They are the first ones who make us feel as though the earth really is back under our feet. They move quickly and their actions seem familiar and frightening at the same time.
Even when we know there are no guarantees, we want assurance that everything will be fine. These calm professionals give us hope. They perform the almost impossible task of confronting crises and comforting hearts with equal skill.
It is only fitting that Emergency Room Nurses are honored with their own special day on the second Wednesday of each October. This recognition finally came about in 1989 and it is an opportunity for us to express our appreciation and gratitude.
It is hard to imagine today, but nursing was once considered a type of domestic position with little to command professional respect or fair compensation.
In 1860, Florence Nightingale brought her field experiences home from the Crimean War and established the first formal training programs for nurses. Her London school at St. Thomas Hospital laid teaching foundations based on the highest levels of patient care for all.
Another 100 years would pass before the concepts of emergency nursing and triage would develop into the modern field we all depend on today. In 1970, the Emergency Nurses’ Association formed as a national organization. Its focus is education, outreach and critical patient safety.
While we rely on emergency nurses as some of our first responders, it is important to acknowledge their influence in our communities and around the globe. Their commitment, service and dedication have brought extraordinary changes in trauma care for children, the elderly and the bereaved.
Goals for excellence in patient care inspire emergency room nurses to campaign for health legislation that affects us all. They assess our wounds, ease our pain, hold our hands and offer their shoulders. In return, we take this day to recognize their contributions and express our very deepest thanks.