the American Nurses Association (ANA), right now there are nearly 2.9 million registered nurses, of which 2.4 million are actively employed. In projections by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in February 2004, Registered Nurses topped the list of the 10 occupations in the United States with the largest projected job growth between 2002-2012. Giggleman points out that California ranks fiftieth in the U.S. in nurses per capita, with the demand only growing in upcoming years.
"It is a good time to be in nursing," Giggleman says.
"Our aging population will require more medical care in the future which will create more career opportunities in the nursing profession."
For more information about the nursing profession and opportunities in nursing, visit the web site for the American Nurses Association at www.nursingworld.org.
For more information about health care programs provided by Washington Hospital, visit www.whhs.com.