A Tale of Talents

A Tale of Talents

Nurses week celebration and role of nurses

Mary Kappiarumalayil

Nurses: The image of dedication and care
Every profession has its own significance in serving the community; however, nursing is a unique field that has the most opportunity to assist fellow beings from birth to the end of life. The everyday act of caring for the patients allows nurses to live out their faith. As we celebrate nurse’s week during the month of May, it will be appropriate to remember their background, their service to the society, and how their work becomes an act of discipleship to Jesus.

Definition of Nursing and a Brief History
Although nursing can simply be defined as a profession of caring for the sick, in reality, it is way more than that. According to Florence Nightingale, “Nursing is an art: and if it is to be made an art, it requires an exclusive devotion as hard a preparation as any painter’s or sculptor’s work.”  Florence Nightingale, also known as ‘the lady with the lamp,’ had the strongest influence on the field of nursing and healthcare as we know it today.

Nursing is an art: and if it is to be made an art, it requires an exclusive devotion as hard a preparation as any painter’s or sculptor’s work.”  Florence Nightingale, also known as ‘the lady with the lamp.

Nurses Week and its significance
National Nurses Week begins every year on May 6th and ends on the birthday of Florence Nightingale which is May 12th. Nurses week gives us an opportunity to show our appreciation for Nurses for what they do in the healthcare field. It is a day to acknowledge the nursing profession’s vital and unique contributions to health care and society. Nurses week allows the people a chance to recognize and thank the nurses for what they have done in their lives and in the community. By delivering high-quality patient care, nurses become essential to the success of their organizations, profession, and the field of healthcare in general.  Therefore, it is significant to recognize them for their selfless dedication and ability to educate the public about the humble act of caring for the sick and the weak. This recognition will renew nurses’ commitment to their profession, bestow added pride in their work, and deepen their loyalty to both their nursing teams and healthcare organizations.

Memories of working as a nurse
Working as a nursing assistant in nursing homes, at the beginning of my nursing career, I encountered the loneliness and helplessness that was experienced by the patients. Some of them have no family, while some have families, but no one to visit them.  For them, even a gentle touch, a smile, a word of comfort, or a patient listening goes a long way. Seeing their happiness and gratitude is the greatest reward that we receive. We can feel this moment of gratitude while answering their calls on time, assisting them with their daily activities, or giving them the snacks they like.

We become a part of the patient’s family when we work as nurses; their happiness is our happiness, and their sadness becomes our sadness. Also, we encounter situations where patients or families may get upset with us, even if we provide the best care that we could. It can even affect our daily life. During these difficult times, our Christian faith upholds and soothes us. Our stronghold is a merciful God who listens to the cries of His faithful and stretches His arms to comfort them. Matthew 11: 28-30, says, “Come to me, all you who labor and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” We rely upon these words of the Lord and entrust all our burdens upon Him; and He comforts us, thus, giving us peace.

While providing care to patients with different sicknesses, serious-to-mild injuries, or addiction complications, we receive the insight that human beings are just instruments of God who is the supreme power. He can do miracles even in helpless situations and we are able to witness these acts of overflowing God’s Mercy during deserted times. As it is written in Romans 9:16,“So it depends not upon a person’s will or exertion, but on God’s mercy.”

“So it depends not upon a person’s will or exertion, but on God’s mercy.”

 Benefit for the family
Nurses can provide more effective attention to their families’ needs by understanding their own specific needs. In my own experience, with an educational background in mathematics from India, it was challenging, at first, to start working in the nursing field, especially soon after migrating to the USA. However, I slowly realized that it was God’s providence to prepare me for the care I would give to my family members.“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future(Jeremiah 29:11).

 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future

Being in the profession of nursing really helped me provide appropriate care to my in-laws. When I look back to those days, I am so grateful to the Lord that I was able to be a part of the team in giving care to them. However, I do not suggest that individuals who are not nurses do not care for their families; rather, I mean to say that nursing knowledge adds an extra point to someone in providing compassionate and professional care.

Nursing: a service of God
The ministry of nursing is servant work in which everyone is called to be servants of God as Jesus was. Jesus Christ, Son of God, humbled himself to be born as the son of a woman, served humans, suffered, was crucified and sacrificed His own life for our sins. Is there any humility greater than this? He taught us: “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me” (Matthew 25: 40). These words of Jesus remind us that we are carrying Jesus in us when giving care to the patients. This is how Mother Teresa looked after the poor, orphans, and the oppressed ones in the street. She saw the face of Jesus in the face of each sick and dying person she helped.”I see Jesus in every human being. I say to myself; this is hungry Jesus; I must feed him. This is sick Jesus. This one has leprosy or gangrene; I must wash him and tend to him. I serve because I love Jesus.” – Mother Teresa.

I see Jesus in every human being. I say to myself; this is hungry Jesus; I must feed him. This is sick Jesus. This one has leprosy or gangrene; I must wash him and tend to him. I serve because I love Jesus. – Mother Teresa.

Some insights for improvement
When we celebrate nurse’s week during this month, let’s give thanks to the Lord for allowing us to be a part of this mission. During this time, we can reevaluate ourselves and acknowledge that there may be many more ways in which we can improve. This could vary depending on the individual. For some. it may be just as simple as listening to the patients more; for others, it could be working on and praying for being more compassionate. Definitely, all of us, as disciples of Jesus, should pray for ourselves, our teammates, and the patients to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Let’s be reminded of Jesus’ words: “Do to others whatever you would have them do to you” Matthew (7:12).

“Do to others whatever you would have them do to you” Matthew (7:12).

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