For the second consecutive year, the theme for National Nursing Week in Canada is “we answer the call.”
Northern Health’s Interim Chief Nursing Officer Helen Bourque said while the theme continues to be accurate, she hopes the 2023 one will be different.
The COVID-19 pandemic has hit nearly every workforce hard, but especially anyone working in healthcare.
“I think our staff is tired, they’re as tired as each one of us,” Bourque said.
“It’s been exhausting, it’s been grueling.”
National Nursing Week is celebrated in Canada each year the same week at Florence Nightingale’s birthday, May 12.
“The theme this year is #WeAnswerTheCall and was developed by Canadian Nurse’s Association to showcase the many roles that nurses play in a patient’s healthcare journey,” an excerpt from the Canadian Nurse’s Association website reads.
“The pandemic brought to light the courage and commitment that nurses work under every day and showed the important role that nurses play in the community.”
Bourque said the fact the theme is the same as in 2021 shows how long the pandemic has dragged on.
“I would say there has been more public awareness of roles that nurses are involved in during the pandemic,” she said, noting that nurses were the main workers at mass vaccination clinics, as well as their usual roles supporting patients.
“That has been front and centre, as well as testing, gathering of the swabs for testing for COVID-19.”
Nurses throughout the pandemic have been put on the front lines of the battle against the virus, and Bourque said many have been forced to adapt to keep services going strong.
“The ability to change and respond and work with their colleagues and team members for the care of the patient is something that has happened very, very quickly,” she said.
“And nurses are good at that work, and good at responding quickly.”
Bourque said Nursing Week was a chance to make sure nurses feel appreciated in the community.
“Ensuring that we have a moment to pause and celebrate is super important this week.”
“We’re just very thankful for our nurses, and we appreciate them. They’ve worked very hard.”
As for a theme for next year, a suggestion of “back to normal,” got a chuckle from Bourque.
“Let’s hope we have a new theme next year,” she said, while laughing.
“We are so thankful for the ways in which our nurses stepped up every single day.”
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