By Angela Norval
As nurses continue to face the challenges of working through the Covid pandemic, they also continue to show incredible strength and dedication through difficult working conditions.
The Friendly Society Private Hospital acting director of clinical services Sandra Blake, a nurse with many years’ experience in the industry, said it was only fitting the important role of nurses was being highlighted on International Nurses Day, which was the world’s most famous nurse, Florence Nightingale’s birthday.
“Florence Nightingale was not only before her time, but was truly the basis for all good nursing practices that are followed today and, not surprisingly, was the first person who said that nurses should always wash their hands regularly, a fact that is never more prevalent than in our modern society and current Covid climate,” she said.
“It is important to have a day like this that allows us to celebrate the nursing profession and its importance within our health system, especially as here at the Friendly Society Private Hospital we have seen time and time again the quality of care they provide.
“This has been through regular feedback, but also our own auditing system because we appreciate there needs to be a definite focus around elements of care.”
The Friendly Society Private Hospital nursing staff was faced with a huge challenge under extraordinary circumstances throughout Easter with 12 patients testing positive within the hospital and needing a real focus on special care.
Add to that, 85 of the 245-nursing staff tested positive to Covid since 20 December 2021, meaning there was a limited number of staff available for work.
“I am incredibly proud of how well our nursing staff did in such a time of extreme difficulties and just how hard they worked to ensure we provided a safe environment for all our patients and staff,” Sandra said.
“There is a lot involved in nursing Covid patients physically with the amount of safety clothing that needs to be worn each day, but there were also patients who were cognitively impaired that we needed to help feel safe and also their families up to date.
“Nurses take so many roles in what they do and it really highlighted even more just how important these people are, and that despite the fact that they had to work some incredible hours they still turned up and were there.
“The nurses at the Friendly Society Private Hospital are as much an important part of the community as they are of the hospital.
“They continue to show that being a nurse is about having the right heart because we are in a human industry and you can be bright and well educated, but need to have real empathy and compassion because we are seeing people in their real time of need.”
Sandra highlighted that with the theme of this year’s day being Nurses: A Voice to Lead – invest in nursing and respecting rights to secure global health, the Friendly Private Hospital staff were lucky to have a chief executive officer Simone Finch who really understood what it was like for those in the nursing profession.
“Through something as simple as a special afternoon of cake, barbecue and gifts, our nurses are given a chance to reflect and come together for an afternoon of fun.
“Our CEO recognises their hard work and continues to support them, appreciating the importance of investing in the nursing profession to strengthen our health system and providing an opportunity for further education and them to lead at a patient level.
“Time and again our nurses have shown the true value of leadership and we can’t be more grateful for their commitment and care.”