CEL­E­BRATE the ex­pand­ing role of nurses

Cape Breton Post - - Nurses Week -

(NC) On May 12, med­i­cal pro­fes­sion­als all over the globe com­mem­o­rate the birth of Florence Nightin­gale in cel­e­bra­tion of In­ter­na­tional Nurses Day. Since 1965, the United Na­tions has worked with the In­ter­na­tional Coun­cil of Nurses to show sup­port for the work nurses do in im­prov­ing the lives of pa­tients and the healthcare sys­tem.

The role of nurses varies across the world de­pend­ing on the re­sources avail­able. In sub-Sa­ha­ran Africa for ex­am­ple, nurses of­ten take on roles tra­di­tion­ally held by doc­tors and phar­ma­cists be­cause for peo­ple liv­ing in small, ru­ral vil­lages, ac­cess to large hospi­tals and fully li­censed doc­tors is scarce.

Nurses take on a more ad­vanced po­si­tion when they are the only med­i­cal pro­fes­sional avail­able. Young women in sub-Sa­ha­ran Africa who choose to en­ter nurs­ing school are seen as lead­ers in their com­mu­ni­ties and gar­ner a great deal of re­spect. How­ever, at­tend­ing nurs­ing school is of­ten a chal­lenge due to the im­mense poverty that per­sists in Uganda. Ruth is one such stu­dent who has strug­gled to at­tend higher ed­u­ca­tion and be­come a fully li­censed nurse. Ruth grew up the el­dest of six chil­dren in a small vil­lage in Uganda. When she was born, Ruth went to live with her grand­mother while her mother tried to earn an in­come for the fam­ily. With her grand­mother ag­ing and ill, Ruth was in charge of car­ry­ing fire­wood, dig­ging the ground for crops, and fetch­ing wa­ter.

But Ruth stud­ied hard and took an in­ter­est in a va­ri­ety of sub­jects —par­tic­u­larly the sciences. She earned an amaz­ing aca­demic record and scored high on Ugan­dan na­tional ex­ams de­spite miss­ing many classes. Her fam­ily couldn’t af­ford tuition, but the Beau­ti­ful World char­ity of­fered her a schol­ar­ship to ful­fill her dream of at­tend­ing nurs­ing school. Ruth is now a role model and leader. She’s been at­tend­ing nurs­ing school for four months and can give vac­ci­na­tions to her pa­tients. Ruth hopes to teach the im­por­tance of vac­ci­na­tions to her com­mu­nity to help stop the spread of dis­ease.

Beau­ti­ful World is lo­cated in Toronto. Be­liev­ing that hope be­gins with ed­u­ca­tion, the or­ga­ni­za­tion sup­ports young women liv­ing in poverty in Uganda, Rwanda and Sierra Leone who want to pur­sue higher ed­u­ca­tion. Beau­ti­ful World schol­ar­ships pro­vide ev­ery­thing stu­dents need to suc­ceed, al­low­ing them to fo­cus en­tirely on school in­stead of wor­ry­ing about ba­sic sur­vival and these coura­geous young women grad­u­ate with the po­ten­tial to spread hope in their com­mu­nity.

Florence Nightin­gale

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