National Nurses Week honors nurses’ contributions and sacrifices and reminds us to thank these medical professionals who help keep us healthy. It is celebrated between May 6, National Nurses Day, and May 12, the birthdate of celebrated nurse Florence Nightingale.
By Jonathan Judy Del Rosario, chief nurse administrator Sutter’s Eden Medical Center
As nurses, we love the wins. It’s the best feeling to see our patients improve and leave the hospital, knowing that we impacted their care.
That sense of betterment and healing is often what got us interested in the profession in the first place—and what sustains us as time marches on. It’s what helped us through the long months of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Any nurse will tell you that there’s a push and pull to this profession. We put a lot of ourselves into our jobs. We also get a lot back in return.
This Nurses Week, I’m reminded of the heartfelt gratitude that my nurse colleagues and I are so fortunate to experience.
From a thankful patient’s spouse expressing appreciation for something that is “just my job,” to a fellow colleague who takes the time to recognize another for helping out, expressions of gratitude are never in short supply.
Prior to my journey into hospital administration at Sutter’s Eden Medical Center, I had a fulfilling career as a critical care nurse practitioner at Sutter’s California Pacific Medical Center.
During my eight years in this role, I worked alongside transplant teams caring for patients with end-stage organ failure. It was a dynamic workplace.
The adrenaline rush of initiating life-saving measures when these patients first arrived.
The sadness the care team felt as we learned recovery was not an option.
The sorrow and grief as family and loved ones said their last goodbyes.
In parallel, there would be excitement in the air as the surgeon would notify their patient that an organ had been identified.
Or hearing a nervous patient joking with family while waiting to be wheeled into the operating room.
The recipient waking up from surgery to hear everything had gone as planned.
It is hard work, both physically and mentally.
Yet while nurses, like those I’ve worked with at Sutter Health, dedicate a significant portion of their lives to others, they are often on the receiving end of immense gratitude.
Embrace it. Be comfortable with it.
Feeling thankful can be a force for good in our lives, and practicing gratitude has incredible effects, from improving mental health to bolstering our inner selves.
What’s more, the positivity that flows from gratitude can ripple across whole teams, boosting and strengthening them.
Leading with gratitude sets us up for success—for ourselves, for our patients, and for one other.
So, I say to nurses at Sutter Health and to nurses everywhere this week, I am grateful for you.
I am grateful to be a nurse!