By Corbin Smith
We hope that you guys enjoyed watching “The Farewell” last weekend for the College of Nursing Movie of the week! If you weren’t able to watch it, though, we will give you a pass this week, because General Conference does take priority the first weekend of October. Make sure to watch The Farewell when you get the chance, however! Not only is it a heartwarming story that you can share with your whole family, but it also teaches valuable lessons to nurses about how to treat our patients, the need to respect the wishes of patient’s families, and what it truly means to care for those reaching the end of their life here on earth. “The Farewell” is definitely not a movie you want to miss.
Nevertheless, a new week means a new movie! That being said, we are so excited to announce that the movie for this upcoming weekend is, drum-roll please, “Testament of Youth”!
“Testament of Youth” is a British film made in 2014 that is based on a true story. It is a World War One film that focuses on three things: love, war and nursing. How do those three things fit together? Let me tell you how!
The first two, love and war, seem relatively easy to connect. Vera, the young woman this movie follows, follows her brother to Oxford, where she meets many new people, including the future love of her life. Not to give away too many spoilers, when the first World War begins and the love of her life is sent to battle, she is left with a choice: will she stand around idly, hoping for the best, or will she face head on the war that has robbed her of everything she held dear?
While you reflect on what your personal decision would be, in honor of Vera and the Testament of Youth, we wanted to share with you, our readers, five ways that nurses change the world.
1. They protect, promote and strive for the well-being of other human beings.
Only nurses know how much mental, emotional and physical capacity it takes to be constantly responsible for a human life. Surgeons perform difficult and impressive surgeries, but it’s a nurse that are found at the bedside of that patient when they wake up. Doctors evaluate ill and anxious patients for causes and solutions, but it’s the nurse that stays behind to relieve a patient’s stress when the doctor moves to the next patient. Nurses try to understand their patient, they do everything they can for their patient, and, maybe most importantly, they fight for their patient.
2. They are one of the few professions that work 24/7, whether it is in the hospital, their communities or even in their homes.
Being a nurse can be hard. A career can be filled with overnight and 12 hour shifts, just to go home and be a nurse-parent to those at home. Like a mother with young children, being a nurse is an “around the clock” job. There isn’t always time for a spa day or a nice afternoon nap, but I’m sure as many nurses in the field know, the best part about nursing is that there is always someone to help, so in reality there is no time to rest!
3. They give hope to families in their times of ultimate need.
Nurses are as much teachers as they are healthcare professionals. Many families that find themselves in the hospital are there because their worst nightmare is coming alive. Nurses have the unique opportunity to teach, and pass along hope to families that are likely scared, confused and anxious about the future. Nurses, more than anyone else in the hospital, get to interact with scared loved ones and pass along that important information. Sometimes it can be hard, especially when you need to give bad news, but even in those circumstances, nurses can practice empathy and compassion to help comfort others in their moments of need.
4. They give all of us an example of love, compassion and empathy that we all need these days.
I think we would all agree that we need to pump a lot of love into the world today. There is a lot of anger and arguing in society, and we are all desperately looking to something to help us stop it. Nurses can be the answer! During the COVID-19 pandemic the world has begun to recognize how crucial nurses are when it comes to both physical and emotional wellbeing of a community. Nurses represent stability, diligence and love to many people. What would happen if every nurse in every hospital across the world was able to bring that love outside the hospital and to other aspects of life? From there, what could happen if the rest of society followed in their footsteps? We, nurses, can be the example! We truly can change the world!
5. They advocate for those who often aren’t heard when they need it most.
I want to share the story of Mary Eliza Mahoney. She is recognized as the first ever African-American registered nurse in 1879. In a time that was reluctant to accept black members of society into any predominantly white associations, she joined the Nurses Associated Alumnae (soon to be known as the American Nurses Association) in 1896. Mahoney was a champion in addressing and fighting for racial justice in the nursing field. Thanks to her, the number of African-American nurses in the world doubled from 1910 to 1930.
Nurses advocate for others. Whether it is a sick infant, a struggling elder, or anything in between, nurses advocate for those who can’t do it themselves, no matter it be because of sickness or social injustices. May nurses continue to fight the fight of those who need allies in their fight for justice, both medically and socially. Let’s continue to change the world, one step at a time.