International Nurses Day: Nurses lauded as ‘vital pillars’ in society

International Nurses Day: Nurses lauded as ‘vital pillars’ in society
International Nurses Day: Nurses lauded as ‘vital pillars’ in society

Africa-Press – Rwanda. One of my friends shared a photo yesterday, of a group of women crying while praying for nurses who had attended to their loved one. The women were blessing them for caring for their patient, and appreciating them for their efforts despite not being able to save the life of their loved one.

Their gesture was very touching, and indeed depicted the esteem that nurses and all health professionals deserve.

Universally, nurses work in a decidedly tough environment, where extreme stress is just part of their job; being responsible for others’ welfare as they take care of the sick and injured, safety and recovery of patients, and sometimes, bear to watch the patients they did everything to save, pass despite all their best efforts.

Throughout the covid-19 pandemic, nurses have made great sacrifices, where some have lost their lives trying to save other people, others have acted courageously and recommitted daily to challenge a global health hazard that was unprecedented in modern times, serving as a vital pillar to support lives.

Yesterday was International Nurses Day, a day marked to reiterate gratitude for all the nurses’ exceptional work, even in the most challenging of situations.

This year’s celebration was held under the theme; “Nurses: A voice to lead-invest in nursing and respect rights to secure global health.” Several Rwandans shared appreciative messages, while others took it to their socials to celebrate and recognise the much appreciated efforts and hard work done by these champions to save lives.

Jada Umurerwa, a resident in Kigali lauds the compassion nurses have for taking care of all lives, “It is remarkable! Thank you for your service, the sacrifices you have made in this selfless journey, we greatly appreciate you all,” she said.

Christian Uwimana, an artist, said nurses are noble for the services they deliver, adding that they make a difference in people’s lives every single day.

“Your determination to save lives never goes unnoticed, thank you for the irreplaceable services, you are the real heroes.”

Yvan Muhumuza, a student, thanks all nurses for the amazing work and continuous care for the sick, despite all they could be going through themselves.

Nurses speak out

Apart from emotional challenges, nurses do face other obstacles in their line of work. There are several challenges they are still facing today, such as low pay, unreliable medical equipment, and working overtime among others.

Dismon Karemera, an intensive care unit nurse at Rwanda Military hospital, said, despite putting all their best efforts, there are times when a nurse is unable to save lives, and it is distressing when you know it is going to happen again.

“Losing a patient is not an easy state! It is heart-breaking and depressing, where it wrings your emotions while tiring you. No matter how many years of experience you gain, it is very hurtful telling someone’s family that their loved one has passed away,” Karemera said, adding that nonetheless, you have no choice but to bear the hurt and still do the best for others.

Sophia Abayizera, a nurse at Muhima Health Centre said that work overload also puts them under pressure.

“When you attend to many patients, it can cause fatigue, burnout and inability to provide reliable safe care, playing a negative impact on the quality care received by the patient,” she said.

Abayizera added that such a situation also leads to challenges such as high rates of mortality in hospitals with many patients, especially those in health centres where they have shortage of nurses.

“Especially in rural areas, we lack adequate medical equipment to assist us in our daily work, that prevents us from taking proper care of the majority of the patients,” Esperance Uwimana, a nurse at Mwogo Health Centre, in Eastern Province said.

International Nurses Day is observed around the world on 12th May each year, to recognise the contributions that nurses make to society.

The day is also celebrated in memory of the birth of the founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale, but also to honour nurses as an invaluable resource, and raise awareness of the challenges they face.

Florence Nightingale was a British social reformer and statistician, and the founder of modern nursing who came to prominence while serving as a manager and trainer of nurses during the Crimean War, in which she organised care for the wounded.

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