NURSES’ DAY 2006
This I Believe
This I Believe, that the Nursing of Public health has been present since the beginning of Nursing.
Public Health Nurses are those persons who have looked at patients as whole beings and who have tried to prepare them and bring health to where they were. These are nurses who have fought much opposition to either give the patients access or to access the patients themselves so that they could assist and teach and maintain.
In history you find these nurses in the barrios of the ghetto in cities such as New York City. You also find them in remote areas in Appalachia riding the famous donkey or in Indian reservations.
What is it that makes Public Health Nurses so different from other nursing fields? It is in part the knowledge base. In Public Health one does not limit their practice to certain diseases or certain ages. Their knowledge has to be very broad and encompass various ages and diseases and life styles. Those nurses who see primarily children also must see moms and perhaps understand the problem of the grandparents. These nurses must be able to asses’ individuals but also asses groups.
What behavior is occurring in this community to put these persons at risk for their health? Is the culture not allowing health care. Does the culture posses a leader or an alternate health care person such as a shaman that nurses must work with to attain the care for these individuals? Are there polluting factories? Are there landlords that refuse to maintain the basics? Are there politicians that believe paving roads are more important? These nurses are independent — both in their own person as a group. They are willing to stand up for what they believe for themselves and for their client.
Our nurses see individuals in the home setting in a community. The nursing home and day care staff asses the community of folks, but also look at individuals. School nurses asses each child, in that environment and deal with parents and teachers and community persons. Communicable disease staff investigates individuals and then move outward, looking at the whole community, creating a larger picture. School, lead and health promotion nurses not only work as nurses but spend time as educators and teachers.
All of the nurses in the Cincinnati Health Department are examples of independent thinkers; they are creative advocates for their clients. Often they are so fierce in their advocacy that managers find it difficult to maintain an order. But we are all Public Health Nurses and we work together for those issues we know are best for the individuals and groups that we are assisting
This I Believe — That this group of nurses, this group of Public Health Nurses, these individuals inclusive of all employees, staff and managers, are the best Public Health Nurses and This I Believe — this day is for all of us.
Happy Nurses Day!
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