1. Cogley, Kimberly MSN, RN, MBA

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How is a nurse defined? According to the Webster dictionary, a nurse is "a person who cares for the sick or infirm." If given the opportunity, how would you define a nurse? Depending on the person questioned, the answers can vary in many degrees.

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From a patient's view, a nurse can be a person who brings around medication that is needed to help with pain, nausea, or anxiety. The nurse could be the one who encourages them out of bed to walk the hall after surgery. The nurse can be the gentleman who comes into the room to listen to their heart and lungs or the woman who stops the machine from beeping all the time. To the patient, or child, the nurse is often the person whom they see more than their family members.


To a family, a nurse is the person who is there to care for their loved one when they are not able to be. The nurse is that man who is comforting the parents and holding their hands while their child is going through a difficult time in the hospital. The nurse is the lady who explained the plan of care in a totally understandable manner after the doctor used medical terminology and unknown abbreviations. The nurse is that person who teaches how to change the dressing on their child's surgical wound.


To the parents, nurses appear as lifesavers, relieving them when they need a break from their crying baby. The nurse is the guy who showed them how to care for their newborn or the gal who supported them as their toddler was removed from their arms and taken back to the operating room. The nurse is the person who comes in to wake the child who might have a concussion every time the child falls asleep.


No matter which person the nurse is or whatever role the nurse plays, the same words will resonate when asked: He or she is kind, compassionate, caring, attentive, empathetic, knowledgeable, sensitive, dedicated, and the list goes on. Each member of the American Pediatric Surgical Nurses Association organization exhibits these qualities. These are also the words that colleagues use when describing each other. As we navigate through this pandemic, the world currently appears very different to all of us. Our normalcy has changed. We have gone from walking along side each other while assessing patients to communicating with one another via video chat, email, or texts. Although COVID-19 has changed our daily routine, we trust that our colleagues continue to do the best for the patient as well as care for themselves. For us as nurses to be able to provide the care for the patient, we need to ensure that our own needs are met as well. Take a walk outside, exercise, read a book, or watch that movie that you missed last year. It is important to take time for ourselves each day to ensure our own health.


As we celebrate 2020: Year of the Nurse, remember that this celebration is because of you! Your dedication and the endless hours logged, day in and day out, do not go unnoticed. At the end of the day when you cannot give another minute, please know that the patient on the receiving end appreciated every moment that you were able to give.