By Megan E. Doherty
Nurses, masters of the art and science of care giving, were recognized and honored during National Nurses Week in May celebrating “Ethical Practice, Quality Care”.
The week was off to a delicious start with a breakfast honoring tenured nurses. Held in the Sky Lobby, the feast featured croissants, pastries, fresh fruit, eggs, hash browns, bacon, granola, coffee, and a yogurt station. For these 64 nurses who, combined, have over 1600 years caring for patients at the University of Chicago Medicine, the morning was like a reunion, filled with excited hugs and allowing them to catch-up on family, work, and upcoming plans.
Each has worked at the hospital at least 25 years, but none as long as Lynn Sanders, an OR nurse who has been at UCM for 44 years. “There have been many fast-paced changes in medicine, but nursing is still an art,” said Sanders, RN. “You only have a few minutes to develop a rapport with a patient, sometimes only three minutes.”
A brown bag luncheon featured Ann Perry, EdD, RN, FAAN, co-author of Fundamentals of Nursing and Clinical Skills and Techniques. Her talk, “Caring: What’s in Your Wallet?” focused on caring at the bedside, where knowledge and practice meet.
“Nurses are the best multitaskers around. They are constantly being pulled away from their care,” said Perry, who pinpointed caring as the difference between good and great nursing. She cautioned that these professionals, who show extreme grace under pressure, may be prone to compassion fatigue. Even just affirming that your colleague may be having a crummy day or applauding a job well done can make all the difference.
The highlights of Nurses Week 2015 included a blessing of the hands, 15-minute massages to ease stressed necks, shoulders and backs, department raffles, an awards ceremony, and an all-levels, intention-based yoga class. Designed to connect mind and body, aspiring yogis breathed and bent their way through poses both strengthening and calming, such as “tree” and “warrior”.
Dede Soriano, RN, eagerly took advantage of the opportunity to close out her day with some relaxation. “It’s very restorative,” said Soriano, who has loved yoga since 2007. “I know I’ll sleep well tonight!”