American Nurses Association members representing Liberty Regional Medical Center, Winn Army Community Hospital and Best Care Health Center joined Hinesville Mayor Jim Thomas on Thursday as he signed a proclamation recognizing May 6-12 as National Nurses Week.
The theme for this year’s National Nurses Week was “Delivering Quality and Innovation in Patient Care.”
Attending the proclamation ceremony were nurses Shirley Frasier, Donna Cochrane, Brenda Whipple-Jones, Syan Owens, Omar White, Edna Walthour, Deborah Andrews-Dawson and Marie Stevens.
Walthour, a nurse administrator, pointed out that nurses’ care for their patients often exceeds the “call of duty.” She praised Owens, a certified nurse’s assistant with Community Care Services Program, which is sponsored by the Coastal Regional Commission on Aging. Owens makes sure her home-care patients eat properly, remain clean and dry, ensures they don’t miss doctor’s appointments by taking them to their appointments, pick up their prescriptions and does their shopping.
She said case worker Keyona Smith commended Owens for something else she was doing to help one of her elderly patients. Owens taught an elderly stroke victim how to sign her name again.
“She had a stroke several years ago. Being able to sign her name was one of those things she had lost over time,” Owens said. “No one had taken the time to sit with her and help her. I showed her how to write her initials first, then to sign her name.”
Walthour confirmed the feat by quoting the case worker who called her to praise Owens. She said Smith told her when she was expecting the elderly patient to sign a form with an X, she signed her name. When she asked the woman how she learned to sign her name, she said Owens had taught her.
Owens, who has been a nurse’s assistant for two years, said she never had done anything related to health care. Now, however, she said she can’t see herself doing anything else. Her goal is to go back to school and eventually become a licensed practical nurse.
While reading the proclamation, Thomas said the nation’s 3.1 million nurses provide safe, high-quality patient care. He said the demand for nursing services is increasing, explaining that continued expansion of life-sustaining technology is making it possible for more Americans to live longer.