Blue Angels Passing The Empire State Building. Image Credit- Paul Tillinghast

A Nurses Day Like No Other: Expressing Gratitude To Our Frontline Health Care Workers

Coronavirus. By now, the very word probably sends a shudder up your spine. The COVID-19 pandemic is challenging us all in ways we never thought possible.

Challenging our sanity. Our emotions. Our way of life, even.

And through it all, it’s our hospitals’ friendly nurses keeping it all together, a bulwark against chaos.

Nurses are the ones dealing with patients, sometimes surly, sometimes cranky. But nurses take it in stride.

Nurses are the ones working twelve hour shifts.

Blue Angels Passing The Empire State Building. Image Credit- Paul Tillinghast

Blue Angels Passing The Empire State Building. Image Credit: Paul Tillinghast

Nurses are the ones usually overlooked, as most think it’s all about the doctors.

It’s not.

While physicians have their irreplaceable role in helping to fight COVID-19, the brunt of the work falls on the shoulders of the nurses.

Thankfully, nurses from all over the country have flocked in the NYC metro area to help.

Some are paid. Others are volunteers. But all have picked up and left their families, jobs, their familiar scenes and comforts just to bring their best efforts to areas hardest hit by the virus.

Each year, we should remember nurses on this day and be thankful. But it’s especially true in 2020, the Year of the Pandemic.

There may be debate about COVID-19, and that’s a healthy part of the scientific and cultural process of understanding a phenomenon that is new to us all.

Oncall Team. Nurse April. Image Credit- Victor Chapa

Oncall Team. Nurse April. Image Credit- Victor Chapa

But make no mistake, the virus kills, and does so in horrible ways, leaving victims gasping for air, dying alone in a hospital.

Turning this into a political debate is disgusting. It’s not about Trump. It’s not about the Democrats. Give that a break.

It’s about a fear-stricken population doing its best to cope with something new, something unknown. Of course there will be questions, disagreements, missteps. It’s inevitable.

But all the while, remember the front-line workers, especially the nurses. They’re the ones who must face the prospect of having most of their COVID patients pass, as improvement once a patient is taken very ill is quite rare.

It’s frustrating and demoralizing, yet each day the nurses have to again dress in their scrubs and face masks and present a cheerful face to those they know have little chance of improvement.

It’s not just about giving lip service; support your local Nurses Union.

The New York State Nurses Association has over 42,000 members, and advocates for not only the rights of nurses, but patients as well.

The New Jersey State Nurses Association (NJSNA) represents 110,000 RNs.

Don’t ignore these groups. Listen to what the nurses have to say.

Saying thank you today is not only about tipping our hats, but also caring about what our Registered Nurses have to say.

The flyover by the Blue Angels and Thunderbirds last week was fun for all, and crowds gathered to witness the event.

But don’t forget the why and the who, the reason for the fanfare: Our nurses and other frontline first responders, military, health care workers, and other essential workers.

 

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