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Augusta Health recognizing nurses during their week

A sign for the healthcare heroes outside of Augusta Health. | Credit: WHSV
A sign for the healthcare heroes outside of Augusta Health. | Credit: WHSV(WHSV)
Published: May. 6, 2020 at 6:47 PM EDT
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Wednesday is National Nurses Day and at Augusta Health, they said it's important to recognize all that nurses have done, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

At hospitals across the country, nurses are on the front-lines caring for people during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"It's not like anything we've ever been through before," Crystal Farmer, vice president and chief nursing officer, said. "I think all of us have been through crises, bad weather, those sort of things, and this is really new for everyone."

While the hospital prepares for many different scenarios, they say they don't always expect to use them.

"We are always doing emergency preparedness exercises, and drills, and we have plans for pandemics, and we never thought we would use them until now," Kim Sullenger, quality coordinator for Augusta Health Home Health and Augusta Health Shenandoah House, said.

Last year, the World Health Organization announced this would be the year of the nurse. During this year and the pandemic, Augusta Health said their nurses have really stepped up, even outside their normal roles.

"A few of our home health and hospice nurses had stepped up and willingly deployed to the hospital, we've had nurses in the ICU, we've had nurses in the ED," Sullenger said.

Farmer said nurses are also taking on more tasks than they are usually responsible for.

"They are doing everything for the patient right now, and things that we would normally have other departments do, so even take out the trash in a patient's room, a nurse may do it right now."

Farmer and Sullegner said it means a lot to see all the support from the community, especially during nurses' week.

"Every nurse actually gives back every single day," Farmer said. "What they do is certainly not for themselves, and not for their families, it's really for everyone else's family."

Farmer added the community has really come together to show support and kindness for workers, with signs, gifts and other gestures.

"They think they're doing their job every day, but when somebody takes the time to write a note to say this is exactly what your job meant to me, I think that means a lot to our staff," Sullenger said.

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