JUST SO YOU KNOW
By Denise Jordan
National Nurses Week is May 6 through May 12. For me, and many others, it comes on the heels of final projects, final exams, final grades and joy for the end of a long semester. It is also a time of celebration. A time to celebrate the accomplishment of nurses. A time to recognize the contribution nursing has made to healthcare. A time to say “thank you.” And, we all have a nurse to thank. One day, somewhere, at some time in all of our lives, a nurse made a difference. Let’s take this time to say thank you. You might not be able to thank that particular nurse but pay it forward. Thank the next nurse you have contact with in honor of the one you remember.
The theme for this year’s National Nurses Week is Delivering Quality and Innovation in Patient Care. On May 4, when Chi Eta Phi Sorority hosts its annual scholarship luncheon, registered nurses will be recognized in the areas of quality, innovation and caring. In the meantime, I want to recognize future nurses—undergraduate nursing students who are making a difference right now. I will start with a poster presentation and finish with the Black Barbershop Outreach.
Engaging. Interactive. Informative. Evidenced-based. These are the words I used to describe the winning poster in the Biannual Pediatric Poster Presentation. Twice a year, students in the pediatric nursing course at IPFW research a healthcare topic and prepare a poster to present to faculty and peers. The posters are evaluated on content, imagery, and how well the research is represented in the poster. Binky Basics, a poster addressing the topics of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) was the overall favorite. Leonetti Chapman and Tamara Amberg were the creators of the prizewinner.
Binky Basics addressed the use of pacifiers in reducing the incidence of SIDS. Some parents don’t want their babies to use pacifiers but the research bears out that pacifiers can and do make a difference. Chapman and Amberg put together the research findings in a way that will make parents take a second look and rethink the use of pacifiers. Their poster will save lives. Congratulations to Leonetti Chapman and Tamara Amberg for their winning submission and thank you for taking on such an important topic.
Congratulations also go to the IPFW nursing students who managed six of the 10 sites used for the Third Annual Black Barbershop Outreach. These students put the principle of health promotion and disease prevention through education into action. They provided screenings for high blood pressure and diabetes and education on prostate cancer, tobacco cessation, and other healthcare issues. I also want to take this time to thank all the healthcare volunteers who participated in this event—the registered nurses, practical nurses, medical assistants and paramedics who took care of the screening and education at other sites. Thank you.
Thanks also to the people who assisted with registration and most of all, to the barbers who allowed us into their shops. These were not healthcare professionals—they were people who cared. Thank you. Thanks to Mayor Tom Henry for participating in the screening. His presence helped draw attention to the healthcare needs of black men. And last but not least, thanks to my partner in planning this event, Andre Patterson. This program could not have been successful without the participation of all.
If you have a story about how a nurse made a difference in your life, I’d love to hear it. Send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article originally appeared in our April 24, 2013 issue.