News: National Nurses Week kicks off with flash mob
Story by Sgt. Sarah Enos
JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash. -- One would have thought they were at a party as the popular song "Gangnam Style" blared throughout the medical mall, causing a flash mob of hospital employees to dance in the gallop-styled craze.
The celebration gathered on-lookers as the opening ceremony began, starting Madigan Army Medical Center’s National Nurses Week, May 6.
National Nurses Week started in 1954 to advocate for nursing and public health. The week is now celebrated nationwide from May 6 to May 12, to commemorate the birthday of the founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale.
During the ceremony, 2nd Lt. Mary Kervandjian introduced this year’s theme at Madigan as "Stay Calm, Nurse On" recognizing and honoring the value of nurses and their role in meeting the health care needs of service members and their families.
According to the American Nurses Association, National Nurses Week calls attention to registered nurses and their contributions to the health care system, both as expert clinicians in diverse care settings and as leaders who can dramatically influence the quality of care and overall performance.
Kervandjian said she finds "Stay Calm, Nurse On" a challenging concept as she has only been in the nursing profession for four months. She expressed to the crowd her constant amazement at the composure of nurses at Madigan.
“From simply holding a patient’s hand to providing life saving interventions, nurses are the heart of this hospital,” Kervandjian said.
A nursing supervisor, Judith Jackson, served as a nurse in the Army Reserve from 1984 to 2009 and has been a Madigan employee since 1986. As guest speaker, she related her years of experience to resiliency and showcased the white cap and blue cape she once wore.
“When you are looking for something to keep you going, look at the strength in the people we serve,” Jackson said.
Whether it is an unstable patient or sheer number of patients, each section of the hospital has its own version of chaos.
Jackson said she has empathy for nurses as she directs patients their way. She shared three stories of some of her most memorable moments of nurses in action.
Many years ago, Jackson happened to be in the emergency room and witnessed the reception of a man who needed to be admitted late one evening. She called the charge nurse notifying of the patient’s arrival.
“I warned the charge nurse that this patient was in extremely poor condition, had been living alone, was unable to bathe and would be arriving to the floor in desperate need of hygiene,” Jackson said. “The nurses had assembled a smiling crew ready to take the patient to the tub room to bathe him properly.”
Another day, a frantic call to the mother/baby/antepartum ward caused a nurse rush to rescue a baby that was born in the restroom across the patient administration department, Jackson recalled.
Jackson also said she once observed the art of nursing coming to light in the most unusual way as she watched a nurse orchestrate a team of experts to restrain a psychiatric patient.
The crowd let out a chuckle as Jackson sang the scene in a song tune, “Da da da da da, take an arm, take a leg; da da da da da, buckle here, buckle there.”
Rawsi Williams, a registered nurse and U.S. Army veteran may have said it best when describing the role of a nurse: “To do what nobody else will do, a way that nobody else can do, in spite of all we go through; is to be a nurse.”