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National Nurses Week: Honoring the Heroes of Healthcare

May 11, 2020

Let's Celebrate Nurses Week 2020

Since the onset of the coronavirus and its rapid spread throughout the United States early this year, the entire country—individuals, families, schools, sports leagues, retail organizations, restaurants, and too many others businesses and entities to count—have been impacted. However, none has been affected more than those working on the frontlines, particularly in the healthcare industry.

This year, National Nurses Week runs from Wednesday, May 6, through Tuesday, May 12, and serves as a time to recognize nurses for their continual selfless dedication to their patients and their organizations throughout the nation. In a time when COVID-19 has required more of their dedication and relentless service than ever before, nurses have continued to show why they have been called “unsung heroes” for years.

For months now, nurses have been risking their lives and working countless hours treating patients who have suffered extreme cases of the coronavirus. Pediatric nurses, orthopedic nurses, and many other nurses in different specialties have either volunteered or been required to help with coronavirus patients—requiring them not only to make difficult decisions they were not anticipating to make but also to learn and adapt quickly in settings and patient populations to which they are not as accustomed.

What is most striking and admirable is how fearless nurses throughout the entire U.S. have been during this global pandemic. When the situation in New York became dire, more than 90,000 retired and active healthcare workers, including nurses from states all over the nation, volunteered to help.

According to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as of April 9, more than 9,000 healthcare personnel had contracted the coronavirus. It is no secret that nurses working regularly with COVID-19 patients are constantly exposed to dangerous conditions, and they often do not even have adequate personal protective equipment. In fact, some nurses were even required to reuse their face masks, a practice that, though approved by the CDC and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, is not exactly embraced by everyone in the healthcare industry.

While there are a number of critics who openly share their opinions regarding how city, county, state, and national leaders and politicians have handled this unprecedented virus, it is rather difficult to offer anything but praise to the nurses and other healthcare providers who are continuing to risk more than their health each day—they are constantly risking their lives.

Medscape created a space dedicated to those who have lost their lives in the fight against coronavirus while trying to treat and save their patients who have been inflicted with this often deadly disease.

There are a number of ways to express gratitude to nurses during this time, including writing letters and making videos with heartfelt messages. You can also help to provide and/or deliver meals for nurses and other hospital workers. Check with your local hospitals, restaurants, city organizations, and volunteer organizations to discover ways that you can say thanks to the nurses in your area.

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