It has become clear that we cannot thank nurses and caregivers enough in these days of pandemic. We salute and appreciate them as modern superheroes because of their willingness to care for seniors and others in need and to help minimize their risk of exposure. In fact, the frequent handwashing and sanitizing practiced routinely by in-home caregivers and nurses can be credited to caregiving nurse and medical trailblazer Florence Nightingale. May 6-12 is set aside each year as National Nurses Week to recognize her many contributions to modern health care.
Early in her career, Florence Nightingale realized that the spread of disease often resulted from poor hygienic practices. She educated people on the importance of handwashing, personal hygiene and sanitation of medical supplies and patient rooms. Reporting to service during the Crimean War, she was horrified to find filthy water and supplies, along with insect and rodent infestation. She and a team of nurses conducted a complete cleaning and sterilization of a British base hospital, thus lowering the death rate by more than half.
Her impact on health care continues today – from the sterile medical supplies used by nurses and doctors to the cleaning and disinfecting practices conducted by in-home caregivers assisting seniors in keeping their homes clean and free of contaminants. While nurses and caregivers have long held the public’s trust, we are reminded during this global pandemic of just how crucial a role they play in healthcare and in society. Florence Nightingale’s influence is such that many caregivers and nurses do not hesitate to follow the same spiritual call to service that she reportedly experienced. In celebrating nurses and caregivers during this particularly auspicious Nurses Week, we want to share the thoughts and inspirations of Amada Senior Care franchise owners and managers who are registered nurses. Here are their words explaining what being a nurse means personally and professionally:
“Nursing is a fantastic career and I’ve been in healthcare for about 20 years now. As a nurse, and prior to as a paramedic, I thoroughly enjoy taking care of people. Being there to help in a time of crisis or providing that shoulder to comfort or just having someone smile because I was there and able to help—that’s my favorite part of being a nurse.
My fondest memories come from working in the emergency room, even though you’re exposed to many tragedies and expected to provide hope and comfort. Of course, it’s so incredibly difficult to do that, but it’s just what nurses do. There are the little things, too, like getting a meal for someone who came into the ER just to get help to take medication that needs to be consumed with food or just listening to someone talk when they have no one else who can listen.
Now as an in-home care provider with Amada Senior Care, I get to see all the positive change brought to a senior’s life—just by helping that person to bathe or take their medicine or go to the grocery store or just change their sheets on their bed. We’re so happy to do all these things to help, especially when family members live far away.
“I’ve worked with so many great nurses over the years that they’ve taught me things, especially newer graduates who come in with a different way of doing things. The continual teaching, learning and mentoring inspires me and my work. I have felt very proud of being a nurse long before Covid–19 came along but am very happy to be one now able to assist in this challenging time.”
James Bernoski, RN, BSN, Owner
Amada Senior Care of Greater Lexington (KY)
“I feel so honored to be a Registered Nurse. I have had the privilege and opportunity to touch so many lives and work with so many wonderful people. I cherish every minute of it!”
Keri Bierman, RN, Owner
Amada Temecula (CA)
“Obtaining my RN certification opened so many doors for me. Although I enjoyed acute patient care, my initial goal was cardiovascular perfusion. A career with medical devices took me out of the clinical area, but I’m glad to be involved with patient care once again through Amada Senior Care!”
Mike Fleming, Owner
Amada Johnson County (KS)
“I love what Maya Angelou said about nursing: As a nurse, we have the opportunity to heal the heart, mind, soul and body of our patients, their families and ourselves. They may forget your name, but they will never forget how you made them feel.’”
Anjuli Vaid, LVN, Owner
Amada Sacramento (CA)
“My background is in emergency medicine as a paramedic and an RN. I got to play the female superhero. I put my cape on and flew into mostly chaos—car accidents, strokes, heart attacks, drownings, gunshots. Really, it is hard to explain days that were exhausting and draining but also exhilarating at times. Was there a sense of accomplishment? Yes, when it meant a life was saved, and sometimes not when all that could be done was to offer consolation. As a nurse, you walk an emotional tightrope of being self-aware of the power you might have to affect someone’s life as well as the lack of power at any given time.”
Laural Strong, RN, Air Force Veteran, Owner
Amada Lexington (KY)
“From a young age, I knew my life would be focused on helping. As a Registered Nurse, I have the privilege of caring for people no matter where they are on the continuum of wellness. The story of my life is interwoven with all those I have given care to, making it rich, meaningful and so full of love. What a gift and blessing to be a nurse!”
Meg Colenback, RN, LICSW, Owner
Amada South Shore and Cape Cod (MA)
“I hope and pray everyone is staying safe as we navigate Covid–19. Keep our medical personnel and seniors at the top of your thoughts and prayers!”
Mike Lotz, RN, Operations/Sales Manager
Amada Columbus (OH)
The World Health Organization already had earmarked 2020 as the Year of the Nurse and Midwife before the COVID-19 pandemic got under way. The coronavirus fight shines a spotlight on the significance of nursing and caregiving to healthcare and medical science and proves nurses and caregivers are essential workers. Nurses Week ends on Florence Nightingale’s birthday (May 12), so there’s still time to show your appreciation to a nurse or caregiver. Many Amada Senior Care offices around the country are providing pizza or lunches, car parades, and treats or other goodies at hospitals, assisted living communities or skilled nursing centers, as well as care packs for caregivers. An individual can make an impact as well even with a simple thank you note, a support sign or a shoutout on social media. It all goes a long way in showing a nurse or caregiver just how much they are valued, and we honor them for the challenging work they do.
The COVID-19 situation will continue to change, but what remains steady is Amada Senior Care’s commitment to our communities. If you are having difficulty with heightened anxiety or uncertain about what assistance a loved one might require, please know we’re here for you 24/7 to help. Feel free to call us a at 877-442-6232 or you can send us an email at info@AmadaSeniorCare.com. It may feel like life is in a holding pattern, but as a caring community we will get through this together.
Do you need long-term care advice? Speak to a long-term care advisor near you.
“A Thank You to Nurses and Caregivers Helping Seniors Minimize Risk ,” by Michelle Flores, Amada Blog contributor.