National Nursing Week This is National Nursing week, beginning on May 6 and ending on May 12, which is the birth date of Florence Nightingale.
Chelsea Choma, Clinical director at Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice reads to grades K-2 at Ogdensburg Public School from the book, "Germs Are Not For Sharing, by Elizabeth Verdick. (Photo provided)
Nurses week is celebrated May 6 – 12 nationally. The purpose of this week-long celebration is to raise awareness of the value of nursing and help educate the public about the role nurses play in meeting the healthcare needs of Americans. The week ends on May 12, the birthday of Florence Nightingale. Students at the Ogdensburg Public School with the help of one of their teachers Lisa Bruning have been working hard to make "thank you" cards for the nurses at Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice. Lisa also enlisted the help of fellow teachers grades K-2 to help make cards as well. When asked why they chose the local, not-for-profit hospice as recipients of the cards Lisa Bruning said. “I think it is important for the kids to have an understanding of how working together in a small community can be so impactful and Karen Ann Quinlan has been a staple in this community for many years.” Chelsea Choma, RN, BSN, MSN, CHPN, Clinical Director at Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice helped students kick-off the week-long celebration at Ogdensburg school at a special assembly for grades K-2 where she read the book, “Germs Are Not For Sharing,” by Elizabeth Verdick. After the reading, she did an exercise with the children about sneezing and covering their noses to avoid spreading germs. The kids all giggled as Chelsea sprayed them with a water bottle to imitate what it is like to be sneezed on. “Lisa and I have been friends since the second grade and it was a wonderful experience to blend our two careers together to help spread education to the community. Engaging with all the students and being able to educate them on what a community nurse is and the types of things we do every day was a fulfilling experience.” At the end of the assembly Choma was presented with more than 40 handmade cards to be given to the nurses at Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice. “This will be such a personal and touching surprise for all of the nurses to receive these cards. The nurses at Karen Ann Quinlan give so much to their patients and families every day. I am so proud to be able to present them with individual notes thanking them for their hard work” "Nurses help people when they are sick," said student Delila Nardini with a smile. Hospice nurses focus entirely on end-of-life care. A hospice nurse provides hands-on nursing care around-the-clock in the patient's home or wherever the patient calls home. Hospice nurses manage pain and other symptoms, provide support to patients and families and assist in the process of death with dignity. Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice will hold a special breakfast in recognition of the special work that their nurses do. They also encourage everyone in the community to take time out to thank a nurse. "Nurses are at the forefront of improving patient care and transforming healthcare," said Choma, "It's nice to have a week to officially recognize all that they do to make our lives better."