Amy Reeves, RN, monitors a patient in the patient care unit at Moses-Ludington Hospital, a part of Inter-Lakes Health in Ticonderoga.
Nurses at Inter-Lakes Health in Ticonderoga will join health care providers across the country in observing National Nurses Week May 6 - 12.
The annual celebration marks the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing.
The 56 nurses on staff at Inter-Lakes Health plan to use the occasion as a time to reflect on nursing in Ticonderoga and the world.
“Here in Ticonderoga, nursing has been at the forefront of patient care since Moses-Ludington Hospital — then known as Shattuck Memorial Hospital — first opened its doors in 1908,” said Barbara Wright, Inter-Lakes Health administration and development coordinator. “21st Century nursing is a profession that embraces educated people with varied interests, strengths and passions, and offers many opportunities for career advancement and growth. Inter-Lakes Health nurses work in the emergency department, the surgical suite, patient care unit, long term care and in specialty clinics, to name just a few of the many working options available.”
Nurses also work in administration, infection control and utilization review in Ticonderoga.
“Inter-Lakes offers so many different roles along the nursing career ladder, from staff nurse to nurse educator to nurse practitioner to nursing informatics and beyond,” Wright said. “These roles are held by nurses who share a passion for their profession, a strong commitment to patient safety and a genuine dedication to our community. Inter-Lakes Health nurses are truly community minded.”
What is nursing? Simply defined, nursing is the care of others.
“It’s easy to define, but difficult to describe,” said Kishia Patenaude, Inter-Lakes medical staff coordinator. “Nursing care runs the gamut from complex technical procedures requiring intense scientific education and training to something as simple has holding a hand. That’s a pretty broad range to practice within. Everything a nurse does, whether simple or complex, can be vitally important to the well-being of a patient.”
Nursing has a long history.
“Early civilizations believed that good spirits brought health; evil spirits brought sickness and death,” Wright related. “Back then, physicians were medicine men who treated disease through dance and rituals. The nurse was usually the family’s female elder, who tended to the needs of the patient by providing food, herbal remedies, warmth and comfort.”
Nursing continued to evolve, taking a major step forward when Nightingale took an interest in it.
Born in England in 1820 to a wealthy family, Nightingale was well educated and traveled extensively. Despite protests by her family she became a nurse at the age of 31. The outbreak of the Crimean War gave Nightingale an opportunity to organize nursing care in a military hospital in Turkey. She successfully overcame many difficulties, elevated the status of nurses and introduced quality to nursing care. Back home in England she established the first nurse training school and wrote books about nursing education and health care.
“Nightingale’s work focused attention on the need for educated nurses,” Wright explained. “Schools of nursing were founded, usually in connection with hospitals.”
Nursing progressed during the next few decades before World War II brought major changes.
“The coming of World War II had a tremendous impact on nursing,” Wright said. “More and more women worked outside the home, the need for nurses grew and there resulted an explosion of knowledge in medicine and technology. Nursing education was upgraded substantially; it moved into university settings and led to degrees in nursing for both men and women. Emphasis on nursing knowledge as the base for nursing practice led to the establishment of nursing as a professional discipline.”