A nurse is usually the first contact a patient has when visiting a doctor’s office, clinic or hospital, and area health officials are honoring their service this week.
National Nurses Week, May 6-12, focuses attention on the diverse ways America’s 3.1 million registered nurses work to save lives and to improve the health of millions of individuals.
According to the Cherokee County Health Department, there are approximately 30,000 registered nurses and 12,000 licensed practical nurses working in Oklahoma.
“Public health nurses help ‘Shape Our Future’ by providing health department services such as child and adult immunizations, preventive health screenings, nutrition education, child guidance services, disease and injury prevention, services to mothers and babies, emergaency preparedness and school health education,” said CCHD Administrative Director Maria Alexander.
Annually, National Nurses Week begins May 6, marked as Registered Nurses Recognition Day, and ends May 12, the birthday of Florence Nightingale, found of nursing as a modern profession.
The Cherokee County Health Department encourages employers in the area to also use this week as an opportunity to recognize nurse employees through programs and events.
“We would like the public to join s as we pay tribute to our nurses for a job well done,” said Alexander.
Public health nurses employed at CCHD include Sheree Caldwell, advance practice registered nurse and certified nurse practitioner; Jill Crawford, R.N.; Tamarkia Fisher, R.N.; Keri Ratliff, R.N. coordinating nurse; Donna Jones, R.N.; and Kelly Parker, R.N.
Dr. James Madison, chief of staff at Tahlequah City Hospital, said he relies on the hospital’s nursing staff to provide dedicated care to patients.
“Nurses Week is an opportunity to honor the backbone of healthcare in America,” said Madison. “Nurses are compassionate, caring individuals who provide the professional support for people when they need it the most. Physicians will readily admit their reliance on nurses as professional partners in the care of their patients. I am very grateful for the opportunity to recognize these outstanding individuals. I personally want to acknowledge and thank the nurses I rely on every day for their dedication and care of our patients.”