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‘Nurses becoming burnt out’ and treated as ‘inexhaustible force’

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Unsung heroes: Renee Faulcon, the 2023 Nurse of the Year reads the Nurses Day Proclamation at City Hall (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Nurses are being treated as an “invisible and inexhaustible force”, an event celebrating the profession was told on Friday.

Karen Grant-Simmons, president of the Bermuda Nurses Association and a former island nurse of the year, was speaking during International Nurses Day.

“People have been treating nurses as an invisible and inexhaustible force. Nurses are becoming burnt out – that must now stop, for the sake of nurses and global health,” she said.

“Nurses are key to healthy communities, responsive societies, thriving economies and powerful nations.

Unsung heroes: Renee Faulcon, the 2023 Nurse of the Year reads the Nurses Day Proclamation at City Hall (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

“Now is the time for policymakers, national and local decision-makers, to take decisive steps to build and optimise an enduring, strong and sustainable nursing workforce.”

Ms Grant-Simmons, who has been a nurse for 24 years and worked in Bermuda since 2016, said the biggest challenge in her field has been a shortage of nurses.

“Nurses are becoming burnt out and morally injured and a burnt out nurse is a dangerous one,” she said.

International Nurses Day, which is held worldwide on May 12, the birthday of nurse Florence Nightingale.

This year’s theme, chosen by the International Council of Nurses, was “Our nurses, our future.”

Renée Faulcon, recently named won Nurse of the Year, also spoke at the event, saying she found the theme appropriate and relevant in the present working environment.

She said: “Our focus for the future of nursing is to protect the right to perform at the full scope of their skills and abilities, respect nurses for the hard work they do 24 hours around the clock and value the contribution that they have made to our community.”

Laura Lynn Jackson, the island’s chief nursing officer, compared nursing during and after the coronavirus to riding a rolle rcoaster.

She said: “Like all roller-coaster rides, most of us met the challenge head-on, but screamed at every turning point.

“Some of us were unscathed, but threatened to never go on a ride again and some of us were unwell in the midst of it.

“The impact was personal and professional and we all need a moment or two to recover, rebuild and reinvest.”

Making a formal declaration at the event, Kim Wilson, the Minister of Health, spoke about the profession’s importance in Bermuda.

She said: “Despite the social and economic climate, nurses are renowned for promoting an environment in which human rights, values, customs and spiritual beliefs of the individual, family and community are respected.

“Nursing care is respectful of and unrestricted by age, colour, creed, culture, disability, gender, illness, sexual orientation, nationality, politics, race or social status.”

Nurses Day Proclamation at City Hall. Pictured, Kim Wilson, the Minister of Health (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Charles Gosling, the Mayor of Hamilton, called nurses “unsung heroes”.

He said: “Nurses are there when loved ones cannot be, to comfort and tend to those in need. To all the nurses out there, you do make a difference.”

High praise for nurses

To recognise International Nurses Day, a spokeswoman for the Progressive Labour Party said:

“The PLP salutes nurses’ dedication, compassion and tireless commitment to both their patients and to delivering exceptional healthcare services.

“The PLP acknowledges the invaluable contributions of nurses, noting that nurses form the backbone of our healthcare systems.

“These remarkable individuals play a pivotal role in promoting health, preventing illnesses, and providing holistic care to individuals, families and the wider community.”

Highlighting their hard work and dedication during and the pandemic, the spokeswoman continued:

“The PLP expresses our deepest gratitude to all nurses for the sacrifices they make, the long hours they work, and the emotional toll they bear to care for others.

“The Party also extends our gratitude to the families and loved ones of nurses, who support and stand by them throughout their demanding and challenging careers, therefore enabling nurses to fulfil their professional duties with excellence.

“Together, let us raise awareness of the critical role nurses play in our society and commit to supporting and empowering them in their noble endeavours.”

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Published May 15, 2023 at 7:56 am (Updated May 15, 2023 at 8:02 am)

‘Nurses becoming burnt out’ and treated as ‘inexhaustible force’

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