Today is International Nurses Day – a time to honour the invaluable contribution nurses make to our community and a time to say thank you for their constant care and compassion.

Narrabri Health Service Manager Sharon Simpson described the nursing team as “dedicated, supportive and exceptional”.

“Our nursing staff are superheroes with their power to heal, their strength and agility,” said Sharon Simpson.

“They are brave, they are selfless, they are caring and we are very lucky to have them all as part of the team at Narrabri Health Service.”

Narrabri District Health Service hosted a spectacular, superhero celebration to mark International Nurses Day and there is no doubt nurses are the superheroes of our region.

“Narrabri Health Service is a collaborative team which is made up of so many different professions including the hotel staff, maintenance, admin, finance, allied health, ACAT, quality, pathology and radiology,” said Acting Nurse Unit Manager Alysse Pownall.

“Today we recognise the nursing staff on International Nurses Day for all the days they stay late, the nights, days, afternoons they don’t get a break, don’t get to pee or check their socials.

“The days they miss family events because they cannot leave the workplace because the buzzers don’t stop, the phone doesn’t stop ringing, the patients pain doesn’t go on hold.

“For the nights they are called in for hours on end, but still front up for their rostered shifts with a smile on their face. For supporting each other on the roughest of days, when the worst that didn’t happen was someone didn’t die.”

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Wee Waa Community Hospital also marked International Nurses Day and Health Service Manager Maxine Ambrose praised her “dedicated team” of nurses and the extra efforts they make to keep the community safe and healthy.

She said the ‘nurse-led’ hospital is fortunate to have such skilled nurses and recognised the broad experience and capability of nurses who work in rural and regional areas.

The special event is celebrated around the world on May 12 every year, the date Florence Nightingale was born.

Of course, Florence Nightingale was a trailblazing British nurse, statistician, social reformer and leader of improved health care, and is regarded as the founder of modern nursing.

She was also known as the ‘Lady with the Lamp’ because of her nightly practice of checking on sick soldiers especially during the Crimean War.

As we pay tribute to the work of nurses during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is also timely to remember Florence Nightingale’s ‘no-nonsense approach to hygiene, sanitation and patient care’.

This year, International Nurses Day is particularly significant because it is taking place in the official ‘Year of the Nurse and Midwife’ and also coincides with the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale.

The theme for 2020 is ‘Nurses: A Voice to Lead – Nursing the World to Health’, recognising that they are the cornerstone of our health system and work tirelessly around the clock.

Member for Parkes Mark Coulton also wanted to acknowledge International Nurses Day and pay tribute to their hard work.

“Nurses are the lifeblood of small communities responding to increasingly complex health needs away from major hospitals,” said Mr Coutlon.

“Rural nurses are specialist generalists who deliver care across a patient’s lifespan—often with reduced access to the clinical supports and assistance found in our cities.

“The Government continues to make sure Australia’s highly qualified and skilled nursing workforce is available where and when it is needed across the country.

“Whether in charge of a clinic or flying in and out with the Royal Flying Doctor Service, our nurses are valued and respected health professionals in rural, regional and remote communities.”

Member for Barwon Roy Butler also praised the work of  nurses.

“Our nurses are the saints of our health care system,” said Mr Butler.

“Nurses are there when you’re born, they are there when you die, through some of the most difficult times in our lives we will be supported by nurses.

“In these difficult and challenging times, they’re there on the frontline, treating everyone with the same level of care and attention.

“They give up time with their own family to be your biggest advocates, with compassion and care they’ll look after you in some of the most critical moments of your life,” said Mr Butler.

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