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Yesterday we told you about Nurses week which is being observed from May 11th to the 16th all across the country. We all know the work they do goes unnoticed and unappreciated most of the time. And since they directly impact individual patient safety and health, they make up critical components in the health care sector. They care, comfort, provide a little humor to calm nerves and help save lives and so the week is designated to honor these key players in providing health care services to their communities.


It’s a heavily scrutinized profession but recognizing their efforts should not be understated. So today, we decided to get a sneak peek at their daily life. Reporter Maria Novelo and Video Journalist Jesus Melgar have that story in the following report.

Screen_Shot_2014-05-14_at_8.40.52_PMMaria Novelo– Reporting

Health care is constantly changing and evolving. Today, more than ever, nurses are stepping out of their comfort zone and becoming active contributors and innovators in the health care system. Presently, sixty four nurses make up the support staff at the Northern Regional Hospital. Vice President of the Nurses Association Richard Reid says, over the years there has been an increase of males in the profession.

Richard Reid - Vice President of the Nurses Association

“Guys understand that the profession is not only for females but also guys can give a certain professional health care to other people but you don’t have to be a doctor or to be a male to be a nurse.”

But that a conscious effort to show appreciation to our nurses is welcomed since these care providers make up the backbone of our healthcare system.

Richard Reid - Vice President of the Nurses Association

“It actually show the nurse out there and the service that they provide to the community and they are very vital resource to help but without nurse you will end up not getting your injections on time and you won’t receive your medication on time, you won’t get to change the patient clothes on time to monitor that patient vital and be there to give that patient a holistic to that patient.  A doctor can come in for five minutes and he goes but a nurse will be there every time so if you having a pain it is the nurse first and so we think that this week it is very important and dedicated to the nurses to show the appreciation that they are very well appreciated and without them health won’t be as very good as it is right now.”

Anesthetise Nurse Elsie Casteneda, who has been in the profession for over thirteen years, says it comes with its challenges but is very rewarding.

Elsie Casteneda - Anesthetise Nurse

“I choose this profession because I love to help people and this is a way that I can assist them to get better if they are having pain we know we can alleviate pain and as you know in anaesthesia anybody who needs a surgery will go through pain but we in anaesthesia alleviate all of that and when surgery is over they do not even realize that the surgery is over, that is duty of anaesthesia we have their lives in our hands.  The challenges, personally me I would like to be with my kids and spend more time as a mother because I have two babies but also I have to serve my community and that is when I have to be out on early morning calls or the nights and I have to leave them that is when I feel it and I say why I chose this profession but then when I come and I help somebody to get better I feel good and I tell them about my cases and it is very reward indeed it is.”

One of the biggest challenges says Reid, is the shortage of nurses countrywide but that there is also a high demand for midwives in the health sector.

Richard Reid - Vice President of the Nurses Association

“The community might complain sometimes that the nurse might ignore but we have to look in fact that we are short of nurses right now and the nurse are doing their best to provide that quality care for you for the moment. We are short of midwives, we would wish that the nurses that are studying that they would take midwifery and to specialize in that area because we don’t have much midwives and we expect our midwives to perform a very good quality but due to the amount of patients we only have maybe two or three midwives working on that time, they have to do deliveries, they have to do postnatal care and they have to tend to the especial baby care unit and it is a lot of work for them and a lot of paper work.”

And amidst all the challenges, paper work, tending to an average of eight to ten patients on a hectic day, many feel unappreciated by the patients they provide care to. But despite that fact, the Nurses Association has seen an improvement in performance.

Elsie Casteneda - Anesthetise Nurse

“Some people I have been noticing that they don’t know what it is to say like good morning to a nurse but they just expect that the nurse come and tend to you and give them treatment and hurry come tend to me no there is a method  where the patience need to come and get their tickets but if it is a real emergency then they explain to the nurse and they are attended but then especially this week I am asking the community or Orange Walk to be more courteous and have more patient to the nurse because that is the way everybody would like to be treated.”

This year’s nursing week is being held under the theme ‘Nurses – a force for change, a vital resource for health.’ In January 1974, officials decided to celebrate the occasion on this date to coincide with the anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, widely considered as the founder of modern nursing. 

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