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The Science and Art of Nursing

Nursing is a science but it is also an art...

Florence Nightingale is one of my heroes.  She revolutionized the practice of medicine and created the profession of nursing.  Thoughts that we consider common sense, such as washing of one’s hands and medical equipment between patients, was unheard of when she started her nursing career.  She dramatically reduced the infection rate of the patients under her care and taught everyone within her influence to adopt these same practices.



How far we have come since Florence Nightingale, some good and some bad.  The same basic practices that she started are still fundamental practices in the science of nursing.  We have significantly increased our knowledge base and have an ever changing list of best practices. Nurses and the science of nursing saves lives.


But I think it’s the art of nursing that makes the most impact in lives.  As a nurse in the hospital, I often felt like a drug pusher, and had too many boxes I needed to tick off during a shift.  And sometimes, offering a hand to hold in the middle of the night made all the difference for that one person.  And sometimes, saying to an older patient on their way to surgery, “I’ll likely still be here when you get back, so I’ll see you when it’s all done,” gave that reassurance they needed.  Or being there to calmly touch the shoulder of a terminal patient taking their last breath.  These things are the art of nursing.  In my current career, seeing the “ah-ha moment” where someone understands what I’m teaching them, or someone finally sees our combined efforts pay off for some aspect of their health.  And these are the moments that impact me as a nurse.



Yes, nurses impact the lives of their patients.  But what many people don’t realize is that our patients impact our lives too.

Nurses Week was May 6-12, 2018, ending on the birthday of Florence Nightingale.  I'm so glad that I followed in the footsteps of one of my heroes and became a nurse and I so appreciate the dedication, compassion, and sense of humor that every nurse seems to have.  Thank you for all you do!


Posted by Karole Beck at 5/14/2018 10:20:00 PM
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