National Nurses Week Commemorated with Candlelight Vigil

By: Michelle McCaskey Last Updated: May 7, 2014

Every year, National Nurses Week focuses attention on the diverse ways America's 3.1 million registered nurses work to save lives and to improve the health of millions of individuals. Tuesday evening, Porter Regional Hospital paid special tribute to their nurses, by presenting a Candlelight Vigil on the front lawn of Porter Regional Hospital – this also honored the birthday of Florence Nightingale, founder of nursing as a modern profession.

During the ceremony, the Nurses Week proclamation was read by Jan Dick, the president of the Valparaiso City Council. In addition, Ms. Taffy Arias, Chief Nursing Officer was dressed as Florence Nightingale and read The Florence Nightingale Pledge. Unfortunately, due to the windy conditions, the candles were not lit.

"My primary focus is to ensure that every single patient that enters our building gets excellent and quality care. In addition, our nurses and staff are cared for both in the physical and spiritual aspect. It is important that we thank them and honor them every day because we are honored to have them here working with us," said Ms. Arias.

Porter's nursing community invited all area nursing schools' practicum students to participate in the moving tribute.

Stephanie Ramos, an IMCURN (Immediate Care Unit Registered Nurse) stated, "It's all about the people. Everyone needs someone during a time of need when they cannot take care of themselves. It is about having compassion and care for others."

When asked what she wanted people to know about the profession, "You have to love it. It is very hard work, but you do it because you love people and to help them. You have to have the passion to help others."

Porter Health Care System's nurses are a large segment of its healthcare team. From the Emergency Department to the NICU, to the surgical suites and electrophysiology lab, nurses are the "face" of the healthcare system and the frontline of the care teams. They coordinate patient treatment, take and record vital signs, administer medication, and assist with surgeries, deliveries and emergent care. They work alongside fellow nurses, physicians, and other clinicians to carefully track patient progress.

Nurses are known for the compassion and support they provide to patients and their families. In an environment where individuals can be frightened or confused by what is happening around them, nurses help explain diagnoses, procedures, tests and medications. They respond to patient concerns, answer questions and help educate patients on their care and treatment. Beyond the skills and knowledge they offer, it's often the kind words, or warm hands, or listening ears they provide that make nurses the most trusted professionals in healthcare.

Porter Health Care System has two hospital campuses and seven outpatient facilities serving Porter, Lake, La Porte, Starke, Newton and Jasper counties. With more than 350 physicians representing 50 medical specialties on the medical staff, Porter Health Care System is committed to medical excellence and personalized, patient-centered care.

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