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Thank a Nurse: Celebrating National Nurses Week

April 11, 2024

Thank a Nurse: Celebrating National Nurses Week

No matter what your medical needs are, one of the people you’ll likely meet on your journey to wellness is a nurse. There are about five million registered nurses in the U.S., providing invaluable contributions to patient care, treatment and healing across every aspect of the medical field.

Celebrated Monday, May 6, through Sunday, May 12, National Nurses Week recognizes the many ways nurses advocate for patients and advance the medical profession. The nursing staff at Mississippi Valley Surgery and Endoscopy Center, located at 3400 Dexter Ct., Davenport, is a great example of a nursing staff that makes a difference for patients every day.

Specialized care in every setting

While the staff at Mississippi Valley Surgery Center and Endoscopy Center, the area’s largest multispecialty outpatient surgery center, is made up of mostly registered nurses (RNs), there is also a need for patient care and endoscopy technicians.

Nurses who work in outpatient settings like the MVSC and MVEC have different day-to-day responsibilities than nurses who work in a hospital or within an intensive care unit. Because patients are often at the centers for much less time compared to traditional hospital settings, nurses spend shorter amounts of time with patients who are either receiving screenings, diagnoses or outpatient surgeries.

While exceptional patient care is always a part of the job, the daily responsibilities of a nurse can be quite different depending on the nurse’s education, specialty and environment. They might be assisting physicians with procedures, admitting patients, helping with patient recovery or managing a team.

Educated and in demand

Across all nursing careers, education is a critical component and provides the opportunity for more specialization. All registered nurses have at least a two-year degree. Nurses are in demand across the county, as nursing shortages are expected to increase over the next 10 years, with an aging population of baby boomers needing care and a wave of nurses retiring.

It helps that great nurses are working every day to encourage the next generation of health care professionals. Gina State is MVSC’s lead operating room nurse. Throughout her career, she’s seen how education, research and changes in medical technology have transformed patient care.

“We can get patients in and out much faster. They are resting at home in no time,” Gina said. “This has caused us to really step up our communication and teamwork as a staff.”

Carole Harris chose nursing as a career because of her firsthand experience with the nurses who cared for her young son when he was ill. Now serving as MVSC’s ambulatory services manager, Carole was drawn to working at a surgery center where there is a lower nurse-to-patient ratio and a schedule that allows her to maintain a work-life balance for her own family.

“I chose a surgery center because it’s a Monday-Friday, no weekends, no holidays, and because I get that quality time with patients,” Carole said. “I wanted the opportunity to make an impact, calm the nerves of patients and create positive experiences. After my own experience, I knew how much those extra kind words mattered.”

Influencing patient experiences by creating a calm, comforting space is a top priority for nurses and staff throughout Mississippi Valley Surgery and Endoscopy Center.

“We understand that most people aren’t super excited to visit an endoscopy center,” Elisabeth Evangelista, MVEC manager, said. “However, we work hard to make sure all our patients feel comfortable when they come here. Patients know that when they come to us, they get the very best care.”

Celebrating National Nurses Week

Mississippi Valley Surgery and Endoscopy Center recognizes National Nurses Week as a time to appreciate the critical role nurses play in health care. This year’s theme, “Nurses Make the Difference,” highlights the nurses whose care and expertise can be life-changing for the patients and families facing surgery or tough diagnosis with a long course of treatment.

While nurses in an outpatient setting may only see a patient once, they’re meeting at a time when there may be high anxiety about the procedure ahead. Nurses are there to be reassuring and confident and to offer education that contributes to positive outcomes. It’s a responsibility nurses don’t take lightly.

“Emotionally, the job is very rewarding,” Carole said. “Our team plays a critical role in making a great experience for everyone – our physicians, our patients and their families.”

Knowing they’re making a difference is what keeps them coming back to their passion for compassionate patient care. While Carole, Gina and Elisabeth are just three members of the expert staff at Mississippi Valley Surgery and Endoscopy Center, we’d like to thank all nurses for their work and dedication this month and always.

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