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On the Front Lines of Medicine – Nurse Practitioners & the COVID-19 Pandemic

As the unprecedented pandemic took the world by a storm, healthcare professionals and nurses became the soldiers on the front lines of medicine.

From the days back yonder when all babies were born at home to modern times when nurse practitioners assist surgeons during complicated surgical procedures, nurses have always been an integral part of the health sector. Their importance and the need for their specialized skills are prominent in the fact that more than 59% of the total health professionals in the health sector are nurses.

Waging War Against COVID-19

Today’s nurses are currently deep in the battlegrounds, fighting an unprecedented pandemic with COVID-19 on the opposite end, waging war as it claims millions of lives. It has become a foe as formidable as any other type in our medical history.

While their contributions to the healthcare industry have been recognized as critical, especially in-patient care, the pandemic has illustrated the evolving nature of their role in a better light. Their job is more than just taking vitals and helping patients get in and out of bed.

Apart from their medical specialties, nurses during the pandemic have been the source of solace and human connection for patients admitted to hospitals. Whether the reason for their admittance is COVID-19 or any other health issue, restricted visitation from loved means nurses is the ones connecting them with the patient.

Non-medical professionals often forget the burden and mental toll that comes with this job. Nurse practitioners are trained in bedside manners, including instances where they might have to help a patient as they are passing away.

The weight of that responsibility and then talking to and comforting their families and loved ones can be overwhelming, especially during a pandemic that continues to take more lives every day.

Recognizing the Contributions of Nurse Practitioners

The COVID-19 breakout brought a deluge of new healthcare problems and challenges for medical professionals. With no vaccine or direct treatment available, the fight against it has been a difficult one.

Nurses and nurse practitioners have been forthcoming in their participation, taking on long work hours, volunteering, and essentially putting their own life and wellbeing on the line for others. This selflessness deserves a few prayers for nurses and the role they are playing.

While historical contributions of nurses such as Florence Nightingale are recognized as foundational in the field of modern nursing, 2020 has been the source of light that has illuminated the fact that they are vital for a healthier future.

They are healers, caregivers, patient advocates, researchers, innovators, and leaders. The recognition of the year 2020 as the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife is befitting. The World Health Organization intends to celebrate the rest of the year with its partners, advocating for nurses in the workforce.

The goal is to support further resource availability to more aspiring nurses who will choose the nursing path. This part is vital as a WHO report indicated that there is a shortage of nurses in the world. The 28 million nurses currently working around the world need an additional force of 5.9 million more nursing professionals to ensure proper healthcare for our growing population and changing requirements.

The year-long celebration, in addition to appreciating nurses’ efforts during the pandemic, also intends to educate people. Doctors, physicians, and surgeons, while immensely important, are not the only ones supporting healthcare. Nurses make up the fourth pillar on which the industry stands.

Unwavering Support for Frontline Nurse Warriors

We must say a prayer for the nurses on whom we rely on patients and family/friends of patients. Their unwavering dedication to providing the best care possible in a range of stressful settings is noble and commendable.

Whether you’re religious or not, a few prayers for nurses may help them grapple with a pandemic that continues to challenge healthcare professionals. So let 2020 be the year where we don’t just pray for our nurse heroes but also support all that they do for us in our times of need.

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