The Year of the Nurse and Midwife Comes Just as We Need Them Most

BRHS Chief Nurse and Midwife Bernadette Hammond addresses staff via web conference for International Nurses Day and International Midwives Day. Photo: Jake Lynch/BRHS

 

Outside of the great and terrible wars, there has perhaps never been a time that the world has leaned so heavily on our nurses, and that they have borne the weight.

Celebrating International Nurses Day and International Midwives Day is one of our favourite moments each year, a time for all staff to come together to toast and thank nurses and midwives everywhere for the invaluable contribution they make to the health of our society.

If you’d like to leave a special message for a nurse or midwife you know, or just for nurses and midwives everywhere, use the form at the bottom of this page and we’ll pass them along to staff at BRHS.

But physical distancing restrictions in place this year meant we couldn’t host our traditional morning tea gathering and celebration at BRHS.

So we had to make do with a “Zoom” gathering instead.

And although the look and feel was very different this year, the timing has never been more meaningful.

Addressing a gathering of nursing staff via webinar yesterday afternoon, BRHS Chief Nurse & Midwife and Director of Clinical Operations, Bernadette Hammond, noted how pertinent it was that the theme of International Nurses Day this year was “Nursing the World to Health,” and that 2020 – 200 years since the birth of Florence Nightingale – was also being recognised as the Year of the Nurse and Midwife.

“We could never have imagined we’d be in this position, testing and pushing our healthcare workforce to the very brink,” Hammond said, reflecting on the frontline role that nurses and midwives have played in the fight against coronavirus. “And still, all over the world, our nurses and midwives soldier on, often at the expense of their own wellbeing and family priorities.”

“All over the world, nurses and midwives are going above and beyond.”

In a poignant moment full of emotion, Hammond asked staff to pause in silence, to honour the memories of those nurses, midwives and other healthcare workers that have tragically died in the past few months – many of them as a result of caring for others.

Not often is an online web meeting so poignant and full of emotion.

“When they were at the peak of the crisis, at their lowest point, that it was the nurses who were grabbing a couple of hours sleep on couches in the foyer and anywhere they could, and then just getting up and getting going again.”

Hammond said that she had joined CEO Robyn Hayles on a conference call recently with the Incident Management Team at one of the biggest hospitals in New York, where they heard the Incident Controller relate stories about the darkest days of the pandemic there.

“He said when they were at the peak of the crisis, at their lowest point, that it was the nurses who were grabbing a couple of hours sleep on couches in the foyer and anywhere they could, and then just getting up and getting going again,” she said. “He said they were the real heroes of the pandemic, leading in so many ways.”

To nurses and midwives everywhere, thank you.

If you’d like to leave a special message for a nurse or midwife you know, or just for nurses and midwives everywhere, use the form below and we’ll pass them along to staff at BRHS.

2020 International Nurses Day + International Midwives Day

Leave a Message for Nurses and Midwives and we'll pass them along to BRHS staff.