It’s Cinco de Mayo and there is sure to be plenty of celebrating across Arizona today. But did you know about another celebration that begins tomorrow?
Nurses are the largest portion of the health care workforce. They are its front lines and its backbone. They are consistently ranked among the most trusted professionals, with honesty and ethical standards rated even higher than those of the clergy, doctors and police officers in Gallup’s annual poll.
Nurses spend more time with patients than any other health care provider, and they have unique insights about the interplay among the factors that affect patient care. They bring an important voice and point of view to management and policy discussions. They are in a perfect position to empower families to perform the caretaker’s role, and they are strong patient advocates.
While we are saluting nurses for their incredible contributions, the nurses themselves use this week to develop new strategies to improve care. According to the American Nurses Association (ANA) website, the theme this year is “Creating a Culture of Safety.” The following is from the ANA website:
ANA is asking all nurses to consider how they can individually and collectively work toward creating a culture of safety in their workplaces, which means ensuring not only the safety of their patients, but also their own safety. For example, safe patient handling and mobility strategies prevent injuries to patients and nurses. The same can be said for safe staffing and a host of other issues that ANA — and hopefully nurses nationwide — will explore over the course of the year.
That is right in step with the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association’s focus this month of Patient Safety and Care Quality and a focus on “Free From Harm.” We applaud nurses, not only for their invaluable work, but for their dedication to finding new ways to face the health challenges they encounter every day.
If you know of a nurse who you believe deserves to be recognized for going above and beyond, let us know so we can share your story with people across Arizona. Without nurses, we realize we would never be able to reach our long term goal of making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation. And we want to take this opportunity, on the eve of National Nurses Week, to say a heartfelt – thank you!