May 13, 2020 Editorial
We need them more than ever now, when they are worth their weight in gold, in some instances, way more than that precious commodity could ever be valued. As they hold us close to their sights and attentions, many times to their hearts, we must reciprocate also in remembering them and holding them dear. As we remember them, we applaud them and hold them aloft for their untiring giving on our behalf when most needed.
We see them quietly passing by in their starched whites and blues. Let us not take them for granted anymore, these who dedicate their lives to more than a career, but towards the lifetime of a calling. It is a special one that now attracts to an increasing degree more and more young men, which is another encouraging development.
Though things are better than before, it is not the most rewarding or revered of professions in Guyana, which should be improved upon in both areas. The need is, also, for the presence of a broader cross-section of our population to cultivate the required interest to want to do something by living that professional life and making an important contribution. On the scale of importance, there are few things, if any, that can compete with or surpass in terms of one’s quality of life. The competence and great care of nurses make that possible during times of personal and family health crisis.
A caring nurse makes for a lot of healing, much peace of mind when needed the most. We must cherish these presences, these comforting voices and the gentle ministrations that come along with them. We must think of these nightingales that float in the hazes of consciousness, the sharp pangs of our pains wracked by fevers diverse and machines mishandled by reckless men. They toil quietly in the heat of days, amidst the hotter angers that sometimes blaze from those cared for by hand and those who come demanding more than their share. It can be a thankless undertaking, in the many bloody, sickly, dirty tasks and responsibilities that go hand in hand with the cleaning and soothing and the giving of hope, when none may be left.
It can be a dog’s life, too, that of a nurse, amidst the smells of the flesh, the overpowering wafts of disinfectants and the many other chemicals that must be administered or injected or fed at all hours on the clock. All of this has to be done amidst their own pains, own weaknesses, sometimes own fears. And at this time of incomparable and unmatched global fear, the tenseness can flare and render both caregiver and those in need of that urgent care unable to manage with what is in the lungs, hangs over the head, and literally takes the breath of life away.
Through all of this they – the silently padding, rushing, attending army of nurses- must labour with the brightest of smiles, with patience that may not have, and with fortitude wherever they are, be it Jamaica Hospital Queens, or the Georgetown Hospital of Guyana, or all the other places of caring wherever they may be.
There is a saying that in the army, it is the sergeants who run the show and make the differences that count. There is a similar sentiment that in the hospital, it is the nurses who deliver and make them run. Doctors come and go, sometimes before their presences could even register through the traumas that afflict, the chemicals intended to cure. But nurses are there all the time, be it waking or sleeping, in pain or in readying to say goodbye. It is a time that would be remembered for whatever is left in a lifetime, in the soft rustle of their soothing nearness, the touch of their fingers, the blessed reliefs that they bring when we cry out with our agonies that come from our hurts.
We pray that God will bless the work of their hands and their hearts will always be about what is compassionate, noble, and life-giving. Yesterday, the world observed International Nurses Day, it should be more than one day, since every day is worthy of a celebration of their life-saving efforts.
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