BY JOHN GREEN
Every year during the first two weeks of May, we celebrate National Hospital Week and National Nurses Week. This year, National Hospital Week is May 10 – 16 and National Nurses Week is May 6 – 12, so they overlap this weekend. It is certainly not a coincidence that the two events share some dates together as hospitals and nurses are thankfully irreversibly intertwined.
Smart, patient-centered nurses make up half of the clinical staff of any hospital, and are a large portion of our workforce in other areas of the Health System as well. Nurses help keep everyone focused on ensuring exemplary patient care.
Beck Quate, our vice president of Nursing and Patient Care Services, sums it up well: “A hospital will never be a success without a strong, compassionate nursing staff.”
At the same time, a health system also needs a multi-disciplinary collaboration of many other professions to make the whole healthcare process work smoothly. Just like in football, a team cannot win with only one strong player but needs an entire team of strong players with one guiding principle. In football the goal is to score more points than your opponent; in healthcare, it is to help your community be healthier. I am unabashedly proud to say that the staff at Iredell Health System meets and beats this description as they all work to follow our four values of collaboration, compassion, integrity and respect on a daily basis.
As I write this, it would be wholly inadequate to leave the description there. A worldwide pandemic has gripped us and completely changed our lives right now. As with many potential crises, one might be tempted to say something of this sort affects a population-dense area like New York City and not somewhere like Iredell County, but this virus knows no boundaries and can spread quickly and dangerously.
Healthcare workers have always been known as caring healers who want to help others. It is truly why most, myself included, went into this career field. These past few months have tested that resolve with the many significant challenges and dangers that occur on a seemingly daily basis. I am pleased to see and say, although I am not surprised, that locally and throughout this country, health systems and nurses stood up and with great skill did what they do best — they took care of others in need! This pandemic has certainly not been defeated, but with growing knowledge every day of how to protect oneself and care for others, health systems and nurses will continue to push forward.
While I am grateful to be part of the Iredell Health System team and am certainly proud of what we do in and for this community on an ongoing basis, I think it is also important to note that our county is fortunate to have three hospitals that should all be celebrated this week. All three organizations — Iredell Health System, Davis Regional Medical Center and Lake Norman Regional Medical Center — are here to serve this community and are staffed by wonderful, caring individuals. Whether they work at our hospitals or in other roles, including in physician offices, nursing homes, corporate clinics, home health and more, all of these individuals, in all of their different roles, are critical to the success of our healthcare systems.
Thanks this week to the staff of health systems and nurses for all you do. While you do not do it for fame or glory, you deserve both. Thank you for making our community a better, healthier place to live.
John Green is the president and CEO of Iredell Health System.