At long pandemic last, it’s time to celebrate nurses

May 7, 2021, 5:01 PM
Registered nurse Sophie Woodbury, left, poses for a photo with state epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn, and fellow registered nurses Monte Roberts, Amanda Vicchrilli, William Brunt and Julie Nelson at LDS Hospital in Salt Lake city on on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020. Woodbury, Roberts, Vicchrilli and Burnt were vaccinated for the coronavirus by Nelson. (Jeffrey D. Allred/The Deseret News)
(Jeffrey D. Allred/The Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — After 14 long months of the COVID-19 pandemic, we can finally celebrate the heroes among us — nurses.

Utah Nurses Association Executive Director Dr. Liz Close joined Inside Sources host Boyd Matheson to celebrate National Nurses Week.

Of the 4.2 million registered nurses in the United States, nearly 40,000 call Utah home. 

Delayed by pandemic

On May 14, the 2021 Spring Virtual Conference, Healing the Healers, will be held for all Utah nurses and student nurses.

“That’s something I always worry about. Who leads the leaders and who heals the healers?” Boyd asked.

Close said the Utah Nurses Association and Utah Nurses Foundation collaborated to celebrate Nurses Week 2021, May 6 – 12. 

“Last year was also designated by the World Health Organization as International Year of the Nurse and Nurse Midwife. We certainly didn’t have time to celebrate that, so everybody has extended that for a year. We’re now in full force of celebrating, hoping to see the pandemic under control and us getting back to a little bit more business as  usual,” Close said.

“We have suffered enormous trauma”

“I’ve been a nurse for 46 years. And years ago we’re pretty much told that we were responsible for our own well being. And that’s true. We are partially responsible for it, but we are also the community. Our Legislature, our organizations that employ us are also responsible. We looked at this as a multi-pronged effort to support everybody in trying to recognize first and foremost that we have suffered enormous trauma over the last year — on top of already inherently stressful jobs that we have. So, we’re trying to make this a broad approach, and provide as much help as we can for our colleagues,” Close said.

“While you are correct in saying, yes, everyone does have to be responsible for their part, we hope that every nurse can have the kind of courageous vulnerability to say ‘Hey, I do need some help or I do need some extra assistance.’ Know that they are not alone in this. They have a community that is inspired and awed by these extraordinary workers and the things that they have done and achieved over the past 14 months,” Boyd said.

Help celebrate nurses: Get your shots

Close said Utah residents can help nurses by getting their two vaccination doses to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“It’s not the nurses that can prevent it, it’s the community that can prevent it by doing the things that need to be done to stomp out this pandemic. . . . We appreciate that people will say that we should honor nurses and that we’re heroes. The heroics really can come from each individual Utahn to help us out by preventing this and encouraging others and supporting others [to get vaccinated],” Close urged.

“[Between] Nurses Week, Nurses Month and the Year of the Nurse, which we didn’t really get to celebrate because you all were too busy, [that proves] why we should be celebrating nurses. We appreciate your efforts,” Boyd said.

Listen to Inside Sources with Boyd Matheson weekdays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app. 

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